Monday, December 16, 2013

Caramel Cake

I made this for my husband's birthday this year.  I had been looking for an excuse to make this for a long time.  It's an America's Test Kitchen recipe.  The frosting is caramel-y and tastes exactly like penuche fudge- it is so good!  This cake also reminds me of these cupcakes I made a long time ago.  
I was saving this cake to make for a special occasion because it had a ton of sugar and almost a pound of butter in it (I'm including frosting here).  It was so worth it though!!!  My husband and I both loved this, as well as my oldest child.  I think it was too sweet for the younger ones.  The recipe calls for dark brown sugar, but I didn't realize that until now (oops, ha ha) and used light brown with great results.  That's probably why my frosting was lighter colored than some others I've seen online.  The recipe also calls for 9-inch pans, but I used 8-inch, so they'd both fit in my tiny oven at the same time.  I think there isn't enough cake to fill 9-inch pans, anyway.  My layers were pretty thin using 8-inch.

I've wanted to make a Caramel Cake ever since reading the book "The Help", so I'm glad I finally took the time to!  I have seen other recipes, but this one looked the best, and not too complicated.

Caramel Cake

1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups (11/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c ups (10 1/2) ounces granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
16 TB ( 2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces and softened
12 TB (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened
2 cups packed (14 ounces) dark or light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt (I used sea salt)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) confectioners sugar

1.  For The Cake: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position ans heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8- inch round cake pans and line with circles of wax paper.  Grease the paper, and then flour all. Whisk the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla in a large measuring cup. In a large bowl, mix the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Beat in the butter, 1 piece at a time, until only pea-size pieces remain. Pour in half of the buttermilk mixture and beat at medium -high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Slowly add the remaining buttermilk, mixture to the bowl and beat until incorporated, about 15 seconds.
2.  Scrape equal amounts of batter into the prepared pans and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. cool the cake in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks.  Let cool completely, at least 1 hour.
3.  For The Frosting: Heat 8 TB of the butter, brown sugar, and salt in a large saucepan over medium heat until small bubbles appear around the perimeter of the pan, 4 to 8 minutes. whisk in the cream and cook until a ring of bubbles reappears, about 1 minute. Off the heat, whisk in the vanilla.
4.  Transfer the hot frosting mixture to a bowl and, with an electric or stand mixer on low speed, gradually mix in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting is pale brown and just warm, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 4 TB butter, 1 piece at a time, and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
5.  To Assemble: Place 1 cake round on a platter.  Spread 3/4 cup of the frosting over the cake, then top with the second cake round. spread the remaining frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake. Serve. (Frosting this cake was a tiny bit challenging, but not too hard.  The issue is that the frosting starts to "set" as you frost it.  You also can't start frosting while it is too hot, or it will melt off.  I just did my best.  As usual, I didn't get enough in the middle layer. You can see my frosting woes in the pic below.)
Note: In step 5, the cooled frosting stays soft and spreadable longer than most recipes, but will harden over time.  If frosting begins to stiffen, microwave it for about 10 seconds ( or until it returns to a spreadable consistency).
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1 comment:

Debbie Carter said...

I am not much of a cake lover but I can tell that this cake is right up my alley! Maybe I will splurge over the holidays!