There are very few things I love more than browned butter. Cucumbers are up there, as are tomatoes, lamb and Vietnamese food. But browned butter is the top ten, for sure.
It's no surprise, then, that I fell in love with Lorna's browned butter pound cake the second I added the cooled butter to the two sugars. The smell of butter and sugar being creamed into one fluffy mass is always delightful; when it's browned butter that's involved, the aroma is downright intoxicating.
This cake is as easy as can be to make; its prep time is even folded into the recipe, since you can gather and measure your ingredients while the browned butter cools in the freezer. It bakes up beautifully, the crumb a deep golden color specked with brown, and the crust a crunchy, dark brown shell. It's so dense and fine that you don't even need a serrated knife to cut it, and the smell of the whole thing will linger in the house for at least 24 hours.
This is a dense cake, one that takes well to ice cream or crème fraiche. Last night, Miriam and I ate our slices topped with her homemade ginger whiskey ice cream, a most perfect combination. Lorna herself recommends crème fraiche and toasted pistachios. It's also fabulous eaten standing up while slurping your morning coffee. It may not be dignified, but that hardly matters, does it?