Saturday, 29 November 2008

Daring Bakers: Caramel Cake

As a maternity-leave induced lady of leisure, I looked forward to this month's Daring Bakers challenge as one I could do during my luxurious free time. In between baths and coffee mornings, I saw myself baking cakes to have ready for my husband after a hard day's work. This turned out to be ambitious dreaming. Long baths have occurred, but necessitated by 3rd trimester nausea or just feelings of being enormous and wanting to find a venue in which I was weightless (and, undoubtedly, elegant and streamlined). Coffee mornings have been acheived, but at the cost of wiping me out from the effort of a) getting up b) taking an hour-long bath c) looking presentable and d) traveling on public transportation. Mr A&N has actually had his fair share of banana bread this month, mainly to use up those bananas I've felt too ill to eat and made while I've been sitting down at the table. The long and short of it is that this month's challenge was done at the last minute, over a couple of days, and is only now being enjoyed as I blog about it. Oh well - I'm sure next month, when the baby's here, it will all fall into place even more easily.

The caramel cake comes from Shuna Fish Lydon at Bay Area Bites, as chosen by the trio of Dolores at Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity, Alex at Blondie and Brownie, and Jenny at Foray into Food. The cake thrives on caramel syrup added into the cake, and caramelized butter in the icing. To me, the cake was more successful than the icing, which overwhelmed me with its sweetness. The cake smelled wonderfully fragrant and rich during the mixing, and it took tremendous will-power not to lick the raw batter from the spoons (will-power I actually didn't have in the end, since I licked...but only a little). I was rewarded for my near-saintliness when the spring-form pan I was baking the cake in didn't hold itself
together tighlty and dripped a slow and delicious cascade of cake batter onto the pan at the bottom of the oven, waiting to be eaten 20 minutes before the rest of the cake was ready. I couldn't pick out the caramel flavor, but thought it was like a supped-up version of a vanilla cake, delicately sweet and still wonderful to smell.

Thanks to the hostesses (and Shuna) for the challenge, which promises to give me something to eat this week with my leisurely morning coffee before I head up to my hour-long baths.

15 comments:

Gretchen Noelle said...

Glad you could bake this at your leisure, even though you may not be feeling your best. Hope the cake was enjoyed by all!

Dolores said...

This cake would be the perfect precursor to an hour-long-bath, though I'm sorry your prenatal vacation's not quite the luxury you had hoped for. Best of luck in your final month, and thanks for taking the time to bake with us.

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Helen said...

Oh yes I'm sure that once the baby arrives you will have lots of time for baking and caramel making! ;) I have a serious case of baby fever at the moment - so many people I know are having or have just had babies - such a wonderful miracle. Your cake looks lovely by the way. I didn't have a chance to make it but I'm sure I would have messed up the caramel anyway - not one of my strengths! Yours is decorated beautifully!

plutosangel said...

The cake looks great!
All the best for the arrival of your bundle of joy!

BC said...

What a wonderful way to take care of yourself! Best of luck.

maybelle's mom said...

I am so impressed, when I was in my third trimester I could barely read a cake recipe let alone... best wishes for a safe delivery.

Claire said...

Wow...you made this with a belly to be concerned about? I'm impressed. Great job!

Nina Timm said...

The fact that you are baking in your last trimester is well.....amazing! The cake looks delicious and I hope everything will go well with the baby's arrival!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Incredible how large we can get in those last weeks. When I worked in OB I used to have some girls think their tummy would pop to have the baby. When I got big like that I understood why. Just hours after my boys were born and I was holding them, I couldn't figure how they were able to fit in there;)
I loved the caramel in this cake.
Sending you hugs and good wishes for a happy baby - I know if I were you I'd skip Dec challenge!

Jenny said...

I'm impressed you could handle the aroma of the caramel that far into your pregnancy. Your cake looks lovely, btw.

Mrs Erg├╝l said...

so i'm not the only one with a leaking springform! I think this batter isn't suitable for using with a springform!

I wish you a quick delivery next month!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

You're so very nearly there. Well done for doing the challenge at all. Rest easy over the next few weeks, everything else can wait... Big hugs. x

Gigi said...

...yum. i am kicking myself for not making this challenge. your cake looks divine.

Jeanne said...

Wow - I'm very impressed that you are still up for Daring Bakers challenges! The cake sounds intriguing and I don't know where you found the willpower not to lick the spoon :)