Monday, December 30, 2013

Burnt-Sugar Cake

Hi everyone!  How was your Christmas?  I hope you enjoyed the time with family and friends.  If you're like us, you just might have birthdays close to the holidays.  They can get so overlooked in my opinion, but it doesn't make them any less special! (In fact, our very own Thrice the Spice gal Rebecca had a birthday this month!) 

My husband also celebrated a birthday earlier this month and I decided to make him a real cake.  Not a pour, dump, and stir out of a bag cake.  It was delicious and worth every bit of time spent.  Perhaps a new year's goal could be to bake more. 

Burnt-Sugar Cake with Burnt-Sugar Frosting

2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup boiling water

½ cup butter, softened
1 and ½ cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 and ½ cups cake flour
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¾ cup cold water
3 TB burnt sugar syrup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
To make the syrup, in a heavy skillet, heat sugar over low heat, stirring constantly, until it melts and becomes dark brown.  Slowly add boiling water.  Stir until dissolved.

To make the cake, in a medium bowl cream butter and sugar.  Add vanilla and eggs and beat well.  In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add dry ingredients to the egg mixture, alternately with the water, beating until smooth.  Add 3 TB of the burnt sugar syrup and beat for 5 minutes at medium speed.  Pour into two 9-inch greased cake pans and bake for until 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in the pans, then turn onto cake racks and cool completely.

*A note on the frosting recipe below*
I didn't have a double boiler, so I put a saucepan of boiling water on the stove and then set a glass bowl on top of that.  I stirred and beat the frosting mixture by hand, hoping to see beautiful frosting peaks.  It never happened!  So, rather than admit defeat (especially after not using the proper tools), I poured the liquid frosting like syrup over the cake.  It was still delicious! 

Burnt-Sugar Frosting
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1 and ¼ cups brown sugar
3 TB burnt sugar syrup
¼ cup cold water
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla

Combine egg whites, brown sugar, water, sugar syrup, and salt and beat one minute to blend.  Pour into the top of a double boiler and cook, beating constantly, until frosting forms stiff peaks, about 7 minutes.  Don’t overcook.  Remove the top of the double boiler to cool the surface.  Add vanilla and beat until frosting reaches spreading consistency, about 2 minutes. 

Happy eating,

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