First of all, I want to point out the link that I have added to the left sidebar on my blog. If you remember, my New Year’s resolution for 2008 was to have a blog entry about at least one recipe from each of my cookbooks. I have created a new blog (to add to the way too many blogs I already have) that lists my cookbooks with links to the recipes that I have made from them. This way I can be held accountable, and it’s fun for me to look and see which cookbooks I still need to cook from. It’s also helped me to stop buying as many cookbooks so that I can at least try to keep up!!
And I have so many recipes waiting to be blogged about – and this is one of them. I actually made this for a work birthday last month. I have mostly been doing cupcakes for work birthdays, but I decided to go for a cake for this particular birthday. I had this recipe picked out, and was so excited about it, but unfortunately it did not live up to it’s hype. But the wonderful thing about this recipe is that it really does have so much potential. The flavor was amazing, but it was much too sweet. I am obviously having a hard time finding that perfect balance, because this one was too sweet, and the last cupcakes I blogged about were not sweet enough!!
This cake is a burnt sugar cake. It might sound a little intimidating, but it was actually quite easy. The “burnt sugar” flavor comes from cooking the sugar until it is caramelized, creating a deeper flavor. The cake is filled with a brown butter frosting and candy bar of your choice. The picture in the cookbook showed many different kinds of chocolate candy bars, but I thought that Heath candy bar would compliment the flavors of the cake and the frosting the best, so I stuck with the one flavor or candy bar. The cake is then frosted and then topped with more candy bars.
When I was making this frosting, I absolutely loved it. I couldn’t stop taking little samples of it – it was just so good. But something happened overnight. It was still just as tasty the next day when I served the cake, but it’s sweetness multiplied. I will be trying this frosting again, but will cut down on the amount of powdered sugar added. I think by just decreasing it a bit, this would make an excellent frosting that would go well on many different flavors of cake.
The cake was gobbled up at work, but I would like to try to tweak a few things on this cake to make it better, because like I said before, I think it has a lot of potential. And it is a pretty impressive looking cake, because who isn’t impressed and eager to dig into something that is covered in candy bar pieces!?!
Burnt Sugar Candy Bar Cake
From Better Homes and Gardens Test Kitchen Favorites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup hot water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup butter, softened
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 egg whites
1-1/2 cups finely chopped assorted candy bars
1/2 cup butter (no substitute)
2 3-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter
6-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons milk
Coarsely chopped assorted candy bars, such as Hershey’s, Mars, Nestle, or other (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Grease and lightly flour three 8×1-1/2-inch round baking pans or two 9×2-inch pans. In a large skillet cook the 3/4 cup sugar over medium-high heat until the sugar just begins to melt. Do not stir. Reduce heat; cook until sugar is golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes more, stirring mixture constantly.
Carefully stir in hot water (syrup will form lumps). Bring mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Continue stirring until mixture is free of lumps. Remove from heat. Pour syrup into a large glass measuring cup. Add additional water to equal 1-3/4 cups liquid. Set aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat together the 1-1/2 cups sugar, the 2/3 cup butter, egg yolks, and the 2 teaspoons vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1 minute or until mixture is smooth.
Alternately add flour mixture and sugar syrup to egg yolk mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Clean beaters thoroughly. In a medium mixing bowl beat egg whites until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Fold into batter. Divide batter into baking pans; spread evenly.
Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans; transfer to wire racks; cool completely.
For icing, in a small saucepan heat and stir 1/2 cup butter over low heat until melted. Continue heating until butter turns a nut-brown color.
Remove from heat; cool for 5 minutes. In a large mixing bowl beat together cream cheese and the 3 tablespoons butter until combined. Beat in 2 cups of the sifted powdered sugar. Beat in the browned butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Gradually beat in 4-1/2 more cups sifted powdered sugar and enough milk to make frosting of spreading consistency.
To assemble, spread 1/2 cup frosting over bottoms of two of the cake layers. Sprinkle each frosted layer with half of the finely chopped candy. Stack these layers on cake plate, frosted sides up. Place the third (unfrosted) layer on top, rounded side up.
Spread remaining frosting on top and sides of cake. Garnish with the coarsely chopped candy bar pieces, if desired. Makes 16 servings.