Saturday, March 31, 2012

Burnt Sugar Cake

This is Carm’s favourite cake so I make it for him every year for his birthday. Not more often than that though – between it and the icing there are 4 1/2 cups of sugar! That’s more sugar than we’d use in 2 years – Yikes! It’s a bit of a tricky cake to make, not only is it time consuming, but getting it out of the oven at the right time is a challenge for me. Yesterday I burnt the first one and had to start over…

Make sure to make the icing that goes with it. It is basically a caramel fudge – very, very yummy. It helps to have 2 people at the icing stage as when it sets, it sets FAST. It doesn’t leave you much time to work it. My cakes always come out looking a bit wreaky because of that, but I haven’t had one person complain once they’ve had a bite!

The recipe makes 2 layers, but instead of stacking them I iced them separately – one to go to my parents house for the birthday dinner, and the other for the freezer (for that day that we are absolutely dying for something sweet).

star5Burnt-Sugar Cake


1/2 cup Sugar
2/3 cup Boiling water
2 cups Cake flour sifted
3/4 teaspoon Baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Butter softened
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
2/3 cup Milk

1. Make caramel syrup: Melt 1/2 cup sugar in 8-inch heavy skillet over medium heat. Shake pan slightly as sugar melts and turns golden. Continue heating until it turns dark amber colour. Remove from heat.
2. Gradually add boiling water, stirring constantly. Return to heat; boil rapidly, uncovered, 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Pour into 1 cup measure. Set aside to cool completely.
3. Preheat oven to 375F (350 in my oven). Grease well and flour two 8-inch round layer-cake pans. On waxed paper, sift flour with baking powder, salt and soda. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, with electric mixer at medium speed, cream butter until soft. Gradually beat in sugar; continue beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. At medium speed, beat in cooled Caramel Syrup and vanilla. Then beat in flour mixture (in fourths) alternately with milk (in thirds), beginning and ending with flour mixture. Pour into prepared pans.
6. Bake at 25 to 30 minutes (20 to 25 minutes in my oven), or until top springs back when gently pressed with fingertip.
7. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
8. Spread half of Caramel Frosting between layers. Spread rest on top, letting it run unevenly down side.

Notes: Oven temperature is too high. Cake burns at 25 min in our oven. Reduce heat to 350 and check at 20 min (usually takes about 25 min). Watch carefully as it is a bit tricky to not burn it. (Use paddle attachment and not whisk.)

star5[4]Burnt-Sugar Cake Caramel Frosting

Yields: Makes enough to frost tops of 2 (8 inch) cake layers


2 cups Light-brown sugar firmly packed
1/2 cup Butter
5 tablespoon Light cream
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon Baking powder

1. In medium saucepan, combine sugar, butter and cream; bring to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil gently, stirring, 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. Add vanilla and baking powder. With electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. When it is ready work fast!