Out of all the cakes that are my favorites, caramel is one of three at the top of the list followed by pound cake, and carrot cake. What I love about caramel cake is that it lasts forever and gets better. At my house, it doesn't stay around long enough to get old, but trust me on this one. ENJOY!
FOR THE CAKE:
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
3 cups cake flour, plus more for pans, sifted
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
FOR THE ICING:
3 1/2 cups sugar
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 (15-oz.) cans evaporated milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
1. Make the cake: Heat oven to 350°. Butter and flour three 9″ cake pans, and set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; set aside. Whisk together milk and vanilla in a bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, alternately add dry ingredients in 3 batches and wet ingredients in 2 batches. Increase speed to high and beat until batter is smooth, about 5 seconds. Divide batter among prepared pans, and smooth top with a rubber spatula; drop pans lightly on a counter to expel any large air bubbles. Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cakes cool for 20 minutes in pans; invert onto wire racks, and let cool.
2. Make the icing and assemble the cake: Whisk together 3 cups sugar, butter, milk, and egg in a 6-qt. copper saucepan or Dutch oven; set aside. Heat remaining sugar in a small skillet over high heat, and cook, swirling pan, until sugar melts into an amber caramel, about 2 minutes. Immediately pour caramel into milk mixture, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; attach a candy thermometer to side of pan, and cook, stirring bottom constantly with a wooden spoon, until thermometer reads 232°, about 40 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately stir in vanilla and baking soda; let sit for 1 minute. Using a hand mixer, beat caramel mixture on medium-low speed until the consistency of loose pudding, about 1 minute. Immediately place one cake on a cake stand and pour over 1/2 cup caramel icing; top with second cake and pour over 1/2 cup icing. Top with third cake and pour remaining icing around the top edge of cake and then over the center. Quickly spread icing over sides of cake; let icing cool completely before serving. Store at room temperature.
Saveur March 2012
COWTAN AND TOUT
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