Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tasty Cake

I've been avoiding this cookbook for an entire year. I avoided it at Barnes & Noble. I avoided it at the library. And then I caved. It's Fall and I'm all in my crazy Fall cooking and baking mode, so I couldn't resist.

It's a great book of southern-inspired desserts with a modern twist here and there. I need to make a point to visit Baked (FYI don't click that link if you're starving...it will be the end of you) next time I'm in NYC.

There is a Sweet & Salty Brownie recipe I want to try. And the Buttermilk Pie. Be glad I don't have a photo of the Double-Chocolate Loaf with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Spread. Then there are the Marshmallow Chocolate Cups. See...there is a reason I was avoiding this book!

So I wanted to try the Burnt Sugar Bundt Cake with the Caramel Rum Icing because I haven't made a bundt cake in a long time and thought I'd like to give it a whirl again. Amy Atlas posted the full recipe on her blog back in January. I won't go through a step by step, but I did take some photos of my progress.

If you had smell-o-vision you would know that this batter smells like the buttery-est cake you have ever imagined. You could could just make this batter and set it out as an air freshener.

In the recipe, they say to "pour" the batter into the pan. That's not happening. It's insanely thick, so you just have to spoon it into the pan and then spread it out.
Now, let's take that extremely buttery, sugary cake batter and heat it up! Now the entire neighborhood is going to smell like the most delicious smelling cake you've ever imagined. 
In my highly dysfunctional oven, it took this behemoth an hour to bake. And then I had to let it cool over night before I could even think of getting it out of the pan. The next morning it popped right out!
I definitely suggest making the caramel shards for the top of the cake. Not only are they a cool decoration to the top of the cake, they add a nice crunch too. I didn't have a silpat, as they suggest in the recipe, so I just used a piece of parchment paper (I was afraid to use wax because I thought since you're pouring boiling sugar onto it, the wax might meld into the sugar and that would be gross.
So, here is the final cake! The icing was very runny because I set it out to warm up a bit (I made it the night before while I was baking the cake), while I was getting ready for work. By the time I got ready, after chasing around a 2 year old, it was not as chilled as it should have been so it ran down the sides of the cake. That is totally my fault. If you make the icing according to the recipe, it turns out nice and thick and would spread as perfectly as it is shown in the photo in the book (and on Amy Atlas' blog).

I know better than to keep something like this around the house, so I took it into work to be tested by my official taste-testers. I had tons of compliments and about ten people told me it was the best cake they ever had. It was really good and definitely something I would make again for a special occasion, but it's not a quick cake to make with making the burnt sugar syrup, then the batter from scratch, the baking time, making the icing, the caramel sugar shards, and then assembling the whole thing. In other good news, they do sell some of the Baked cake mixes (but not this one) at Williams Sonoma if you're interested in trying something but don't have half your life to devote to it.  And while you're over at Williams Sonoma please also notice that they're now selling a SWEET POTATO BISCUIT MIX!!!!!!

No comments: