Sunday, December 28, 2008

Daring Bakers The French Yule Log

So I am sad to post this ,but for the first time since joining the Daring Bakers I was not able to take part in this months challenge due to work, holidays and travel. The challenge was a French Yule Log! I hope that eventually I will be able to make this.
So please take a look at the Daring Bakers Blogroll to see all the fantastic French Yule Logs

Since I don't have any French Yule Logs to post instead I will share some pictures of my dog Tyler that I took while I was in Florida.

Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Daring Bakers Challenge Caramel Cake


For the month of November the Daring Bakers were challenged to a Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter frosting.  I made this recipe twice once into cupcakes because I was worried I wouldn't like this cake. But boy was I wrong. The cupcakes were delicious and a huge hit at work. My co-workers loved it including people who are not a fan of caramel. Since it went over so well I decided to bring it to my boyfriends families house for thanksgiving and once again a total hit. 

This recipe was written by  Shuna Fish Lydon (, as published on Bay Area Bites (

In the Daring Bakers we have challenge hosts and this months challenge was brought to you by the following.
Delores who blogs at Culinary Curiosity (

Alex (Brownie of the Blondie and Brownie duo) at (
Jenny of Foray into Food (
Natalie of Gluten-a-Go-Go ( for gluten-free assistance.

I made this cake twice once into cupcakes because I was worried I wouldn't like this cake. But boy was I wrong. This cake was delicious and a huge hit. The cupcakes I brought to work ,and everyone loved it including people who are not a fan of caramel. Since it went over so well I decided to bring it to my boyfriends families house for thanksgiving. 

 2 cups sugar
 1/2 cup water 
1 cup water (for "stopping" the caramelization process)
 In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand. Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush. Turn on heat to highest flame. Cook until smoking slightly: dark amber. When color is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water. Caramel will jump and sputter about! It is very dangerous, so have long sleeves on and be prepared to step back. Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly and feels sticky between two fingers. {Obviously wait for it to cool on a spoon before touching it.} Note: For safety reasons, have ready a bowl of ice water to plunge your hands into if any caramel should land on your skin.

10 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
 1 1/4 Cups granulated sugar
 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
1/3 Cup Caramel Syrup (see recipe below) 
2 each eggs, at room temperature
 splash vanilla extract
 2 Cups all-purpose flour
 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1 cup milk, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350F

Butter one tall (2 – 2.5 inch deep) 9-inch cake pan. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy.

Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl. Scrape down bowl and increase speed. Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform.

Sift flour and baking powder. Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dry ingredients. When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time. Add another third of the dry ingredients, then the other half of the milk and finish with the dry ingredients. {This is called the dry, wet, dry, wet, dry method in cake making. It is often employed when there is a high proportion of liquid in the batter.} Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds, making sure batter is uniform. Turn batter into prepared cake pan.

Place cake pan on cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan. Set first timer for 30 minutes, rotate pan and set timer for another 15-20 minutes. Your own oven will set the pace. Bake until sides pull away from the pan and skewer inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely before icing it. 

The first time I made this into cupcakes and they cooked them for 15 minutes and then rotated pan. I baked for another 20 minutes. 

Cake will keep for three days outside of the refrigerator

12 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 pound confectioner’s sugar, sifted 4-6 tablespoons heavy cream 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2-4 tablespoons caramel syrup Kosher or sea salt to taste Cook butter until brown. Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, set aside to cool. Pour cooled brown butter into mixer bowl.
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, add confectioner's sugar a little at a time. When mixture looks too chunky to take any more, add a bit of cream and or caramel syrup. Repeat until mixture looks smooth and all confectioner's sugar has been incorporated. Add salt to taste. (The salt really helps with cutting the sweetness of this cake the salt is a must!)

Note: Caramelized butter frosting will keep in fridge for up to a month.
To smooth out from cold, microwave a bit, then mix with paddle attachment until smooth and light

Craig had this recipe twice once as a cupcake which initially he was hesistant to. When I told him it was a cupcake the thought light and fluffy which these cupcakes are a bit dense. I then made this recipe into a cake, but this time I sliced the cake in half and layered on the inside a rasberry preserved and unsweetened whip cream with a touch of vanilla.  The cake was a hit for thanksgiving

'At first taste my buds encountered an unexpected texture and flavor, but these caramel cupcakes grew on me. Two were swallowed in mere minutes.' Despite no photo of Craig tasting the cake here is his review. 'An elegant balance of caramel versus cake. A desert Ruth can feed me any day of the week. TWO THUMBS UP!'

 Craig did the cake decorating I think he is better then me at decorating.

Thank so so much to the Daring Bakers for another lovely challenge.  This is a recipe I will continue to make it is delicious!

This month there was  an optional challenge which I did not do it was to make GOLDEN VANILLA BEAN CARAMELS make sure to check out the hosts sites listed above for that recipe.