Next up is this wonderful-sounding Antique Caramel Cake.
Posting date is Sunday, 24 November.
Yield: One 8-inch, 2-layer cake
For the Caramel Cake
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup buttermilk, well shaken
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon white vinegar
For the Caramel Frosting
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
5 ounces (1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, divided
1/3 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
For the assembly
1/4 cup Sweet and Salty Caramel Sauce (optional, page 59)
Baked Note: If you want to ratchet the sweetness level up a bit (to approximate a true Southern delight), we suggest poking holes in the layers a few minutes after they come out of the oven and drizzling them with warm Classic Caramel Sauce (page 59)—it will seep into the cake.
Make the Caramel Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter two 8-inch round cake pans, line them with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust the parchment with flour and knock out the excess flour.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add both sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the bowl again and add the flour in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour.
In a small bowl or cup, dissolve the baking soda in the vinegar and stir it into the batter until just combined.
Divide the batter between the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 32 to 37 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. (When done, cake tops will be slightly browned.) Transfer the pans to wire racks and let cool for 20 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto the racks and let cool completely. Remove the parchment.
Make the Caramel Frosting
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the brown sugar and 4 tablespoons of the butter until melted and combined. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 10 to 15 seconds. Remove from the heat, whisk in the cream, and transfer the mixture to a bowl to cool completely. (Note: You can stir or whisk the mixture vigorously to release excess heat or, to cool the mixture quickly for immediate use, you can nestle the bowl with the mixture in a larger bowl filled halfway with ice.)
Once the brown sugar mixture is nearly cool, place the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until it is lump free. Add the cream cheese and salt and continue beating until mixture is smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat again for 15 seconds. Turn the mixer to low and stream in the brown sugar mixture. Scrape down the bowl again, add the confectioners’ sugar all at once, and beat until smooth. If the mixture feels too loose, refrigerate it for 5 to 10 minutes until it firms up.
Assemble the cake
Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Trim the top to create a flat surface and evenly spread about 3/4 cup of frosting on top. Place the next layer on top, then trim and frost it the same way. Frost the sides of the cake with the remaining frosting, drizzle with the caramel sauce (either in a zigzag or circular pattern), and refrigerate the cake for 15 minutes to set before serving.
The cake can be stored in the refrigerator, covered with a cake dome or in a cake saver, for up to 3 days. Allow the cake to come to almost room temperature before serving.
Excerpted from Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copyright © 2012 by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Excerpted by permission of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.