Monday, July 5, 2010
Baking With Dorie: Caramel-Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake
This week, BWD bakes Caramel-Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake (pages 264-5), chosen by BWD founder Grapefruit.
I realised as I was preparing to bake this that this cake was really simple to make, and although the measurements were different, the steps were exactly the same as the brownies I made last weekend. One addition to the recipe this time was light corn syrup, which I did not have any!! And I couldn't find it at my regular baking supplies store either. So, I had to improvise and made my own, using the recipe I found here.
I halved the recipe and baked it in a cute four-inch cake pan, and got a tall, fluffy, mini cake. I did not expect the cake to rise double the height of the batter, but was glad it did as I love tall cakes.
The challenge was in making the caramel sauce!! I've made caramel a few times before, but was still intimidated this time around. In the book Dorie warned not to halve the caramel recipe, as it would be tricky to deal with the small amount of sugar...but I went ahead and made a quarter of the topping. Turns out, I DID have hiccups making the caramel... the amount of sugar was too little to turn into a nice liquid substance. My topping was more like peanut toffee!! So I quickly added a bit more sugar, butter and water..waiting for the liquid to turn amber on the stove. As soon as I had the right color (almost!), I added peanuts and spread it on the cake.
And you know what...my caramel hardened as I was photographing it. Like toffee!! It was quite a challenge to cut the cake.. as you can see, I don't have a sliced photo of the cake :( I would have loved to try making another round of caramel and giving it a go until I get it right, except I made this at 11pm on Sunday after a weekend of activities. And although technically I have another night to give it a go before posting this, I can't afford to as I'm going out of town for work tomorrow. I do, in all seriousness feel like a failure. Sigh.