Saturday, January 15, 2011

Caramel Cake and random musings...


I made this cake today. Sometimes I have overwhelming urges to create . . . that's what draws me toward the kitchen. A little sugar, some eggs, a dash of vanilla and who knows what you end up with. This cake is really pretty. Try it.

* 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 2 large eggs, at room temperature 30 minutes
* 1 cup well-shaken buttermilk

For caramel glaze

* 1 cup heavy cream
* 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
* 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter an 8-inch square cake pan and line with a square of parchment paper, then butter parchment.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture may look curdled). Add flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated.

Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.

Make glaze:

Bring cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Boil until glaze registers 210 to 212°F on thermometer, 12 to 14 minutes, then stir in vanilla.

Put rack with cake in a shallow baking pan and pour hot glaze over top of cake, allowing it to run down sides. Cool until glaze is set, about 30 minutes.

These arrived today. And these and these. I've been making the pumpkin pound cake recipe in cupcake form ... mini-pound cakes go great in these little glassine bags.

I had a root canal Friday. This "sedation dentistry" thing is killing me. One of the drugs in the "cocktail" is an amnesiac - some things you barely remember, like novocaine in the roof of your mouth. A good thing. Some things you do remember, like today when I realized I asked my spouse to go to the new French bakery and buy me some macarons. Pistachio macarons. It doesn't feel right to remember something so significant a full 24 hours after it happened. Especially when you realize you ate them all. They were great. That much I remember.

At least I don't have to worry about a missing pizza.

post signature