Friday, November 28, 2008

Caramel Cake, Daring Bakers Style

Happy Daring Bakers post day to all my fellow food loving friends. This month our challenge was to make a very sweet and indulgent sounding caramel cake with caramelized butter frosting. This cake came together very smoothly for me and baked up beautifully. The smell and taste of the caramel syrup made me crave caramel corn very much, I'll have to make some soon. :) The icing came together very smoothly also. I did not use the entire pound of powdered sugar. I would say I used between 9 and 10 ounces though. I also added much more heavy cream to the frosting than called for to try and counteract all the grittyness of the powdered sugar. I also forgot to add in the salt, oopsie.

I took this cake to my aunt's house for Thanksgiving and it was a hit with everyone that tried it. The cake was so moist and light with the perfect hint of caramel sweetness. I will admit, I was a little scared about the frosting. It tasted amazing but I wasn't so sure I would like it on the cake. I thought it would still have the powdered sugar grit taste to it but all in all you could barely tell. The cake tasted so light, obviosuly it was far from being healthy but it was the perfect ending to a very filling Thanksgiving meal. I am glad that I got a chancet o make this cake. It was amazing and I might even make it again. My friend was already hinting that it would be great for her son's birthday party. :) Please excuse my sloppy swirly frosting job. I decorated it on Thanksgiving morning when I was also cooking up 3 batches of garlic knots and some green bean casserole from scratch.

A big thank you goes out to this months hosts, Dolores of Chronicals in Culinary Curiosity Alex of Brownie of the Blondie and Jenny of Foray into Food. As always check out the Daring Bakers Blogroll to see the other beautiful cakes made by the very talented DB'ers.
- One year ago the Daring Bakers tackled
Tender Potato Bread. -

Caramel Cake With Caramelized Butter Frosting
Shuna Fish Lydon, as published on Bay Area Bites

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

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Butter one tall (2 – 2.5 inch deep) 9-inch cake pan.
3. 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.
4. Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl. 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 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.}
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Cake will keep for three days outside of the refrigerator.

Caramel Syrup
Shuna Fish Lydon, as published on Bay Area Bites

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup water (for "stopping" the caramelization process)

1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.

Caramelized Butter Frosting
Shuna Fish Lydon, as published on Bay Area Bites

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


Anonymous said...

Your cake looks so pretty and fluffy!

Anonymous said...

I think the frosting looks really good - that's actually kind of what I was going for, but my frosting had a weird consistency that didn't spread and swirl very well. I also added a fair amount of cream, and didn't use all of the powdered sugar.

Anonymous said...

That seriously looks INSANELY good!

Bob said...

That looks wicked good. Heh, the frosting looks better than any I've done. :)

Anonymous said...

Man... all of these posts are making me seriously miss this cake!

Doesn't look hurried at all... well done!

Maryanna said...

Great Job!!! Your cake looks really pretty.

Engineer Baker said...

I actually love the swirly frosting, and your cake looks a lot less dense than mine. Perfect!

Anonymous said...

Nice job! Your cake looks a bit lighter then mine. I'm sure it was as tasty as mine was though.

Dolores said...

Beautiful cake Amber. I'm glad it was popular at your Thanksgiving celebration. Thanks for baking with us this month.

That Girl said...

This is gorgeous and not at all what I would expect a caramel cake to look like.

What's Cookin Chicago said...

Looks beautiful and so delicious!

Gretchen Noelle said...

The cake looks great! Wonderful that it is already getting requested for other events!

Carrie said...

That looks yummy!

Unknown said...

Great job! Glad your family enjoyed it. Mine sure did!

Jessica said...

This looks and sounds awesome!! Great job. Congrats on the successful challenge.

Anonymous said...

Wow... your cake looks AMAZING! So glad it turned out well! :)

Anonymous said...

Nice job on the challenge, your cake looks great!

Bumblebutton said...

Yum looks fabulous. Next time, you MUST add the salt. It makes the whole thing super addictive! I'll have to try your trick and cut back on the confectioner's sugar. Nicely done!