Kats’ Kitchen

Fun with Caramel – Nov.’s Daring Baker’s Challenge November 29, 2008

Filed under: cake,Daring Baker Challenges — stacielk @ 1:03 am
Tags: , , , ,

Thanks to Dolores for hosting this month, along with the co-hosts Alex and Jenny

The challenge for this month:  CARAMEL CAKE WITH CARAMELIZED BUTTER FROSTING by Shuna Fish Lydon

This cake turned out to be a huge success.  This is a very dense cake with a nice caramel flavor.  I unforuantly had to make the caramel syrup twice.  Like many, the first time, I didn’t let the syrup become a dark enough amber color.  The second time went very well.  I think setting the timer and walking away for 5-10 minutes helped.  My second batch of syrup ended up to be extremely thick and sticky.  I had to throw it in the microwave for a few seconds to get the 1/3 cup out to use in the cake. 

There were a lot of complaints among the Daring Bakers that the frosting was too sweet, but I actually really liked it with this cake.  It was sweet, but as long as you don’t pile it on thick, it compliments the cake nicely, in my opinion, and it took me three pieces to come up with this opinion. 

I made this cake for a combined birthday party we had with a bunch of our friends for all the November birthdays and a welcome home party for a friend who just got back from being in Austrlia for 3 months.  I got lots of good comments from them, even though we were all stuffed from our dinner at Livios

Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting

(Recipe from:  Shuna Fish Lydon)

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


5 Responses to “Fun with Caramel – Nov.’s Daring Baker’s Challenge”

  1. Ingrid Says:

    Great job! Your cake looks fantastic, love how you frosted it1

  2. Lovely looking cake. Wonderful that you all enjoyed this. I like the decoration of the cake – very nice.

  3. CookiePie Says:

    Your cake is lovely! The piping is so pretty!

  4. Jen Says:

    My caramel sauce was super thick too.

    I love the frosting decoration on your cake.

  5. ingrid Says:

    Hope you don’t mind but I am adding you to my blogroll….THX!
    ~ingrid :-)

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