Caramel Cake

Initially, I was having some second thoughts on whether I will make a post on this cake recipe or not. But in the end, I decided to do so since there are some learnings that I gathered from the baking experience. It's my first time to be baking a Caramel Cake. I remember back in the Philippines, there's a popular bakeshop - Red Ribbon that makes a very good caramel cake. It's specifically called Dulce De Leche. It's a light chiffon cake with a combined caramel and custard filling. It's one of my favorites actually. I was craving for a similar kind so I thought of preparing one for a dessert at home. However, there's not much caramel cake recipe that you can find. There are only a few online much less in cookbooks, so I just trusted Martha Stewart's version. Generally, the base for this recipe is nice. However, I was not wowed by the butter cream frosting. You can opt to substitute it with any other type. The taste of the melted butter was too overpowering that it elicited more of an oily character instead of a creamy one. I also substituted the caramel syrup with a ready to use, as there are so many school of thoughts in making it. Likewise, I'm trying to lessen the steps of the preparation. If not for the failed frosting, it could be another winning recipe from Martha Stewart. 

What you need:

1/2 cup (1 stick unsalted butter)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup caramel syrup, plus more for serving (I used Smuckers)
2 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
caramel frosting

How to make:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degress F.
2. Beat butter in a bowl of an electric mixer. Gradually add 1 cup sugar and continue to beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in syrup.
3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Mix flour mixture into the butter mixture alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
4. Beat eggs until foamy in another bowl of an electric mixer. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until thickened, about 5 mins. Stir into the cake batter until well combined.
5. Pour batter evenly on an 8-inch non stick round cake pan and bake for 50 mins or until cake springs back when gently touched in the center.
6. Cool cake in pans for 10 mins. Invert into a wire rack and let cool completely.
7. Divide the cake horizontally into two using a serated knife. Spread the top of the first layer with frosting. Top with the other half of the cake and spread entire cake with frosting. Drizzle with remaining caramel syrup.

Caramel Frosting:
12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
16 ounces confectioners sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream, plus more if needed
1 tbsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat until nut-brown in color (about 8 minutes). Remove pan from heat and pour butter into a bowl, leaving any burned sediment behind. Let cool. In a bowl of an electric mixer, add confectioner's sugar, vanilla, salt and butter. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the cream. Beat until smooth. If it turns out to be too thick, stir another tablespoon of cream into the mixture.

I had some reservations on the heating of the butter. The recipe calls for an 8 minutes process, but I noticed that there's already a fat separation after. Hence, the taste became too oily, rancid. If you have other options on improving this frosting recipe, just do so.

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