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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Caramel Cake

For reference, I'm not the best food photographer.  These photos do nothing for this amazing cake.  Just believe me - you want to make this cake!!




Caramel Cake

*this may be one of the most complicated cakes I've ever made so bear with me while I explain it.

Total Ingredient list:
(cake)
1/3 cup plus 1-1/4 cup granulated sugar (2 separate components)
1/4 cup boiling water
3/4 cup butter - room temp
3 eggs - room temp
2-3/4 cups Domata flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla

(frosting)
3 cups brown sugar
1 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter - room temp
1 tablespoon vanilla

To make the Caramel syrup (goes in the batter later)

Melt 1/3 cups white granulated sugar in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium to medium high heat.  Stir the sugar continually until it become deep brown (but not burnt - there is a fine line here!).  Remove the pan containing the caramelized sugar from the heat.  Slowly stir in 1/4 cup boiling water.  If you end up with lumps in the mixture - don't worry about it.  Set syrup aside to cool.

Now on to the cake

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Then butter two 9-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper and butter again on top of the parchment.  You can flour the pan also (gluten free flour obviously) but it's not absolutely necessary.

In a large mixing bowl - cream together 3/4 cup of butter (must be at room temp and soft!) with 1 and 1/4 cups white sugar.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Add in 3 eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated.  At this point add in the caramel syrup you made earlier.  

In another bowl - sift together 2 and  3/4 cups Domata flour, 1/4 cup corn starch, 3 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt. 

Measure out 1 cup of milk into a glass measuring cup.  Add in 1 tablespoon vanilla.

Into the large mixing bowl containing the butter/sugar/eggs mixture - begin to add the dry ingredients slowly, alternating with the milk mixture. 

Because it's gluten free (just my personal opinion) the batter will be super thick.

Divide batter into your two pans.  Bake for 25 minutes or just until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Let cool at least 10 minutes before you remove from pans.  Cool completely on a wire rack. 

Now for the frosting (complicated right?!)

Just use the same pan from the caramel syrup.  Mix 3 cups brown sugar and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream in sauce pan.  Heat over low to medium heat until the mixture reaches "soft ball" stage - 235 degrees on a candy thermometer.  Remove pan from heat.  Stir in 1/2 stick (4 TB) of butter.  Let the frosting sit and cool for awhile.  Then add in 1 tablespoon vanilla.  If it's way to thick after cooling to spread - just add more cream.

Wooooo  - Now for the assembly.

Cakes must be completely cool!  Using a long serrated knife.  Slice each cake into half - making a total of 4 layers.  (in the picture I only have 2 layers because I was in a hurry and my cakes weren't cooled off).  Put frosting between each layer and stack up the cakes.  Pour the rest of the frosting over the top of the cake.  I like how "rustic" this looks.  You can certainly frost it however you want. 

After all that work - you're definitely ready for a piece of cake!

I hope you enjoy it!

-J