The Caramel Cake — Daring Bakers challenge

November 30, 2008 at 9:35 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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So, I am not a Daring Baker but I saw so many delicious Carmel Cakes that I just had to make it. This is my first time I have ever made caramel and I was a little scared. Let’s just say that I tried to make marshmallows one time and it went totally awry (cleaning those pots was very fun!).

But I decided that I should just face my fears and go for it. Also, the family and I are going over to my hub’s Uncles’ house for a late American Thanksgiving dinner and this cake would be perfect.

The cake smelt delicious and I can’t wait to dig in to it. My hubs kept on asking if he could have a piece for breakfast this morning. Oh how I love him.

Caramel Syrup Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup water (for “stopping” the caramelization process)

Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting Ingredients

  • 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 above)
  • 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

Caramelized Butter Frosting Ingredients

  • 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

Caramel Syrup Method

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.}

Making of the caramel!  I actually did it (or at least I think I did it).  It took a long, long time and a lot of forearm work with the whisking action.

Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting Ingredients

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.
Pre-baked and baked… mmm mmm mmm!

Caramelized Butter Frosting Method

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.

Ta daa! I added some hazelnuts to try and beautify the cake and poured some extra caramel on it. So hopefully it tastes good!



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  1. Oh, your cake is lovely. I think the hazelnuts just add that last great touch. Great job.

  2. Thank you so much!! I really tried to make it look pretty.. it definitely needed something else so I’m glad I went with hazelnuts (Im not that great at decorating desserts!)

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