Rose describes her Karmel Cake as "soft textured and deeply flavorful." Seeing that it's caramel flavored, it sounds divine.
But I was not looking forward to this cake for two reasons:
1. making caramel is a huge pain.
2. I read some of the heavenly bakers reviews and it didn't seem like it was going to be a winner.
So I started making it yesterday afternoon by making the caramel for the batter. The cake actually has an entire cup of caramel in it which was both intimidating and exciting to me. So I carefully combined the cup of light brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of butter and 3/4 of a cup of milk and let it come to a boil. Then came the difficult part: watching the thermometer to make sure it doesn't get too hot. My goal was exactly 238 degrees which means I had to take it out at about 232.
While I was standing there watching the temperature, I noticed that the color was getting a little too dark for my liking. I tipped the pan over a bit so that all of the caramel ran to one side and then put the thermometer in the thick pool of caramel. Suddenly the temperature went up to 245 which means that by the time I got it out of the pan, it would be at least 250. Sugar hardens in stages (soft ball, firm ball, hard ball, soft crack, hard crack) and my goal was soft ball. Caramel has to flow and be soft to the touch. But, the bad news is that 245/250 definitely takes me to the firm ball stage.
I had a friend over while I was cooking and she started laughing at me because I kept mumbling about all of these ball stages.
So in short, I started over. That's the story of my life when it comes to caramel/candy making.
The second time around, it went much better. I used a smaller pan so that the thermometer could read the caramel and it turned out to be the perfect consistency. After baking the cake, I decided that the caramel was so good that I had to make more to put on top. I doubled the recipe this time and now I have tons of caramel tempting me in my kitchen. I'll have to see what I can make with the leftovers tomorrow.
Here's the bad news though.
I finished the cake last night around midnight. I was really tired so I decided to leave it out on the counter so that it could cool. This morning it looked and smelled great so I left it on the counter while I ran to Walmart to get more brown sugar for extra caramel icing. Once I returned, I walked in the door, put my groceries , then looked at the cake.
Someone or something took a big bite out of the side. That's definitely not ok.
I immediately blamed my roommate's dog. She was inside so she had to be the culprit.
But, I think I spoke too soon. My cat was definitely the guilty one. He is so sneaky and is always trying to jump on the counter to eat things. Plus if the dog did it then it would all be gone. I'm still waiting on the cat to get sick from all the sugar that he ate. I don't know if I'll be letting him inside much in the next couple of days...
It turned out ok though. I just cut a gigantic slice out where the cat had a little treat and threw it away. Maybe people think that's gross but I was not about to re-make the cake because the cat took one bite out of the side.
It turned out to be an amazing cake though. The caramel on top was an especially wonderful addition. I can't eat enough of it. There's only one slice left and we only started eating it this afternoon. Everyone absolutely loved it and even scraped their plates clean.
Rose's Heavenly Cakes
Karmel Cake- page 31