Sunday, June 19, 2011

Quick caramel cake and icing

We take it in turns to bake cakes for my choir, so we have something to eat in the break. We're supposed to bake about 30 pieces, so I usually do two.
I made Andy's birthday cake as the dairy-free chocolate one from the Joy of Cooking, just because it is so easy. It's also forgiving when transported and easy to cut into 16ths.
I decided to make that as the first one.
While looking at that recipe, my eye had been drawn to the words 'quick' and 'one-bowl' on the other side. I couldn't make another chocolate cake, and the suggested topping for the plain cake, of icing sugar and seeds, would probably lead to so much debris on the church carpet, we'd be kicked out of our rehearsal space.
So I decided to try the caramel cake. It's not on the web, unfortunately, and I'm not about to infringe Joy's copyright by reproducing it here. In essence, you replace the white sugar in a fairly normal cake with brown sugar.
The recipe doesn't specify which brown sugar. I used light. In retrospect, I should have either rung up Mum and asked for a line on which British sugar was closest to American, or used dark.
The cake's quite plain, and rather thin. Its 13in by 9in body also shows that my oven is now really uneven. To disguise all these facts, I decided to ice it. The Joy of Cooking touts a 'quick caramel frosting' (ie icing) on p792, but when you get there, there is no quick frosting, just the main one which involves The Stages of Sugar. Yeah.
So I turned to the internet and found one on Southern Living that seemed to fit the bill. It was much easier than I thought, and not panic-inducing which is always good around sugar. It made a thick, very sweet caramel-like icing which we slathered on top of the cake.
I'll let you know how it tastes.
I'm glad I iced it; it would have been too plain without. And the caramel frosting was very sugary, with just a hint of that dark caramel flavour. Again, I think I'd go with all brown sugar to deepen that taste.