Saturday, November 29, 2008

Daring Bakers - Caramel Cake

November's challenge features Shuna Fish Lydon of Eggbeater and her signature caramel cake with caramelized butter frosting. There's something so appropriate about the rich dark flavor of caramel in this season, something warm and welcoming. Of course, I'm baking under the sunny and cloudless skies of southern California, so it doesn't quite have its autumn feel, but it's a wonderful choice regardless. Thank you to Dolores (Culinary Curiosity), Alex (Brownie of the Blondie and Brownie Duo), and Jenny (Foray into Food) for hosting.

Caramel Cake
From … he-recipe/

10 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup caramel syrup (see below)
2 eggs, at room temperature
a splash vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a tall 9" round cake pan.

Beat butter at high speed until light. Add in sugar and salt and cream until airy and fluffy.

Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into the butter and sugar mixture. Scrap down bowl and increase speed. Add beaten eggs and vanilla a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrap down bowl again and beat until light and uniform.

Sift together flour and baking powder.

Turn mixer to the lowest setting and add in 1/3 of the flour mixture. Beat until just combined and slowly add in 1/2 of the milk. Beat until incorporated and add in another 1/3 of the flour, the other half of the milk, and finish with the dry ingredients. Use a spatula to do a few last folds, making sure the batter is uniform. Pour batter into the prepared 9" pan, and place pan on a baking sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes. Rotate cake and bake for another 15-20 minutes. The cake is done when the sides pull away from the pan and a toothpick inserted into the midde comes out clean. Cool completely before icing.

Caramel Syrup

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup water (to "stop" the caramel)

In a tall stainless steel saucepan, mix 1/2 cup water with the sugar until mixture resembles wet sand. Brush any stray sugar crystals into the mixture. Turn the heat onto high and cook until smoking slightly. The syrup should be dark amber.

Once color is achieved, slowly add in 1 cup of water. Caramel will sputter and jump, so be very careful. It's helpful to wear oven mitts and to use a lid when adding the water.

Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly. It'll feel sticky on your fingers (make sure caramel has cooled before testing this). The resulting mixture should resemble warmed maple syrup. Store at room temperature for up to a few days (it'll thicken).

Caramelized Butter Frosting

12 tbsp unsalted butter
1 pound confectioner's sugar, sifted
4-6 tbsp heavy cream OR 2-4 tbsp caramel syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
salt to taste

Melt butter in a pan and cook until brown. Pour through a fine meshed sieve and let cool.

Pour cooled butter into a mixing bowl, add in vanilla, and start adding in confectioner's sugar a little at a time. When mixture looks too chunky to take more, add in some cream or caramel syrup. Repeat until mixture is smooth and all the sugar is incorporated. Salt to taste.



Starkly_Different said...

looks wonderful. It must be nice to cook at your parents house, which undoubtedly has a nice kitchen.

Aran said...

looks so moist irene. great job!

Amy said...

this looks so good - great job on the challenge!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Your cake looks so tasty! Wonderful job!

Leslie said...

Looks great! Love the drizzle!

Tartelette said...

Looks so tender and moist! Great job on the challenge!