Saturday, November 29, 2008

Daring Bakers: Caramel Cake

dB2

DB6

Many years ago now, I was tucking into a large slice of caramel cake that had been sent up from Mississippi by family. My mother in law explained that this cake had gained high esteem over years of family events however I should not even consider trying to make one from scratch because it was too difficult. Having unknowingly thrown down the gauntlet, I began to perfect the caramel cake. It would soon begin the cake of choice for holiday fetes.

This year I thought I would stray from a frosting and syrup laden cake and go with the one that Claudia of cook, eat, FRET makes with glaze only. And then, the Daring Bakers decided this was the month to turn to caramel making with a recipe from Shauna Fish Lydon that called for the syrup to be included in the cake batter and then frosted (sorry Claudia) with a browned butter frosting of a sort.

The recipes for everything were fairly easy if you are used to working with sugar. Caramel is can be a persnickety proposition; it requires the faith to keep from stirring, the patience to watch it while keeping from stirring, and the quickness to stop the cooking at the exact moment it is done.

We went with the original recipe exactly and then topped the cupcakes with candied bacon. Of this addition to the frosting, my husband said with these and a beer, a man could be contented for the rest of his life.

Holidays however require a strong element of continuity, and while this cake was good, it was not the Mississippi-esque caramel cake that my family knows and loves. So next year, back to our Ole Missy.

And for those of you keeping score (rest assured there are people keeping score):

Name of the Cookbook - Shuna Fish Lyndon's recipe -(http://blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/2006 … he-recipe/)

Name of the Author - Shuna Fish Lyndon

Hosts for the month - Dolores the host (http://culinarycuriosity.blogspot.com/) with Co-hosts Alex (Brownie of the Blondie and Brownie duo: http://blondieandbrownie.blogspot.com/), Jenny of Foray into Food (http://forayintofood.blogspot.com/). And since none of us know jack about alternative baking, we’ve once again turned to Natalie of Gluten-a-Go-Go (http://glutenagogo.blogspot.com/) to assist us.

DB1

25 comments:

Bumblebutton said...

Candied bacon sounds divine. Loved the caramel shards. You'll have to post the 'real' recipe! Nice job.

Raquel said...

it might not be the same cake your family is used to but it sure looks delicious! and candied bacon -- wow! sounds yummy...!

Sophie said...

My hubby would certainly approve of that bacon topping ;). I've had horrible luck with caramel for some reason! I always end up using milk or cream to make a dulce de leche type treat because the caramel doesn't work out for me very often :D. I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving!

Amy said...

You had me at Bacon...

Heather said...

wow, those are beautiful! caramel is a wonderful, glorious thing!

Aparna said...

You made cupcakes. Lovely.
Like you said, its an easy cake if you work with sugar.
Is your usual caramel cake this sweet?

Gretchen Noelle said...

Candied bacon? Yum! THese cupcakes look terrific!

glamah16 said...

Bacon! You are a genius. Love it.I love that.

Shaheen @ Ambrosia said...

Candied bacon? Interesting choice of topping!

cook eat FRET said...

i know it's saying a lot, but i will put my caramel cake next ti that one ANYDAY. the syrup goes in the batter and the rich glaze gets poured over the top while still very hot. plus it's a technique thing. lots of mixing and yes, the alternating. plus mine is a 3 layer with the syrup brushed inbetween to hold them together.
it is amazing

next time the candied bacon addition - though. that was brilliant... candy crisp bacon with the caramel syrup... freaking wonderful idea....

dolcigine said...

Looks very nice :-)!!

strawberriesinparis said...

Those cracked pieces are a great garnish! Nice job

white on rice couple said...

Oh my gosh, candied bacon on cupcakes? How....divine! A bit of the smokey, salty, savory in each sweet bite...beautiful!

Jenny said...

Candied bacon? I could see the salt adding a nice balance to the cake, after all the sugar, but candied? I think that would have pushed me over the top.
Skip the cake, eat the bacon!

jillian said...

Candied bacon sounds so good with these! I added extra salt but I bet bacon was even better!

Susan/Wild Yeast said...

Mmmm, bacon!

Ruth E said...

Great work on this month's challenge! Love the idea of the candied bacon too.

Temperance said...

I went with bacon as well, though I was a little more enthusiastic in my application. I love the carmel shards I was just not up for that level of sugar skills though.

marion said...

great cupcakes as well, I love the caramel chips on it :)

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Oh my! You win coolest flavour pairing! Cool!

Jude said...

OOh candied bacon -- I like how your husband thinks.

Y said...

Ooh candied bacon! How's that for something completely unexpected but totally welcome! :D

Vera said...

Candied bacon sounds very intriguing!
The cupcakes are lovely!

Lori said...

Candied bacon. You do know the way to your husbands heart. I think my husband would love that version as well. Besides the guys that are vegan or Jewish, I wonder if all guys love bacon. hmmm.

Dolores said...

Candied bacon? Brilliant! I love your husband's comment, and I have no doubt that many of the men in my life would agree with him. Thanks for baking with us in November.