Monday, December 1, 2008

A Few Days Late and the cake that nearly killed me


So Im back on the boat of Daring Bakers Challenges. Now I made this back in the middle of November because I wanted to have time to make it with everything holiday coming up. So this cake sounded fantastic because well I love caramel. So this and a brown butter type frosting I knew I would eat the whole cake. So I pulled together all of my ingredients and got to work, when I noticed that my cake pan was not the 2 to 2.5 inches as required so I got scared of the cake going over the top of the pan so I decided to split the cake into two layers. That is when this recipe started going south. My cooled caramel syrup was not really syrup it was more of a soft caramel, (my bad I guess I over cooked it) and then as soon as it hit the kitchen aid mixer bowl it totally seized up. Then the batter seemed like enough when I put in in the layers but it didn't really do all that much in the oven. So I frosted it and ate it anyway and it was good but it was super dense and I had a few crunchy bits but I will try to make this again as everyone else's looks fantastic.


CARAMEL CAKE WITH CARAMELIZED BUTTER FROSTING

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. 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.

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.

CARAMEL SYRUP

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.

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

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 which can be seen here.)

Thanks again to the lovely hosts and co hosts to this month's challenge.
Dolores, Alex, Jenny, and Natalie.

8 comments:

  1. Actually, caramel bits in the cake sounds really good! Great job. :)

    Christina ~ She Runs, She Eats

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  2. Even if you had some issues..it still look mighty tasty!

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  3. I hope you are able to make this again more to your liking. Looks tasty!

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  4. It looks great! Sorry it gave you so much trouble,though!

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  5. super dense, eh? that certainly wouldn't slow me down, no ma'am. not when caramel's involved. :)

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  6. I think it looks charming, and the taste sounds divine. Can hardly wait to try it!

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  7. I could never tell by those pictures that you had any trouble at all. It looks so good!

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