01 February 2011

Vargas Butter Cake - the BEST butter cake on the planet


You have never really lived until you've tasted a Vargas Butter Cake.

Until I bit into one, the perfect butter cake existed only in my imagination. In my fantasies, such a cake would be oozing with fragrant, buttery goodness, without being heavy, dense and oily. As a child, there was nothing I liked so much as to snack on a plate of little salted butter cubes.  It's crazy but I swear, on some days, the sensation of creamy butter melting on my tongue was waaay better than having ice cream.  To me, a butter cake is no good unless it is buttery enough to rival that taste sensation, otherwise I might as well just eat pure butter on its own. 

Unfortunately, I never managed to find or bake such a cake. Until now. Some time ago, I stumbled on rave reviews about the famed Vargas butter cake from Philippines. When my husband went there for a business trip last week, I begged him to bring back one for me. I was going crazy just thinking about it. He managed to get his colleague to lug back not one, but TWO butter cakes.

Did it live up to the hype? You bet. This is one crazy good cake, completely saturated with the intensely rich fragrance of butter.  It is also by far the moistest, lightest and most tender cake I have ever eaten. If you can just imagine - it has a very tender, open crumb structure, so tender that it threatens to fall apart in your hands. It is moist without being wet or heavy, and at each bite you can feel the individual butter-soaked crumbs falling apart and melting in your mouth. And as if the pure butteriness of the cake wasn't enough, it was ALSO topped with a shiny, sticky butter glaze.  Absolutely lip-smackingly swoon-worthy. 

Just when I thought butter cake couldn't get any better than this, I followed the suggestions on the cake-box to toast a slice for a few minutes. I can't even BEGIN to describe how awesome it is when toasted. Just imagine a lightly browned, slightly crisp outer crumb coating, and the fragrance of browned butter sizzling on the pan. Butter Heaven.  

I am so sorry that after all this, I can't leave you with anything other than a butter cake craving. No there will be no recipe in this post, as I have not the faintest clue how to bake a butter cake like that (although you can bet I will be working hard on that ).  Someday, when I have figured out a way to cram a maximum amount of butter into my cake batter and still have a cake that is light as air, I will certainly share my findings here.

In the meantime, to stave off your cravings, you can try soaking your toast in lots of melted butter (another disgusting habit I have besides eating little cubes of butter). 

And, needless to say, if you are EVER in the Philippines, you have to get your hands on this cake.

Vargas Kitchen
49 Pili Avenue, Forbes Park,
Manila, Philippines.
Telephone 810-7529 and 817-8483

Also available at Saturday Salcedo Market and the Sunday Legazpi Market.



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