Friday, November 20, 2009

Burnt Sugar Cake

This months "Cake Slice Bakers" selected the Burnt Sugar Cake from the book "Southern Cakes". This cake truly was different from any other cake I have made. I loved the flavor of the batter, I licked the bowl clean! I like the way the cake color turned out. My husband and the girls at the daycare gave me a thumbs up on the cake! I was coming down with a cold and I didn't really get to enjoy it. The only little problem was the icing coming out too thin. I plan making this cake again with a couple of changes to the frosting. Over all the cake was good and had a great homeade taste to it.

Burnt Sugar Cake

Burnt Sugar Syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water

Burnt Sugar Cake:
3 cups flour
1 tblsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 cup butter ( 2 sticks), softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 eggs

Burnt sugar frosting:
3 3/4 cups powder sugar
1/2 cup Burnt Sugar Syrup
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 to 3 tblsp. evaporated milk or milk

TO MAKE THE SYRUP, heat the sugar in cast-iron skillet, or in another heavy pan with a broad bottom and high sides, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts into a clear, brown caramel syrup, about the color of tea. Carefully add the boiling water, pouring it down the side of the pan so that if the syrup foams and bubbles up, you'll be protected. Continue cooking, stirring often, until the water joins the caramel in a handsome brown syrup. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Store the cooled syrup in a sealed jar until needed.

TO MAKE THE CAKE, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and stir with fork to mix well. Stir the vanilla into the milk.

IN A LARGE BOWL, beat the butter and sugar with a mixer at high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until they are very well combined, stopping now and then to scrape down the bowl. Add the eggs, one by one , beating well each time. Pour in 1/2 cup of the burnt sugar syrup, and beat well. Add about a third of the flour mixture, and then about half of the milk, beating at low speed just long enough, after each addition, to make the flour or the milk disappear into the batter. Mix in another third of the flour, the rest of the milk, and then the last of the flour in the same way.

DIVIDE THE BATTER between the cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cakes are golden brown, spring back when touched gently in the center, and begin to pull away from the sides of the pans. Let the cakes cool in the pans on the wire racks or folded kitchen towels for 15 minutes. Then turn out the cakes onto wire racks or plates to cool completely, top side up.

TO MAKE THE FROSTING, in a large bowl, combine the powder sugar, the remaining half cup of the burnt sugar syrup, the butter, and the 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 tblsp. of evaporated 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 evaporated milk if it seems to thick.

TO COMPLETE THE CAKE, place one layer, top side down, on a cake stand or serving plate, and scoop about 3/4 cup of the frosting onto the cake. Spread to the edges and place the second layer over it, top side up. Frost the sides of the cake , and then the top, covering it evenly.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cinnamon-Pecan Coffee Cake

I just recently joined a Blogger baking group callled "The Cake Slice". Once a month the group bakes a recipe that we voted on. We get to blog about it on the 20th of every month.

This month's recipe was "Cinnamon-Pecan Coffee Cake". I was really looking forward to this being my first time baking with group and never making coffee cake before.

I have this horrible habit of making two batches of a recipe that I've never tried! I read the recipe and looked easy enough not to mess up. And since I expected company that morning I went ahead and made two batches. Big mistake with this one!

Where should I start? I found the batter to thick to spread. The bottom layer wasn't too bad, the top layer was difficult to spread. I didn't care for the raisins. I should have chopped the pecans finer too. The topping, I felt was too dry it definately needed more melted butter. I don't know if I over baked it because the next day I found was too dry. Next time around I'm leaving the raisins out and adding more butter to the topping. By the way this wasn't a winner with the kids and hubby. I ended up throwing out most of the second cake. I hate wasting! My hubby said it had too much cinnamon for his liking. I suppose I'll have to cut the cinnamon back too. Hopefully you'll have better luck with this recipe than I did.

"Cinnamon-Pecan Coffe Cake" from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott

Cinnamon-Raisin Filling:
1 1/2 c. light brown sugar
3 tbls. flour
3 tbls. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 c. raisins
1 1/2 c. coarsely chopped pecans
3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted

Coffee Cake:
3 c. flour
1 tbls. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. milk
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 eggs

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour a 13x9 inch pan.

To make the filling, combine the light brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a medium bowl, and stir with a fork to mix everything well. Combine the raisins and pecans in another bowl and toss to mix them. Place the cinnamon mixture, the nut mixture, and the melted butter by the baking pan.

To make the coffee cake batter, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, and stir with a fork to mix them together well. Stir the vanilla into the milk. In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar, beat with mixer at high speed, stopping to scrape down the bowl, until pale yellow and evenly mixed, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and beat for another 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl now and then, until the mixture is smooth and light.

Using a large spoon or spatula, add about a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and stir only until the flour disappears. Add about a third of the milk and mix it in. Reapeat two more times with the remaining flour and milk, stirring just enough each time to keep the batter smooth.

Spread half the batter evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle half the cinnamon mixture over the batter, followed by half the melted butter. Scatter half the raisins and nuts over the batter. Spread the remaining cinnamon mixture, butter and nut mixture, covering the cake evenly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes, until the cake is golden brown, fragrant, and beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool the cake in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes on wire racks or a folded kitchen towel, and then serve in squares right from the pan. The cake is delicious hot, warm or at room temperature.