Today I completed my first ever Daring Bakers challenge. My mission: make a caramel cake with caramelized butter frosting. Last month they made pizza. Pizza I could have done. This? This is real baking, but who am I to back away from a challenge just because I am a crap baker? Isn’t that why I joined Daring Bakers in the first place?
Well, first thing’s first. If you think you can outdo me (you can!), this recipe comes from Shuna Fish Lydon’s blog Bay Area Bites. Check it out! It’s a cool food blog with lots of awesome looking recipes.
Now, without further ado… the big reveal, here’s my finished product:
Right off the bat, it’s not a very pretty cake. Some of my other fellow Daring Bakers did some very pretty things with their frosting, adding dried fruits and other nice things.
I wanted to do something pretty, but the frosting just would not cooperate. Also, I was not thinking about toppings this month because I was trying to concentrate on following the recipe exactly.
So yeah, it’s pretty plain looking. On the other hand, I tell you what. This is one of the best cakes I’ve ever had, bar none.
- I don’t think this recipe is very entry level, then again, I would not expect the Daring Bakers to take on an easy challenge. So I’m not complaining, I am just pointing it out.
- Secondly, the recipe, as written, lists the ingredients for the caramel syrup after the cake. This is a bit misleading as the caramel syrup should be made probably two hours before you want to start baking so that it cool completely. Also, the caramel frosting uses brown butter. When I do this recipe again, I will make the brown butter as the cake is baking (instead of watching KU beat Mizzou) because it needs time to cool as well.
- The wet-dry-wet-dry method specified in the recipe was very effective for getting things incorporated quickly and effectively.
- I do not think I did the frosting right. This may possibly be because the butter was not completely cool, but to get the frosting as firm as I wanted, I would have had to double the amount of confectioner’s sugar. My teeth thank me for not doing so.
- I think I baked the cake too long. Here it is coming out of the oven. As you can see, it has gotten a little black:
Still, the inside was still nice and moist and I was able to cut off the part that was overly done. I used it test my frosting.
I can’t help but wonder if I did not overcook the caramel sauce, too.
In terms of taste, I would eat this cake again and again. I do wish I could have done something nicer to make it look a little more appetizing.
That will be my challenge for next time!
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