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Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Goldilocks and the Triple Caramel Cake

   I've spent the better part of six months baking approximately twice a week in order to figure out how to cook in the itsy-bitsy-teenie-weenie boat oven.
   Unfortunately for me, I was not a child recipient of a Suzie Homemaker Oven for Christmas, which every little American girl was purported to desire in the 1950's.
   The toy oven was heated by a regular household light bulb and came with its own tiny set of baking pans and mixes.
   Since I missed out on that formative experience I've had to figure out how to bake in le petit fornneau by trial and error...
   I quickly realized I could not use my brand new silicone Bundt pan. It holds 12 cups of batter and in our boat stove after two hours at gas mark 4 (350F) the bottom was cooked, the middle was raw, and the top was burned to a crisp. "Oh no," said Goldilocks! (There is only one bear in this story and he is Big Daddy Bear AKA Les.)
   After much trial and error I've found I have the best results with cakes turning out when I use two nine inch silicone cake pans.
   I also turn the oven up one gas mark higher than the recipe calls for on the advice of our friend Tina E. who has lived aboard and cooked daily for years.
   I find it necessary to switch the cake pans from the top rack to the bottom--and vice versa about every twenty minutes, and I also turn the cake pans half way 'round each time I switch racks. It generally takes a bit longer than the recipe indicates, so what was once a "whack-it-together-and-bung-it-in-the-oven, turn-on-the-timer-and-walk-away-for-awhile" exercise, resulting in a lovely, high rising, tender-crumbed cake is now an act of intense cake sitting. You know, like babysitting only no diapers are involved.
   Anyway since I live on a boat and work when I want, I have plenty of time on my hands so it all works out.
   Here without further flourish, is my Triple Caramel Cake recipe adapted for boaters. If you do not live on a boat and you would like the original non-boater's recipe please email me and I will send it to you. I hope you enjoy it. Big Daddy Bear ate ours all up!

 Triple Caramel Cake
3 cups of double cream (whipping cream)
2 1/2 cups of granulated or white sugar

12 Tablespoons of unsalted butter at room temp.
4 LARGE eggs; if you are using different sized eggs then us 5
2 cups of all purpose (not self rising) flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt

Make the caramel sauce:
Pour two cups of cream into a medium saucepan and slowly bring to a boil. Lower the heat and keep at a bare simmer. Stir frequently.

Place 1 cup of sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Leave undisturbed until the sugar begins to melt and darken. Gently shake the pan to distribute the sugar and to keep the melted sugar from burning. When all the sugar has melted and the caramel is a very dark amber, remove from the heat.

Carefully add the hot cream a little at a time as it froths and bubbles up and can easily go over the pan or splash you. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon as you add the cream. Don't worry if the caramel hardens, It will melt as the sauce boils.

Return the pan to the heat and keep the sauce at a gentle boil for about five minutes, stirring constantly. Set aside for about thirty minutes, stirring often, until the sauce is cool. Measure out one cup of caramel for the cake mix and set the rest aside.

NOTE: I added a 1/4 tsp. of vanilla extract, a generous pinch of salt, and a wee bit of Martells brandy to my caramel sauce. I find this gives the sauce depth.

Make the cake:
Heat the oven to 350F (Gas mark 4). Butter and flour a Bundt pan. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and remaining 1 1/2 cups of sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, waiting until each is incorporated before adding the next one.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Gently but thoroughly fold the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar-eggs mixture alternately with the 1 cup of caramel sauce, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake until a skewer comes out clean at 30-40 minutes. Set on a rack for about 10 minutes and let cool and then un-mold and cool completely.

When the cake is cool set a half cup of the remaining caramel sauce aside. Drizzle the cake with a half cup of caramel sauce letting it run down both sides of the cake.

Whip the remaining 1 cup of cream until medium soft peaks form--do not over whip! Gently fold in the last half cup caramel.

Top each cake slice with caramel cream before serving.

Please note--the following is an edit for British bakers with cups converted to ounces per request of Sue. Here you go!
Okay goes:
24 oz. of cream
18.25 0z. of granulated sugar
6 oz. unsalted butter
7 oz. flour
Whew! That was tricky. I hope my calculations are correct. I used dry measuring cups and actually weighed everything on a scale. Let me know how it turns out!! :)


Sue said...

Oh Jaq! That looks delicious. Could you please put a cups to ounces conversion as an edit to the blog!!

English hubby, English boat, English slow boat oven and american cups!



Les Biggs said...

Got it and done it! :)

life afloat on nb tickety boo said...

I soooo hope you have one of those on the go when we finally meet somewhere on the cut, it looks delicious mmmm


Les Biggs said...

Hi Deb,
That is one reason I bake so often. I want to be sure we have something yummy to offer folks when we meet up. :)

If not Triple Caramel cake then there is always Carrot cake or spice cake with cream cheese frosting; my legendary Chocolate Kahlua cake with seedless raspberry jam in between the layers, frosted with dark chocolate ganache (Iain on Gosty Hill says it is a cake to keep a man at home!) or Angel bars: a lovely sweet bar with a rich buttery crust and a topping of sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, shredded coconut and pecans.

When we finally meet up with you, we will have a cuppa and something yummy for our tummy.

Carol said...

Jaq, you make my mouth water -- stop it I'm trying to lose a couple of pounds put on over Christmas!

Amy said...

Sorry to hear your have trouble with your boat oven. I'm lucky that the Duck is fitted with a standard domestic sized oven which seems quite capable of all the baking tasks I ask of it (see my Off-Grid Baking posts!). It cooks a little slower than most recipes ask for but it cooks consistently, thank goodness!

The caramel cake looks lovely! More recipes please! I'm quite happy using American recipes because I picked up a set of cup measures in a charity shop :)

Lucky Duck

Les Biggs said...

Oh Amy I've been oohing and aahing over your recipes for awhile now. That clootie you had on your post looked divine! To make the Triple Caramel Cake in a regular oven set teh temp. at 325F (Gas mark 3), and 40 minutes later you should have a lovely cake! I'll make sure and include both sets of measures on future recipes.

Les Biggs said...

Good luck with your diet Carol. Just remember if you come visit, the goodies on this boat have no calories--as long as you are on the boat!!

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs