I am a wife, a mom of three, and the kitchen is my favorite place in the house. I read cookbooks in my spare time and enjoy getting kitchen appliances for presents :) I love preparing delicious and healthy food for my family and here are a some of what graces our table each week.

Email Me for any of the recipes :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Daring Bakers Challenge - November 08 - Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting



This is my second Daring Bakers Challenge and I waited until the last possible night to do it. I had intended to bake it early so that my mom and sister could help me test it out, but my nights have not been my own lately...(see evidence below) and that's why I love taking the time out to do the challenges. I can't wait till the next month!!

The recipe came from Shuna Fish Lydon and her blog can be found here: http://blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/2006/12/24/caramel-cake-the-recipe/

The challenge was hosted this month by Alex (Brownie of the Blondie and Brownie duo: http://blondieandbrownie.blogspot.com/), Jenny of Foray into Food (http://forayintofood.blogspot.com/) and for assitance with alternative baking, Natalie of Gluten-a-Go-Go (http://glutenagogo.blogspot.com/).

I followed the directions exactly, except for one tiny substitution of Smart Balance Light for the unsalted butter, those baby pounds dont go away on their own. As Danny and I were tasting it (as I type), we were worried it was a bit dense, but when I looked at Shuna's page, it looks exactly like hers and the taste is pretty good. In terms of preparation, it was easy and I would definitely make it again. Yum!

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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.

Danny was out with the big kids...and this was how Macie looked when I started the recipe. I brought a chair over and nursed her while I watched the stove...


...and this is how she looked after 2 minutes of nursing - milk coma

...and this was her until the kids came home!


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

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.



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.



I took some of the frosting and mixed it with my favorite Wilton dyes - brown - and made some cute designs. That is the extent of my frosting abilities, but I think it works.

1 comment:

Claire said...

Wow...Daring baker with a baby! Your cake looks great. I'm sure that Macie appreciates the cake...maybe her milk has a caramel taste! ;-) Great job!!!