Saturday, 29 November 2008

Daring Bakers November Challenge - Caramel Cake



It is that time of the month for many food blogs around the world to be taken over by the wonderful Daring Bakers - yay! I love it. I have missed some challenges unfortunately, and for this I apologise. Pregnancy has caused vomiting all day, every day for 6 months straight which hasn't helped my time in the kitchen (or anywhere for that matter!) but this month I managed to complete a challenge so here I am again.

This months task was set by Dolores with the help of Alex, Jenny and Natalie and is a gorgeous caramel cake recipe created by Shuna Fish Lydon.

As you can see, I decided to make cupcakes, which turned out successfully. I as worried I may have lost my touch with months of not baking but I was fine. I didn't find this recipe difficult at all, I don't know how others feel? My caramel syrup came up easily, the frosting mixed together nicely and the cakes were perfect. I prepared the syrup and frosting on a different day to the cakes and when realising just how sweet the frosting was halved the sugar in the cakes, which I am very happy about as they overall effect was still very sweet. I am a sweet tooth, so when I think something is very sweet, it really is!

I brought these along to a big family event this evening and one walk around the room on a tray and they all disappeared and seemed to be devoured just as quickly.

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 180C

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.

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
450g icing 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.

Sathya-rating ***

15 comments:

BC said...

Ohhh, your icing looks gorgeous. Mine was a little on the thick side but otherwise everything was A-OK.

Great work!

Dragon said...

Your cupcakes are gorgeous!

madcapcupcake said...

Mmmm, cupcakes...need I say more? :)

Lauren said...

Ooo, your cupcakes look great! Beautiful job!

Candice said...

Looks really yummy!

Angela said...

Oh, no! Poor you. I know how horrible morning sickness is, but to have it go on into hyperemesis is just dreadful. I hope it eases off for you.

Your cupcakes turned out wonderfully. I bet you were thrilled to be able to cook something again!

Diana said...

I can see why they disappeared quickly. They look quite tasty. Great job!

Feng said...

Wow, your cupcakes look divine!

CookiePie said...

What pretty cupcakes! Great job!!

Amy said...

They look divine - great job!

Jude said...

My family loved the cake too. I'll try to make it as cupcakes next time :)

Leslie said...

Ohhh, there is nothing worse than Morning(or all day) sickness!
I am glad you got to do this Yummy challange!!

MeetaK said...

sensational. these look great!

Dolores said...

I'm sorry your pregnancy isn't treating you kindly, but glad you were able to join us on this one. Gorgeous cupcakes. Thanks for baking with us, and good luck with the next three months. :)

TeaLady said...

Pretty cupcakes. This was a popular choice for many of the DBers. Look yummy!