Friday, November 20, 2009

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The Cake Slice: Burnt Sugar Cake

I can't believe it's November 20th already. Thanksgiving is next week. December is a blink away. January is steadily creeping on us. February is right around the corner. My due date is in February. Oh my. Let me stop before I start freaking out. Let me focus on today. November 2oth. The Cake Slice posting day. Oh what a day to bake and post a delicious cake. Not just any cake either. A burnt sugar cake. Don't be fooled by the name. Just because the word "burnt" is in its name, it doesn't mean the cake tastes burnt. It's a cake with a pretty golden color and almost a sweet, nutty taste. I quartered the recipe and was able to get 4 single mini cakes (baked for 20 minutes). Like some of the other bakers I was apprehensive about the amount of sugar in the cake and quartering the frosting gave me just enough frosting to frost the middle an tops of my two cakes. I am especially happy about this adjustment because the cake was the perfect amount of sweet.

Burnt Sugar Cake

(Recipe from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott)

For the Cake

3 cups all purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup milk

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1¾ cups sugar

4 eggs

½ cup Burnt Sugar Syrup (below)

For the Burnt Sugar Syrup

1 cup sugar

1 cup boiling water

For the Burnt Sugar Frosting

3¾ cups confectioners sugar

½ cup Burnt Sugar Syrup (above)

¼ cup (½ stick) butter

½ tsp vanilla extract

2 – 3 tbsp evaporated milk or normal milk

Method – Burnt Sugar Syrup

Heat the sugar in a cast iron skillet or another heavy bottomed pan with high sides. Heat over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts into a clear brown caramel syrup. It should be the colour of tea. Gradually add the boiling water, pouring it down the sides of the pan so that if the syrup foams and bubbles up, you should be protected.

Continue cooking, stirring often, until the water combines with the syrup and turns a handsome brown syrup. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Store the cooled syrup in a sealed jar if not using straight away.

Method - Cake

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and stir with a fork to mix well. Stir the vanilla into the milk.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and the sugar with an electric mixer at high speed for 2 – 3 minutes, until they are well combined. Stop now and then to scrape the bowl down. Add the eggs, one by one, beating well each time. Pour in half a cup of the burnt sugar syrup and beat well. Add a third of the flour mixture and about half of the milk, beating at a low speed, until just incorporated. Mix in another third of the flour and the rest of the milk. Finally, add the remaining flour.

Divide the batter between the cake pans and bake at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes until the cakes are golden brown, spring back when touched gently in the centre and begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for15 minutes. Turn out the cakes into the wire rack to cool completely.

Method – Burnt Sugar Frosting

In a large bowl, combine the confectioners sugar, the burnt sugar syrup, butter and vanilla. Beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl now and then to bring the ingredients together. Add 2 tablespoons of the milk and continue beating until the frosting is thick, soft, smooth and easy to spread. Add a little more sugar if it is thin, and a little more milk if it is too thick.

To Assemble

Place one layer, top side down, on a cake stand or serving plate. Scoop about ¾ cup of the frosting onto the cake. Spread to the edges and place the second cake layer over it, top side down. Frost the sides of the cake, and then the top until it is evenly covered.


Kim said...

I love your little cakes with the scalloped edges - very prety! Smart idea to use a quarter of the frosting.

Emily said...

Wow, this looks amazing!

Katie said...

Your cakes look great. I love how you made mini ones

Cara said...

This sounds amazing! I'm very intrigued by the "burnt sugar" concept. I imagine it is delicious!

Jo said...

Your mini cake looks amazing and the edges give it that unique look. Great job!

Monica H said...

I think you made a wise decision by quartering the frosting. It only needed a tiny bit. smart thinking!

Cheri | Kitchen Simplicity said...

Yum! I can almost taste this. The cake looks so fluffy.. I will have a slice please!