Daring Bakers November: Delicious Caramel

This month’s recipe was Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Icing courtesy of Shuna Fish Lydon, as published on Bay Area Bites.

Sounds tasty, right? The recipe involved a great deal of butter, sugar, and making your own caramel syrup to be used as part of the cake.

Since Rich’s birthday is November 9th, I decided that this cake would make a good birthday cake. After all, how hard can making your own caramel be?

Caramel CakeYeah, actually the process of making your own caramel isn’t too bad, if you aren’t picky about the color or the depth of flavour, and as long as you are careful not to get any of it on you while it is cooking. I was fine on the safety part, but not so fine on the color part. Mine was a bit too light, and hardened way too easily. Guess I need much more practice making caramel, huh? Next time I’ll closely follow David Lebovitz’s tips for caramel making.

The cake itself, however, turned out quite lovely. As you can see from the picture, I baked it in an angel food cake pan, which resulted in what appeared to be a giant donut once iced with the delicious browned butter and salted caramel icing and dusted with cinnamon sugar. I think this made it an even better birthday cake myself.  Rich’s reaction was essentially ‘You made me a giant donut? Awesome!’.

Knowing the cake would be pretty sweet, I decided to serve it with an apple compote spiced with cardamom and nutmeg. It was pretty tasty, if I do say so myself.  The compote was also good on waffles the next day for breakfast.

The recipes for the cake, caramel sauce, and icing are all available directly from Shuna on the Bay Area Bites blog. The recipe for the apple compote I will post below.

Apple Cardamom Compote


* 2 cups water
* 1/3 cup sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1 tablespoon good rum
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* Pinch salt
* 8 large apples, peeled, cored, and cubed


In a large saucepan, combine the water, sugar, vanilla, rum, spices and salt and bring to a boil. Boil gently until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the apples and return to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the apples are very tender and the mixture thickens, about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before serving.

Caramel Cake

Thanks to this month’s hosts: Dolores of Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity, Alex, aka Brownie of the Blondie and Brownie duo, and Jenny of Foray into Food. Awesome choice, guys!

If you’d like to see more versions of the cake, simply go to the Daring Bakers Blogroll!

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