When I started this blog, I was so excited because I could finally join the Daring Bakers! The essence of this group is facing your fears in the kitchen. For me, it was a definitely facing my fear of making caramel. I adore the flavors, but I am always afraid of burning sugar.
This month's Challenge is a recipe from Shuna Fish Lydon of Eggbeater and her Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting courtesy as published on Bay Area Bites. The hosts for the month of November are Dolores and helping her out are Alex (Brownie of the Blondie and Brownie duo), Jenny of Foray into Food . And since none of us know jack about alternative baking, we’ve once again turned to Natalie of Gluten-a-Go-Go to assist us.
I was a little nervous making the caramel syrup. Here it is at the start.
And here it was right before I added the water. When you add the water, definitely stand back. I always have my sous chef with me, but this was not the time for her to be in the kitchen. If you have kids that help you, please have them take a break while you wisk.
The cake recipe was simple and was delicious. Instead of using a 9 inch round pan, I baked mine in 4 heart shaped ceramic dishes. The frosting used browned butter, something I have never tried but will definitely try again. A lot of times I find frosting too sweet. So for the frosting listed in this recipe I used about 3/4 pound of powdered sugar instead of a full pound. Definitely add salt, I used sea salt and I will add more next time.
I also wish I had left the caramel syrup cooking until it was darker. I was nervous making it for the first time and didn't want the mixture to burn. I do wish that the recipe said exactly what the reading on a candy thermometer should read, or even how long it should be on the stove. However, that is definitely what these challenges are all about!
As an added option I could have made Golden Vanilla Bean Caramels from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich, Artisan Press, Copyright 2007, ISBN: 978-1579652111. Time ran out on me...but I'll definitely be trying these soon. I'll post when I do!