Caramel Cake please…

While my brother was living with me, he began taking samples of whatever desserts I made for the week to his job as a way to drum up business for me.  I didn’t ask him to do this, he just took it upon himself, and with his business selling mind it paid off.  One of his coworkers was so impressed with the nine-layered neapolitan cake, that she ordered a Caramel Cake for her family for Easter.  Now I call it a Caramel Cake, but she actually asked for a vanilla cake with caramel filling and icing.  That sounds like a caramel cake to me…what about you?

Anyway…this was the week I had to get the cake to her and I scheduled the start time for Wednesday so that I can have it completed by Thursday so that it could be delivered on Friday.  On Tuesday morning, I attempted to walk down the stairs without the benefit of lights and incorrectly guessed the number of steps that I had to make.  What does this mean?  I thought I had reached the bottom step and had not.  I did take the precaution of holding on to the newel post just in case, and I’m so glad I did because I hadn’t reached the bottom step.  When I began to tumble, I caught myself, but ended up spraining my wrist. 

I’m a business owner…I have to preserve and I did.  I made the cakes on Wednesday with a brace on my hand and lots of moaning and calling on the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  But I got it done.  I came home from a trying day of work on Thursday and make caramel sauce.  I filled and iced a cake, as well as cooked dinner (on both days) and helped Kristian with her homework.  The miracle was I was sitting down for the evening by 7:30 pm and I didn’t get home until after 5-5:30 pm.  WHOOHOO for me!

Here’s a break down of the process after the cakes were made.  I took my basic cake recipe and made three 10-inch cakes.  I divided all in half.

I then made a caramel sauce.

And let it cool while I made dinner.  I then began the process of putting the caramel sauce in between the layers.

Once I put the layers together I took the remaining sauce and added powdered sugar.  I didn’t exactly measure the amount of powdered sugar I added; it was probably around 2 1/2 cups but then it was too thick, so I had to add a little milk until I achieved the consistency I needed.

At this point you need to move quickly.  The one thing about caramel icing is that it will set quickly, and if you don’t ice fast enough, it will be like working with hardening cement.  I got it completed and added some caramel pieces on top for decoration and then boxed it up.  It is not a pretty looking cake.  I tend to go for a more rustic/homemade appearance; but I spend more time on my wedding cakes and special occasion cakes. 

I am always nervous about how my desserts are received…I know that it’s delicious, but I have the apprehension anyway.   I’ll feel that way until I get her customer satisfaction questionnaire back.  Below is the recipe, if you make it, let me know how it turned out for you.

Caramel Cake

Cake

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

2 cups sugar

5 egg yolks

5 egg whites

2 cups cake flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup butter milk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Cream butter and shortening with sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg yolks one at a time.  Sift flour and soda together.  Add vanilla to buttermilk.  Add alternately flour mixture with buttermilk mixture beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Beat egg whites until stiff.  Fold egg whites into batter gently so the batter is as light and fluffy as possible.  Divide batter into three floured and greased cake pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until light brown and pulling away from edges of pan.  DO NOT OVER BAKE.  Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes on wire racks, then turn cakes from pans onto wire racks and allow to cool completely. 

Caramel Sauce

1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

1/4 cup evaporated milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

Combine ingredients in small saucepan over medium heat.  Cook, stirring until thickened to desired consistency, about 15 minutes.  Do not walk away, you do not want to burn.

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