Saturday, November 29, 2008

Daring Bakers November - Caramel Cake with Caramelised Butter Frosting

With a recipe title like that is there anyone else whose arteries quivered at the mere thought of this cake??

This fabulous creation is Shuna Fish Lydon’s recipe which you can find at Bay Area Bites, and this month's hosts are Dolores of Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity, Alex (Brownie of the Blondie and Brownie duo) and Jenny of Foray into Food. Thanks guys, great pick!

This month's challenge was posted just in time for this to be my Dad's birthday cake back on 10th November. He loves caramel just as much as I do so it was the perfect pick.

The recipe is a little complicated in that it requires a caramel syrup to be made first which is then added to both the cake and the frosting.

My first attempt turned into a hideous blackened mess! Part of the problem was our 30 year old electric cooktop which is about a subtle as a sledgehammer. The other part was me being slightly distracted during which time the syrup went from amber to black and smoking while my back was turned (reading the recipe in my defence!)

My second attempt went better but I probably erred on the side of caution and didn't let it cook as far as it needed to. The taste was still a little sugary rather than caramelly, but it was still delicious and a gorgeous colour!

The cake itself came together beautifully. It did look a little curdled at one stage but I'm used to adding the milk and flour alternately and it always comes back together when the dry ingredients are added.

I tried out a slicone baking pan for the first time and I'm not sure why but it stuck to the bottom and was really difficult to remove. In retrospect it was probably good it happened because I was able to bend and stretch the pan to eventually release it without doing too much damage.

The only other issue I had was with the frosting, which was incredibly dry and crumbly. I ended up having to add double the amount of both cream and syrup to get it to a spreadable consistency. There was also far too much as I ended up with a full 1 1/2 cups leftover.

The taste test ...

The cake itself was incredibly good and one of the few 'caramel cakes' I've had which actually tasted like caramel rather than just sugar. I found the frosting incredibly, tooth-achingly sweet, which is probably the result of having to add extra syrup rather than the fault of the recipe itself. Now I love frosting but I ended up scraping a lot of it off my piece.

Overall a big thumbs up from all the taste testers. We had been out for dinner earlier and then came home to have cake and coffee for dessert. Despite being very full everyone ate their whole piece which is always a good sign!

Would I make it again? Probably, but not anytime soon because of the fiddlyness of the syrup. But for a special occasion it would absolutely be worth it.

Thanks to all the hosts for a great pick. It is something I wouldn't have tried otherwise!


  1. Even though it was really sweet, I think everything goes well with coffee. I bet it was a nice balance.

  2. Your buttercream came out so pale and perfect, it is almost worthy of a wedding cake!
    I do admit it was pretty sweet... but little slivers do the trick! ...if one can resist anymore than that!

  3. I agree that it was a little fiddly, but the taste was wonderful. And now I have leftover syrup, so I might make it again :) Yours looks wonderful, and sounds like it was appreciated.

  4. Your cake looks delicious, and the photo of the syrup looks like a sunburst - gorgeous. I am with you on the frsoting - I am a sweet tooth and loved the cake, but the frosting was a little on the heavy side for me.

  5. wow, it looks beautiful - wonderful job!


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