Saturday, November 29, 2008

My First Daring Bakers Challenge!! - Caramel Cake


When i was passing by other foodie blogs, i stumbled across the Daring Bakers. Daring Bakers is an online growing bunch of foodie bloggers who every month look forward for a challenge and present their challenges on the same day in their respective food blogs. Lis of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice were the two who first hosted Daring Bakers Challenge. Here you'll get to see the same recipe presented in thousands of innovative ways. Its so much fun..

About this months November challenge, all the credit goes to the leading lady Shuna Fish Lydon of Eggbeater with her signature recipe "Caramel cake" and the hosts Dolores of "Culinary Curiosity", Alex of "Blondie and Brownie" and Jenny of "Foray into Food".


This is my first "Daring Bakers" challenge and i'm so much excited. First time when i heard about this month's challenge, Caramel Cake, i thought ok, i've done this before but this time it'll be entirely a different recipe. But i loved caramel cake and was just waiting to find some occasion to bake the cake. My parents had come to visit us from India and i decided to bake this cake before they leave. The cake came very soft and spongy but the frosting was a little more sweet. So i had to add a little salt for the frosting to reduce the sweetness.

So here is the recipe..

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

Method

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

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

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.

I used chocolate pieces to decorate the sides and caramel sauce to top on it.

Ingredients for Caramel sauce:

Sugar - 1 cup
Butter 6 Tbsp
Heavy whipping cream - 1/2 cup

Method:

1) Take a heavy ,thick bottomed saucepan. Heat sugar on high till it melts completely and starts getting brown. Dont let it burn. immediately add the butter to the pan. Whisk until the butter has melted.

2)Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat. Count to three, then slowly add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate.

3)Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass jar and let sit to cool to room temperature.You can store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

OR Have a look at this video..


I enjoyed making this cake and now waiting for the next challenge..:)

13 comments:

Jo said...

Hi Ramya, welcome to DB and congratulations on your very 1st challenge. I must say you have done an excellent job at it. Delish looking cake.

Kitchen Flavours said...

Kick start with this rocking cake. Looks tempting and welcoming. Iam drooling over...

Chocolate Shavings said...

Congratulations on completing your fist challenge! You cake looks great.

CookiePie said...

Congrats on your first challenge! Your cake loos delicious!

Dayna said...

Your cake looks great! Welcome to the club...

Carly said...

Wow! Your cake looks fantastic! Congratulations on a successful first challenge.

gaga said...

Yum, I love caramel. It looks great, and congrats on your first DB challenge!

Regina said...

Nice touch with the chocolate pieces. Congrats on completing your first challenge!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Very pretty cake! Great job for your first challenge!

Ramya Kiran said...

Thank you "ALL" for your wishes..
I enjoyed this months challenge.
Thanks once again :)

Ingrid said...

Terrific job! Your cake looks very nice!
~ingrid

Dolores said...

Welcome to the madness that is the daring bakers. Your cake looks great! Thanks for baking with us.

Nangil Girl said...

Hi Ramya, Welcome to DB!! Your cake looks good!

About Us | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Blog Design | 2007 Company Name