November 30, 2008

Caramelized Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting

A November Daring Baker's Challenge

This month's challenge is for a wonderfully moist and flavorful cake. It is fabulous eaten plain or with the caramelized butter frosting. This recipe is from Shuna Fish Lydon of the blog Eggbeater and her recipe can be found on the website Bay Area Bites. Our hostesses for November are: Dolores of Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity, Alex of Blondie & Brownie (she's Brownie of the duo), and Jenny of Foray into Food. My family thoroughly enjoyed this cake and actually preferred it without the frosting. This recipe is a keeper.
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 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp chia seed meal
1/2 cup chestnut flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup arrowroot starch
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk, at room temperature
1. Preheat oven to 350F and butter or grease one tall (2 – 2.5 inch deep) 9-inch cake pan or a large tube pan.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and salt, and cream the mixture 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 flours, chia seed meal and baking powder together in a bowl.
3. 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.
4. 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.
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup water (for "stopping" the caramelization process)
1. 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 and is dark amber in color. 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.
2. 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.
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound confectioner’s sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream or almond milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons caramel syrup
Kosher or sea salt to taste
1. 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.
2. 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.