For our Daring Bakers challenge this month, we baked Shuna Fish Lyndon's recipe for caramel cake, which can be found here. This recipe was definitely a challenge! You have to first make a caramel syrup over the stove, which was new to me. I don't think I let it get dark enough, but it was still very tasty. The cake itself is apparently a little tricky according to Shuna, but I didn't really have problems with it. It was dense, very moist, and really delicious! Although it has a lot of sugar in it, I didn't find it all too sweet, especially sans-frosting, which was how I most enjoyed the cake.
The frosting was another story. I expected to love it--it has caramel sauce, brown butter, and whipping cream, all of which ought to make for a great frosting. I also added the seeds from a fresh vanilla bean for good measure. But ultimately it was just too sweet for me. However, other tasters (thanks Nina and Jessie!) loved the frosting, so give it a try. I think if I made this cake again, I might try to incorporate brown butter into a lighter frosting like a meringue buttercream (which I prefer to the American-style buttercream in this recipe anyway).
Finally, I am hoping to soon try the "real deal" at Poulet here in Berkeley. I stopped in earlier this month, but got there right after they had closed! :( The folks at Poulet said that they do often have the caramel cake, so I will try back and see if I can try Shuna's original caramel cake.
Thanks to the hosts this month: Dolores (http://culinarycuriosity.blogspot.com/), Alex (http://blondieandbrownie.blogspot.com/), and Jenny (http://forayintofood.blogspot.com/). You can find the recipe for Shuna's caramel cake on any of their blogs. This was a great challenge so thanks to them for an excellent choice! Be sure to check out all the other entries in the Daring Bakers Blog Roll, linked to at the right.