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.