Fleur de Lis

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Monday, January 4, 2016

Gigi's Fabulous Caramel Cake



This was our dessert for New Year's Day. I'd never made a caramel cake before. It certainly wouldn't win any prizes for beauty, but it certainly would for taste! I was amazed at how light and airy the cake layers were. The icing set up VERY quickly and as a result didn't smooth out very well, but it was a delicious almost praline type icing.

For the cake:
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 cup milk
2 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 3/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 t. vanilla extract

For the icing:
2 2/3 cups light brown sugar
1 stick butter
7 T. evaporated milk
1 t. vanilla extract

To make the cake:
Heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Combine the butter and milk in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat until the butter melts. Stir well and let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, and stir with a fork to mix well. In a large bowl, combine the eggs and sugar, and beat well at high speed, scraping down the bowl often, until light yellow, smooth, and thick.

Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture, mixing only until the flour disappears. Add the cooled milk mixture, mixing only until the flour disappears. Add the cooled milk mixture and the vanilla, stir well, and divide the batter between the prepared pans.

Bake at 325 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes, until the cakes are a pale golden brown, spring back when touched lightly in the center and begin to pull away from the sides of the pans.

Cool in the pans for 10 minutes on wire racks or folded kitchen towels. Then turn out the cakes onto wire racks or plates to cool completely, top side up.

To make the Icing.
Have the layers handy and ready for frosting, so that you can spread the warm frosting quickly once it is ready. In a heavy medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter, evaporated milk, and vanilla. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Stir well and then adjust the heat so that the frosting boils and bubbles gently. Cook for 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

Beat the warm icing with a wooden spoon until it thickens, 2 - 3 minutes. Place a cake layer, top side down, on a cake stand or serving platter. Quickly spread some icing over the top,and cover it with the second cake layer top side up. Ice the top quickly and then spread the remaining icing over the sides.

If the icing becomes too hard to spread, warm gently over low heat, add a spoonful or two of evaporated milk, and then scrape and stir well until the icing softens enough to spread again. Dip a table knife in very hot water to help soften and smooth out the icing once it is spread.

From Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott

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