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29 November 2008

BEWARE - Sweet Stuff Ahead

This Daring Baker is back, after a month off. This month . . .
Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting
The recipe is courtesy of Shuna Fish Lydon of Eggbeater (http://eggbeater.typepad.com/) and was hosted by The Chronicles of Culinary Curiosity. Assisting her this month was Alex at Brownie of the Blondie and Brownie duo, Jenny of Foray into Food , and Natalie of Gluten-a-Go-Go .

This cake could bring on sugar shock. That said, I made this while my Mom was visiting a few weeks back and we finished it in three days! Everyone liked it - Hubby, kids, Mom. It was a crowd pleaser. The cake is moist and although it is quite sweet, it is a great cake for coffee. A little slice of sugar to counter the bitter, hot coffee. YUM!

In order to counter the sweetness of the frosting, I did add a bit of bitter sweet chocolate frosting on the top layer. I frosted the entire cake in the carmel butter frosting. I meant to only swirl in the bitter sweet chocolate frosting, but I accidentally made the chocolate swirl too thick. Not wanting to start over, I just blended the chocolate frosting in with the carmel. The result was just a hint of dark chocolate in a sea of carmel. I also coated the sides with crushed walnuts which gave a nutty carmel taste to the edges. I can say this is a recipe I will use again (already did for Thanksgiving, but didn't have time for photos). The recipe is below for anyone to try.

10 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 Cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 Cup Caramel Syrup (see recipe below)
2 each eggs, at room temperature
splash vanilla extract
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter one tall (2 – 2.5 inch deep) 9-inch cake pan. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy. Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl. S crape down bowl and increase speed. Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform. Sift flour and baking powder. Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dry ingredients. When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time. Add another third of the dry ingredients, then the other half of the milk and finish with the dry ingredients. {This is called the dry, wet, dry, wet, dry method in cake making. It is often employed when there is a high proportion of liquid in the batter.} Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds, making sure batter is uniform. Turn batter into prepared cake pan. Place cake pan on cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan. Set first timer for 30 minutes, rotate pan and set timer for another 15-20 minutes. Your own oven will set the pace. Bake until sides pull away from the pan and skewer inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely before icing it. Cake will keep for three days outside of the refrigerator.
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup water (for "stopping" the caramelization process)
In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand. Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush. Turn on heat to highest flame. Cook until smoking slightly: dark amber. When color is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water. Caramel will jump and sputter about! It is very dangerous, so have long sleeves on and be prepared to step back. Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly and feels sticky between two fingers. {Obviously wait for it to cool on a spoon before touching it.}Note: For safety reasons, have ready a bowl of ice water to plunge your hands into if any caramel should land on your skin.
****It took me two tries to get the syrup right - I burnt it the first time. It didn't look burnt, which is why you need to taste it. There was no fixing it once it had the burnt taste.
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound confectioner’s sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons caramel syrup
Kosher or sea salt to taste (****careful not to oversalt)
Cook butter until brown. Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, set aside to cool. Pour cooled brown butter into mixer bowl. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, add confectioner's sugar a little at a time. When mixture looks too chunky to take any more, add a bit of cream and or caramel syrup. Repeat until mixture looks smooth and all confectioner's sugar has been incorporated. Add salt to taste. Note: Caramelized butter frosting will keep in fridge for up to a month. To smooth out from cold, microwave a bit, then mix with paddle attachment until smooth and light.
(recipes above courtesy of Shuna Fish Lydon)


Nidhi said...

The Cake looks great!!

Beth said...

The top of your cake looks delicious!

Bumblebutton said...

How pretty with the nuts and the chocolatized 'accident!' Nice job!

RennyBA said...

Now you really tempting me - looks delicious, my mouth is watering.

Nice china too and thanks for the recipe - I have to get my wife read it :-)

Sherry Trifle - Lovely Cats said...

That's a lovely cake! The chocolate and nuts would make it even more delicious.

Rosie said...

OMG that looks dangerously good

Gretchen Noelle said...

Turned out to be a very pretty topping for the cake. Great job!

Jude said...

I know what you mean with the sugar shock .... I think I had a mild headache because of it after just a few slivers.

Elra said...

Unfortunately, for me was both the cake and the frosting that I wasn't fond of. The cake was to heavy, dense and the frosting...? I just can't swallow it!
I am glad that everyone in your family like it.

Amy said...

Oi, this looks wonderful....have marked your blog and will come back when I have a pen nearby, have to try this one...cake and caramel- MMMMMMMM.....