Saturday, December 20, 2008

Birthday Girl!

Some of you may know that there was a birthday this past week at Chez Marshmallow. Being the fiend for baking that I am, I requested that I get to make my own cake, but everything else was orchestrated by Hubband and Mom. I got presents throughout the day,  (Thank you so much everyone! I'm so spoiled!) lazed about in my pj's as long as I wanted, and was given a wonderful dinner at Mom's house, attended by family and friends. 
For the cake, I decided to try a recipe that the Daring Bakers recently used: Shuna's Caramel Cake. Many of the bloggers that I myself read daily, like this one or this one, are members of the Daring Bakers, so I had seen a lot of reviews, and I couldn't resist trying to work with a recipe that some people had hinted was a bit... finicky. (Why on earth would I pick a challenging, new recipe and make it on the actual day it was needed? Because I am wild, people. Wild.) 
I did want a layer cake, but my 9-inch round pan isn't very tall, so instead I divided the batter between two 8-inch pans. They came out slightly uneven, which was a little difficult to hide, even with frosting, but those are the risks you take when you are a wild woman like myself. The frosting was also quite soft, and didn't want to hold any complex piping designs. This could have been solved with ample chilling time, but having left it to late afternoon, I was forced to just smile and tell myself no one would notice. If anyone did, they didn't mention it. Sweet.

It's obvious in the picture just how soft the frosting was; the top layer is sinking and pushing out the frosting in the gap. Do I mind? Not particularly. If the cake had been for someone else, I would have been upset, but it was only for me, and it was DELICIOUS, so I just let it go. 
The cake was moist and dense, but still fluffy enough to satisfy me. It had a distinct buttery caramel flavor that I really enjoyed. The frosting was the real winner here though. T said it should be criminal, and I will take that as a ringing endorsement. I added a teaspoon of sea salt to the recipe for a salted caramel flavor, and it really came through. It cut the extreme sweetness, and added dimension. I will absolutely be adding this to the permanent recipe collection. 
This recipe is a long one, so check it out here


Jude said...

Nice call with the sea salt -- I bet it made a huge difference. Happy bday :) I bet it was fun with that cake as the centerpiece.

Ingrid said...

Happy Birthday, belatedly!

Your cake came out great. I'm not a daring baker but have wanted to try out the recipe, too.

Happy 2009!