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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Caramel Cake ~Daring Bakers' Nov. Challenge

Dear Fellow Daring Bakers,

This month's challenge has given me some insight on my abilities with flour and a spatula. i have come to the realization that yes, i can measure, mix, pour, stir and fold. i am capable of preheating an oven. i am even able to halve a cake recipe. however, i am completely inept at decorating. i can't ice to save my life. even with an easy peasy pampered chef icing thing, i still suck.

But i'm ok with this knowledge. because this cake came out divine. small enough that i wasn't overwhelmed by the size. and i didn't even bother slicing it. the roommate and i just dug our forks in after i took pictures. she ate most of the icing. i ate the cake part.

this is the kind of cake that i would make sans the caramel sauce. just because i hate having to wait for the color to turn. i really enjoyed this challenge because unlike the previous challenge, there was no wait time and i could just bang it out in one go. so thank you to the hosts: Deloris of Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity, Alex of Blondie and Brownie (she's the Brownie), and Jenny of Foray into Food. the cake turned out fugly but tasted really good!

Sincerely,
Angry Asian

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Caramel Cake by Shuna Fish Lydon (she also wrote the recipe) of Bay Area Bites.

CARAMEL CAKE with Caramelized Butter Frosting

10 Tablespoons UNSALTED BUTTER, ROOM TEMP
1 1/4 Cups SUGAR
1/2 teaspoon KOSHER SALT
1/3 Cup CARAMEL SYRUP*
2 each EGGS, ROOM TEMP
splash VANILLA EXTRACT
2 Cups AP FLOUR
1/2 teaspoon BAKING POWDER
1C MILK, ROOM TEMP

*Caramel syrup recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350F
Butter one tall 9" cake pan.

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth.
2. Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy.
3. Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl.
4. Scrape 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.
5. Sift flour and baking powder.
6. Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dries.
7. When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time.
8. Add another third of the dries, then the other half of the milk and finish with the dries. {This is called the dry, wet, dry, wet, drry method in cake making. It is often employed when there is a high proportion of liquid in the batter.}
9. Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds. making sure batter is uniform.

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 unrefrigerated.

CARAMEL SYRUP

2 Cups SUGAR
1/2 Cup WATER

1 Cup water for "stopping"

1. In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand.
2. Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush.
3. Turn on heat to highest flame.
4. Cook until smoking slightly: dark amber.
5. 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 prepared to step back.
6. 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.}

For safety reasons, have ready a bowl of ice water to plunge your hands into if any caramel should land on your skin.

CARAMELIZED BUTTER FROSTING

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

1. Cook butter until brown.
2. Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, set aside to cool.
3. Pour cooled brown butter into mixer bowl.
4. 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.

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.

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10 comments:

  1. I feel your pain. I can't ice either, although, I don't know what you are complaining about, your cake looks great. I wish mine looked that good. Great job.

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  2. Adorable post, Lan. You've got me craving this cake--sounds fantastic!

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  3. Lan, this sounds amazing! And I think the icing looks lovely.

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  4. Hey...you did more with your icing that I did! Great job!

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  5. Don't be so hard on yourself! It looks great. I

    busted my icing bag and just plopped the icing down. It was all I could do.

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  6. I think the cake looks great! You wouldn't want to see what my cake would look like if I had to do piping you are so much better then me!

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  7. Your cake looks great to me! It also looks a lot better than mine ;)

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  8. Hey Lan, I think it looks pretty yummy. My daughter asked for a caramel cake for her bday so I'm thinking of doing this one. I have one question, though, when you made the caramel syrup did you stir it until it got to smoking? or did you just let it sit there? Let me know and I'll take a pic and send it to you. :)

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  9. Hey...you did more with your icing that I did! Great job!

    ReplyDelete