Let me introduce you to the most amazing thing to come out of St. Louis since The Arch: the Gooey Butter Cake. But this one here is vegan and not "as gooey" as they tend to be, but qualifies for me as one of the best cake recipe homages to the GBC I've tasted in a really long time!
You can almost taste the crispy cooked, golden chewy edges and then, the crumb sort of collapses in your mouth like you're eating a super-sized piece of butter cake heaven--soft and moist in the middle with a large crumb!
So yesterday's food section carried a whole front page article on Asian Grocery Store Shopping. . . Okay. But then there was this quaint little cake photo in black and white tucked in the folds with a reader question requesting a "bakery" butter cake recipe "from years gone by". The bakery still exists up in the North part of the city--I'd never heard of them. (If you weren't aware--St. Louis is known for two very famous things in the dessert/confection world: Gooey Butter Cake and World's Fair Donuts.)
Gooey butter cakes are never far out of sight in any grocery store or bakery worth its salt in this city. There are as many iterations of this cake out there as there are modular homes. You might be from out of town--might wander in a local bakery or grocer and find this powdered sugar pile of heaven and wonder: What in the world have we here? First, the center is usually all, well, gooey. Then, it is surrounded with a chewy, crunchy crust that will send your head spinning. The gooey-ness is related to it's overwhelming amount of butter, sugar and egg setting in the middle as the cake bakes up. Let me tell you--I loved them. Still love them--but needed a vegan version desperately. This cake made my dream come true! My eye immediately went to the ingredient list. Butter. . .mmmmm. Butter. I love butter. Okay, there I said it. I have always loved butter. One of the hardest darn things I've had to "turn the other cheek" from since taking up the vegan life: butter. No regrets mind you, I manage just fine on the old Earth Balance for my "fix". But this cake here, aside frome the two and a half sticks of butter, had my name written all over it!
First, here is the link for Helfer's Bakery recipe for Deep Butter Cake from yesterday's Post. I vegan-ized this with the usual suspects. Using Ener-G Egg Replacer for Egg. Then, I used unsalted vegetable margerine sticks in place of the butter, and unsweetened soy milk for the "milk" part. (I really prefer the unsweetened soy mik that Silk now carries--it comes in a green carton.) In the notes at the bottom section of the recipe it states it is very important to use "imitation butter extract" for flavor. I could not agree more! Wow! Wow! Wow! For calorie-phobes, yes, it is listed as having 500 calories per serving, but guess what? I run, therefore, I eat. Plus I am sure we shaved some of those calories down after my vegan changes. If you are also a "no extracts for me" person for whatever reason. . . I didn't name this the "deny-myself-the-good-food-for-a-vegan-life" blog for a reason. Good grub is what I'm about, and making it cruelty free. . . not inedible!
This cake was nearly half gone last night as Mr. Thyme and I took in the results show for Idol--well, after he watched his "man-show" Human Target. That is such a "dude" show it is not even funny--so I tinker in the kitchen or catch up on reading for this hour of man TV. (Uh, quick aside about Idol last night--who in the world produced last night's show? Chipmunks? Seriously: Group Song by Wham, "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go?)" I nearly laughed my self senseless and cried a bit, too--that was the most awful two minutes of my life--and I demand they return them! Okay. Where was I? The cake. Make it. You'll love it. Make sure you have some imitation butter or butter extract on hand--it is a must! Do as the directions state--bake until it begins to turn this lovely golden color on top. And be sure you have powdered sugar to sprinkle on top--YUM!