In honor of this year's James Beard Awards, we've asked last year's Rising Star Award Recipient Christina Tosi to give us an exclusive glimpse into the contents of her latest mixing bowl. Turns out, the creator of Momofuku Milk Bar's famous Crack Pie and Cake Balls - and patron saint of sweet-tooths everywhere - is up to her usual bag of tricks with another resourceful recipe. This time, it's a cake that can be made using the leftover bits in your pretzel bag. By Meghann Foye, REDBOOK.
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tbsp molasses
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
3 1/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup cake flour
3 cups pretzels, ground down into a powder
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
Pinch kosher salt
1/4 cup honey
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1/4 of a 16-oz bag pretzels
2 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tbsp powdered milk
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
For the frosting: In a mixer, cream together butter and confectioner's sugar until fluffy. Add kosher salt and honey. Taste. Add more honey, confectioner's sugar, or salt, as you please. Do not make before you're ready to layer into the pretzel cake.
For the pretzel crunch: Heat the oven to 275F.
In a bowl, crush the pretzels down until they're the size of rice krispies.
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Add and toss the pretzel pieces with the light brown sugar, powdered milk and salt. Add the melted butter and toss to coat.
Spread the clusters on a parchment or silpat-lined sheet pan and bake at 275F for 20 minutes, at which point they should look toasted and smell buttery.
Cool completely before layering in cake.
For the cake: In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar and molasses. Add eggs in slowly and paddle until an even mixture. Stream in buttermilk and oil. Mix all dry ingredients together to prevent dry clumps, then add to mixing bowl of wet ingredients in two parts, until even, being careful not to over-mix.
Bake in a 1/4-inch sheetpan or a round cake mold at 350F for 10-15 minutes depending on the pan size you use.
Cut the cake into two 6" rounds using a 6" cake ring, pan or springform pan.
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Clean off the cake ring/pan and line it with plastic wrap or acetate.
Take the remaining cake scraps and piece them together in the bottom of the lined cake ring to form the bottom cake "layer."
Spoon or brush stout beer on the cake to "soak" it.
Spread one-third of the honey frosting evenly across the cake.
Spread one-third of of the pretzel crumbs evenly across the frosting.
Place a round of cake down. repeat soak, frosting, and cover in crumbs.
Place the last round of cake down. Do not soak the top layer.
Spread the last of the honey frosting on top. Sprinkle the last of the pretzel crumbs around the cake.
Freeze cake for at least three hours, or up to overnight.
Remove from cake ring, pull of plastic wrap or acetate and allow to come to room temperature, approximately two hours, before serving!
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