Saturday, November 29, 2008
Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Icing - Daring Bakers November
No one likes sweets more than me, but even I have to draw the line somewhere. That line is firmly in place directly before powdered sugar-based frosting. To call it "buttercream" is nearly an insult to the real thing, a silken celebration of cooked sugar, eggs, and butter. Frosting stiffened with powdered sugar is always gritty and over-the-top sweet, so when this month's Daring Bakers challenge, Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting came down from host Shuna Fish Lydon of Eggbeater, I expected disappointment.
The recipes were very easy to follow. I infused my caramel syrup with a tangerine, a flavor that was lost in the final product. The cake and frosting as a whole, which both incorporate the caramel syrup, were just too sweet to allow the subtle fruit flavor to come through. In an attempt to save it, I added less powdered sugar to my frosting than the recipe called for, leaving it looser but still spreadable.
Putting together a normal round cake didn't excite me, so to plate, I cut the cake into long rectangles and toasted them briefly in a dry skillet. This added a welcome texture that helped to break up all of the sugary softness. I smeared a thin coating of the icing on a couple pieces of cake, and reheated some caramel syrup to drizzle over. A dollop of whipped cream and a bit of tangerine zest finished the plate.
The fact that I dislike this cake is completely subjective and personal. Surely there are many people who would love to wrap their mouths around a piece, to feel a spike in their blood sugar akin to shooting cocaine through a needle. It's just not my thing, you know? But I'm not judging you if you did like it. I took a couple of bites before the rest of my caramel cake met the trash can.
Thanks to Shauna and her cohosts this month:
Next month's challenge will be better. Here's to hoping that if confectioners sugar is present, it is for garnish only!