Caramel Candy Cake

For his birthday Forrest requested a yellow cake with caramel filling and dark chocolate frosting.  The cake and frosting turned out beautifully, but the caramel must have cooked a little too long because it turned into hard candy. 

Yellow Cake
Adapted from BHG New Cookbook

3/4 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-3/4 cups sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1-1/4 cups milk

1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease and lightly flour two 9 x 1-1/2-inch or 8 x 1-1/2-inch round cake pans or grease one 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set pan(s) aside. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at time, beating on medium speed until well combined and scraping sides of bowl. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes more. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition (about 1 minute total). Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Spread batter into the prepared pan(s).

3. Bake in a 375 degree F oven 20 to 25 minutes for 9-inch pans; 30 to 35 minutes for 8-inch pans; 25 to 30 minutes for 13x9x2-inch pan or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool layer cakes in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove layer cakes from pans. Cool thoroughly on racks.

Caramel Filling
Adapted from Food and Wine

3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream

In a heavy saucepan, melt butter.  Mix all ingredients in a separate bowl and slowly pour into pan with butter. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Stop stirring and cook until the caramel registers 235° on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat, cool until spreadable.

“PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” CHOCOLATE FROSTING
Adapted from Hershey’s

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa (I used dark cocoa)
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

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