It’s two months of A Common Table giveaways! From now until December, I’ll be sharing a recipe from the cookbook here and holding a giveaway of one of my favorite kitchen treasures used in the book every week, and you’ll have a week to enter before the winner is announced, along with a new giveaway. This post is in partnership with Pyrex. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
The time has come–it’s the very last A Common Table giveaway. What a couple of months it’s been! It has been so incredibly special seeing the book in your hands, all the things you’ve made, and reading all your stories and kind words. I can’t thank you enough for sharing with me and for making this a dream come true.
The recipe for this last giveaway was something of a dark horse in the cookbook. It’s based on the simplest peanut butter mochi cake ever, one that couldn’t be easier but ended up one of my favorite recipes in the end. The base is just mochiko flour, eggs, oil, sugar, and milk, whisked all together in one bowl in any order you please, no dry ingredients and wet ingredients, no creaming, no nothing. It’s layered together with a creamy peanut butter filling and a crunchy roasted peanut top for a chewy-sticky, glorious take on my favorite flavor of tangyuan with all of the deliciousness and none of the fuss. Best of all, it’s endlessly adaptable–you can add a bit of jelly for a PB&J cake, sub in red bean paste, black sesame filling from the black sesame French toast in the book, lotus paste, chocolate chips, you name it.
For the holidays, I thought I’d go with a butterscotch version, swirled up with the easiest, richest butterscotch full of buttery, toasty fireside warmth. The butterscotch goes astonishingly well with chewy mochi, and though I find mochi batter particularly unpredictable with fillings (as it turns out, red bean tends to sink, and black sesame will all rise to the top) butterscotch sauce swirls beautifully. And I’m pairing up with Pyrex to give away their 8×8 glass dish that you can use to make it (one of my favorite baking dishes in my kitchen!)
Pyrex makes an easy recipe even easier–the lid that comes with the dish means you can bake the cake, let it cool, and seal it up to eat the next day, helping with busy holiday schedules. I used a Pyrex mixing bowl and glass measuring cup here too, but since the recipe is one bowl, you could even mix it right in the dish, meaning prep, baking, and storage all in one. (And the nonporous glass, which I’ve never once managed to break, means it won’t pick up any smells, flavors, or stains.) Magic.
To enter the Pyrex giveaway, hop over to Instagram or leave a comment below sharing your go-to way to use Pyrex this holiday season! The giveaway ends next Friday, December 21. It’s been such a fun two months with you–I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did and thank you again, from the bottom of my heart, for every single one of you who has bought A Common Table. It means more than I can say.
- for the butterscotch sauce (from Smitten Kitchen):
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt (or more, to taste)
- 1 to 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- for the cake:
- 1½ cups (225 grams) sweet rice flour, like Mochiko Blue Star
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup vegetable oil or other neutral oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Flaky sea salt, for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a Pyrex 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper.
- To make the butterscotch sauce: Melt the butter in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar, cream and salt and whisk until well blended. Bring to a very gentle boil and cook for about five minutes, whisking occasionally.
- Remove from heat and stir in one teaspoon of the vanilla extract. Carefully taste a bit of the cooled sauce and adjust with more vanilla extract and salt to your liking. Set aside while you make the cake.
- To make the cake: In a medium Pyrex mixing bowl, combine the sweet rice flour, milk, sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla, and whisk until smooth. You don’t need to worry about overworking the batter and making the cake dense, because sweet rice flour doesn’t contain gluten—mochi cake is dense to begin with! Small lumps will appear in the batter at first, but they will dissipate as you whisk.
- Pour half the batter into the prepared Pyrex baking dish. Drop small spoonfuls of the butterscotch sauce evenly across the batter, then pour the remaining batter over top. Drop small spoonfuls across the top and use a butter knife to swirl the sauce evenly throughout the cake. (You will have a good amount of butterscotch leftover. Given how good it is, I suspect you will forgive me.)
- Bake, uncovered, for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the edges are puffed and the center is set. Enjoy warm or at room temperature. The mochi will slice much more cleanly when cooled, but there’s nothing like enjoying a piece warm from the oven.
Some variations! Throw in a two-inch sprig of rosemary with the butter to make a rosemary butterscotch (and just remove the rosemary from the sauce after it simmers). Add in ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, ¼ teaspoon all spice, and a pinch black pepper for a gingerbread twist.
I find that this butterscotch version is best enjoyed the day that it's baked, but other versions with red bean, black sesame, peanut butter, and chocolate will keep for at least two days in the Pyrex dish at room temperature, and longer in the fridge (though you'll want to heat it briefly before serving).