Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fancy Things: Salted Caramel Cake

I don't usually post about my baking adventures on this blog, but I think this cake definitely falls into the fancy things category. I'd had the idea to make a salted caramel birthday cake for a while, but I wasn't sure how I was going to execute. I wanted the cake to be super buttery and filled with vanilla flavor, the caramel to be just the right amount of buttery and salty and the vanilla buttercream to not be too sweet. I hate really sweet buttercream. I tweaked a bunch of recipes I found online and the outcome was delicious. Seriously, I could eat this cake every single day.

Vanilla Bean Cake
(adapted from Dorie Greenspan)
2 Cups Cake Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/8 tsp Baking Soda

1/8 tsp Salt
10 tbsp Unsalted Butter, softened
1 Cup Sugar
3 eggs, plus one egg yolk
Seeds from 1 Vanilla Bean
3/4 cup Buttermilk

Sift together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Cream butter until its fluffy, add sugar and beat for about 2 minutes. Add eggs and yolk one at a time, beating between each one. Add vanilla bean seeds. Add flour and buttermilk in batches, 3 for flour and 2 for buttermilk. Divide evenly between 2 8-inch round pans that have been floured and buttered. Bake for 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Salted Caramel Filling and Drizzle
4 tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
3/4 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together butter, brown sugar, heavy whipping cream, and salt. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for 6 minutes, whisking occasionally Whisk in vanilla and cook 1 more minute. Pour caramel into a squeeze bottle (like the kind for ketchup or mustard) and refrigerate. Heat in the microwave when ready to use.

Vanilla Buttercream
(adapted from 
Demolition Desserts)

4 oz. Unsalted Butter, softened
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp Lowfat Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice

Cream the butter & salt for about 30 seconds and then add half of the powdered sugar and the milk to the butter and beat again until combined. Add the rest of the powdered sugar, the vanilla, and the lemon juice and beat until combined. Beat on high speed for 5-6 minutes or until the frosting is fluffy. 

To assemble, turn first layer over onto dessert plate lined with parchment paper. Spread salted caramel evenly and generously on that layer. Top with second layer. Frost top and sides with offset spatula. Drizzle (this is where the squeeze bottle come in handy) salted caramel in a decorative pattern on top of the cake.


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