Saturday, November 29, 2008

Daring Bakers November Challenge: Caramel Cake

Grr I set this post to show up yesterday because I was out of town and it didn't work. I hate blogger sometimes!!!!!!!!!!!

Whoa! Another Daring Baker's challenge has arrived yet again. I was really happy this month to find a new SWEET challenge. I must admit I am a sweet tooth at heart.
This month's challenge was brought to us by Dolores:, Alex:, Jenny: for our vegan/veggie buddies, Natalie:
The recipe is originally from Shuna Fish Lydon

I found this recipe really well informed and straight forward. Which is always great when making something for the 1st time. The only thing was that it was incredibly sweet! even for the likes of me and my family. I reduced the sugar in the cake to about 1/2c. BOY! was that a mistake. Instead of a cake i was left more with a dense sponge look a like. I somehow just couldn't imagine though so much sugar in a cake with such sweet icing.
The components on their own are delicious. Together were just a bit to much for me. However, this was a great challenge and I enjoyed every step of it.
In my final product I ended up making a bittersweet chocolate icing to go with the caramel icing to counter the super sweetness. This really helped I think.

Thanks again to all our wonderful hosts this month!!
Also, a HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all our US blogging friends out there.


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, 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.


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.


12 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 -3 c. 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)


jessicajlee said...

looks good!

i really liked it.

jessicajlee said...

hey, do you want to do december's together? we could do it when i'm home in a couple weeks.


yeah that would be awesome!

The Irreverent Cook said...

Hi! I don't think your cake turned out dense because you cut your sugar...I followed the recipe to the T and it still came out heavy enough to kill =P

Passionate About Baking said...

My cake was heavy & dense what you did to the frosting! WOW...looks good enough to dive into!


Thanks Passionate About Baking!
I figured the frosting would distract the eye from my cake that didn't rise. LOL