Apr 3, 2011
If you've checked Rose's blog recently, you know that she had a birthday, so when the Minnesota Three (Hanaâ, Woody, and me) got together for our recent Bake-a-Thon, we knew we had to turn the Karmel Cake into a birthday cake. Fortunately, Hanaa is an ace cake decorator; otherwise, the cake might have looked a little sad.
Were it not for the first step of making the caramel, this would be just about the Quickest and Easiest of the Quick and Easy cakes. I didn't have the preferred Muscovado sugar; when I got my bag of light brown sugar out of the cabinet, however, Hanaâ said, "I like dark brown better, so I brought that along." Woody gave her the evil eye: "The recipe says LIGHT brown," he announced. When I told Hanaâ that dark brown sounded good to me, Woody realized he was stuck with a couple of lawless woman, and gave us permission to use one-third dark brown.
I stirred, and Hanaâ took the caramel's temperature. She wouldn't let me stop stirring until it reached 238.
The caramel had to cool for an hour. Fortunately, both Hanaâ and Woody brought treats, so the hour passed quickly.
Hanaâ provided a piece of her version of the Devil's Food Cake with Midnight Ganache, which she made with a whipped cream filling and homemade triple berry jam. Delicious! I noticed that it looked like a Hostess Ho-Ho and told Woody that he and Rose should work on making a version of the Ho-Ho for the new cookbook. Woody seemed less pleased with this idea than I was.
He's experimenting with making gluten-free ganache, so he brought a White Velvet cake with a coconut cream ganache. Good--but not as good as the original.
Hanaâ also brought some baghrir, or yeasted Moroccan pancakes, that she's written about on her blog. They look like big crumpets, but they taste more like pancakes than crumpets. She topped them with melted butter and honey with orange water. Not your ordinary breakfast pancakes, but they could easily become your recipe of choice--they're pretty addictive.
After downing several thousand carb calories, we waddled back to the kitchen, and whipped up the Karmel cake batter: so easy!
And it comes out of the oven so beautifully brown, smelling sweet and delicious. After the cake cooled, I made whipped cream. Instead of flavoring it with coffee (Hanna doesn't like coffee), I added some caramel left over from the Sticky Toffee cake, and, for those of us who do like coffee, sprinkled some espresso powder on top of the caramel cream. Hanaâ said, "Oh, we should decorate the cake--but I didn't bring my toolbox." "I have a pastry bag and decorating tips," I said. "You can use them," I added craftily. Hanaa looked doubtful: "You? You have decorating things?" Hmmpf. I'm always being misunderestimated, as a certain ex-president used to say.
Look at that girl go! Not only did she pipe "Happy Birthday, Rose," but she also did a border, adding a few little leaves. She knows what she's doing in the kitchen.
We decided that we'd put three candles on the cake--one for each of us to blow out. And we each made a wish on Rose's behalf, which we can't tell, of course, because it's a well-known fact that if you disclose a wish that you make on a birthday candle, it can't come true. If my wish is any example, however, Rose is going to have a very good year.
Woody had been talking about his tai chi sword, which he happened to have in his car. He had never tried it for this function before, but it turns out it's quite good for cutting cakes.
Even though it was cake #3 for the day (#4 if you count the pancakes), I still loved it. I thought it was just about perfect, although Woody pointed out that it had some tunnels in it. This occurred because I overmixed the batter, according to Woody and Hanaâ, who both have more information floating around in their heads than is good for them. (Certainly more than is good for me).
It's basically a very good butter cake, but with the added pizzazz of caramel flavor. The slight crispiness of the crust adds to the uniqueness of this cake. (Eat the cake soon after it's done in order to experience this crispy extra, though--it doesn't last to the second day).
And happy birthday, Rose! I hope your birthday cake in Hope was as good as your birthday cake in Minneapolis.
Woody: "It tastes better than the cake I brought. Definitely a good caramel flavor. But Rose wouldn't like the tunnels."
Jim: "It'a really good cake. I especially like the flavor. The crunchiness gives it a special effect, unlike any of the other cakes."
Hanaâ: "I'm surprised at how much caramel flavor is in the cake--more than in the cream."
Posted by Marie at 4:43 PM