Oh boy, I have been in baking/cooking hibernation haven't I? It really has been too long- but with the hot and terribly humid weather we've been having for the last few months, being near a flaming oven or stove was the last thing on my mind.
Anyway, everything in it's time right? And so I'm back, and the first baking bug of the season has bitten me.
With that said, admittingly I was feeling a bit stressed the other day and to remedy for that I have two options: run until I can't feel my legs anymore or... walk into my favorite grocery shop, grab a basket and wander down the aisles picking up ingredients in a totally spontaneous manner. Well- grocery shopping it was. And getting lost in aisle four (which happens to be where the baking ingredients are) is often my favorite way to brainstorm a cake recipe.
This all led me to what turned out to be a fabulous caramel cake with a crunchy chocolate toffee cream cheese frosting. Yes, it was truly fabulous! For those who love to cook, you know that when you make something good, you have every right to shout it loud and clear on your rooftop! I'm a generally modest person in many aspects in life...but when it comes to food, I certainly have my proud peacock moments :)
There are two "secret" ingredients I love to add to my cakes: rum and mahlepi (pictured above, which is cracked cherry seeds). Their magical effect is subtle...yet noticeable at the same time!
I threw in some crushed toffee and chocolate into my cream frosting
And here is the delicious caramel cake. After months of being away from the oven, baking this cake felt like such a relief and satisfying experience!
Recipe for Caramel Cake with Crunchy Chocolate & Toffee Cream Frosting
Ingredients for a standard 9 inch/22cm round cake pan
200gr softened butter
1 tablespoon rum (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100gr caramel syrup
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon mahlepi (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
In a bowl, mix the eggs, butter, rum, vanilla, sugar and caramel together.
Add the flour, baking powder, salt and mahlepi. Mix until batter is smooth.
Transfer to a greased & floured cake pan. When filled tap pan a few times on a kitchen counter or on the floor to pop any bubbles in the batter. Bake for 30 mins. Check with a knife to see if cake is thoroughly baked. If not, extend baking time by sequences of 10 mins.
Crunchy Chocolate Toffee Cream Frosting
I work off a standard recipe which is based off the following proportions:
For 1 portion of cream cheese add 1/4 portion of whipped butter and 1/4 portion of sugar. Add milk to smooth if necessary.
Crushed toffee and chocolate (if in the US, Heath Baking Bits work fine).
Whisk the cream cheese, butter, sugar together. Add a bit of milk to smoothen mixture if necessary.
Throw in toffee and chocolate at the very end, mix carefully. Frost cake on an elevated stand for better coverage.