Sunday, November 9, 2008

caramel cake

i wanted to make a caramel cake after i saw it after one of my food blogs i follow. i found this recipe in a book one of my sisters gave me for christmas last year. i love the idea of making anything summer and anything with caramel, so it seemed like the perfect choice! my parents were in town and i made it for a family dinner at my sister's and my dad isn't a big fan of cake. we are definitely a pie family but especially him. so when i was like "i know it's cake, but what do you think?" he said, "it's good for cake!" i think that's probably the highest compliment a cake could receive from my father.

the frosting was really tricky and maybe i didn't do it right or something but i had to mess with it. and since it's more of a brown sugar frosting than a caramel sauce it retains some graininess from the brown sugar. the cake part is very moist (ew - that word is so gross but what else do you use when you are talking about baked goods??) because it's not very healthy. this is supposed to be an old southern recipe so what do you really expect? but oh my is it good.

caramel cake:

2 1/1 c. all purpose flour
2 c. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1 T. baking powder
1/8 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. unsalted butter, cut into chunks
3 large eggs
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 t. butter extract, optional
1 1/3 c. warm buttermilk

brown sugar frosting:
1 c. unsalted butter
2 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
2 t. corn syrup
pinch of salt
1 t. vanilla extract

preheat oven to 350°. Generously spray two 9" round cakepans with cooking spray and place pans on a large, parchment paper-lined baking sheet. (i just used a 9x13 since i was traveling with a warm cake out of the oven to my sisters. that, and it's just easier.)

in a mixer bowl, place flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and blend ingredients. add butter and blend to break up butter into dry ingredients to get a grainy mixture. blend in eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, butter extract, and buttermilk to make a batter, scraping sides and bottom of bowl occasionally to ensure batter is evenly blended.

spoon batter into prepared pan(s). bake until cake springs back when gently pressed with fingertips, 30-35 minutes. (i had to bake longer cause of my pan choice.) cool in pan(s) 15 minutesbefore unmolding onto a wired rack to cool.

for brown sugar frosting, place butter, brown sugar, baking soda, corn syrup, salt, and vanilla in a 3-quart saucepan. cook over low heat until mixture thickens and reaches a soft ball stage (234°). if you don't have a thermometer, cook mixture 20 to 30 minutes until a bit of mixture seems to hold together like soft taffy when dropped on a clold plate. you can increase heat to make it cook faster, but slow and steady makes for better results.

remove frosting from heat and let it cool and thicken. you cand whip half the frosting with a mixer on medium speed 2 minutes and then on high 1 minute to lighten. use this to frost cake together; it will spread like frosting. pour remaining slightly warm frosting over top layer of cake and let it drip down. this cake freezes well. **(so, after i made the frosting, i had to transport it immediately into tupperware and take it with me. when i got to the house, it was sorta hard and weird looking. after dinner i had my mom help me and we decided to whip it and add a bit of milk, then warms it up again. then it cooled off a touch and we inverted the cake and poured it all over the top. it stood up pretty well and everyone seemed to like it. so i wonder what was supposed to happen vs. what did. if anyone tries this with different results, please let me know what you did!


skywalker said...

Seriously. This is no joke.
Anyone contemplating making this...DO IT!
I was there on the aforementioned day, and I still dream of this melt-in-your-mouth cake. And I'm not a cake person, either! (it's best on the first day at room temperature).

julia said...

yum. that looks delish. i love cake with warm dripping goodness on it.

Angie said...

I love that you hate the word moist.
That is by far my most despised word. But you're right, sometimes there's just no substitute for it. You can't really say that a cake is "slightly damp, with a mushiness."

Broek said...

For the caramel sauce...I have a recipe which yields smooth caramel and the prep would translate like this...

place butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, salt, and in a 3-quart saucepan. stir occasionally while bringing to boil. once at a rolling boil, reduce heat to simmer and let sit without stirring 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir. Stir in vanilla. Then stir in baking soda.

Maybe that will do the trick?

caroline said...

broek, that sounds a lot like the caramel sauce i used for caramel popcorn. good idea! i'll have to try it!

Angie said...

I have such a good recipe for caramel popcorn. It sounds ghetto but it's seriously so gooey and delicious.

20 marshmallows
2 sticks butter
1 cup brown sugar

Melt all together in a saucepan and
poor over two cookie-sheets worth of popped popcorn (I also put raw almonds in). Bake in 200 degree oven for 7 minutes, stir, then 7 more minutes.

Btw never use foil on the cookie sheet. Every time I do the caramel burns.

thechoulespauls said...

she's baaack.... YAY!