Friday, November 28, 2008


Our leading lady Shuna Fish Lydon of Eggbeater ( and her signature caramel cake and Alice Medrich’s Golden Vanilla Bean Caramels, surely kept us all on a sugar-induced high all month!

I procrastinated and procrastinated and finally realized that it was already 28th and no more procrastination was possible. So, although I was neck-deep in work, I made time and finished the challenge for November, the "Oh So Lovely", Caramel Cake with Caramalized Butter Frosting. I had all the things ready for the Golden Vanilla Bean Caramels, but as it was an optional exercise, thought I’d better leave it for some other time; but do it I surely will.

The cake turned out looking great, was dense and moist but as per the ranting of all the other Daring Bakers; was too sweet for my liking. Good recipe, easy and not so time consuming as it looked and Im surely going to try it once again but by drastically reducing the sugar content – may reduce the sugar by half and add equivalent flour in order to keep up with the measurements.

As per the new rules from this month’s challenge, given below is the mandatory information required for the challenge :-

This month’s challenge, the website link of the author Shuna Fish Lydon’s recipe (

Shuna Fish Lydon

§ Hostess / Co-Hosts Blogs
Our Hostess this month is Shuna Fish Lydon of Eggbeater ( and her signature caramel cake. Helping her are ( host this month are Alex (Brownie of the Blondie and Brownie duo:, Jenny of Foray into Food ( and Natalie of Gluten-a-Go-Go (

The Recipe follows :-

10 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 Cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 Cup Caramel Syrup (see recipe below)
2 eggs, at room temperature
Splash vanilla extract
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350F

Butter one tall (2 – 2.5 inch deep) 9-inch cake pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy.Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl. Scrape down bowl and increase speed. Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform.Sift flour and baking powder.Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dry ingredients. When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time. Add another third of the dry ingredients, then the other half of the milk and finish with the dry ingredients. {This is called the dry, wet, dry, wet, dry method in cake making. It is often employed when there is a high proportion of liquid in the batter.}

Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds, making sure batter is uniform.

Turn batter into prepared cake pan.Place cake pan on cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan. Set first timer for 30 minutes, rotate pan and set timer for another 15-20 minutes. Your own oven will set the pace. Bake until sides pull away from the pan and skewer inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely before icing it. Cake will keep for three days outside of the refrigerator.

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup water (for "stopping" the caramelization process)

In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand. Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush. Turn on heat to highest flame. Cook until smoking slightly: dark amber.When color is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water. Caramel will jump and sputter about! It is very dangerous, so have long sleeves on and be prepared to step back.Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly and feels sticky between two fingers. {Obviously wait for it to cool on a spoon before touching it.}Note: For safety reasons, have ready a bowl of ice water to plunge your hands into if any caramel should land on your skin.
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound confectioner’s sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract2-4 tablespoons caramel syrup
Kosher or sea salt to taste

Cook butter until brown. Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, set aside to cool.Pour cooled brown butter into mixer bowl.In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, add confectioner's sugar a little at a time. When mixture looks too chunky to take any more, add a bit of cream and or caramel syrup. Repeat until mixture looks smooth and all confectioner's sugar has been incorporated. Add salt to taste.Note: Caramelized butter frosting will keep in fridge for up to a month.To smooth out from cold, microwave a bit, then mix with paddle attachment until smooth and light