In my books, a new month is reason enough to bake up a fancy cake. Bittersweet February is at the essence of this caramel cake. Soon I’ll be packing my suitcase, saying my goodbyes and moving to a new address across the Atlantic. As usual, baking has taken precedence over getting organized for my departure. This dessert is another tasty hit from the Baked bakery. The cakes turn a beautiful golden brown when it’s time to take them out of the oven. I wasn’t sure about the pairing of a caramel cake with a cream cheese frosting. I worried the cream cheese might be too overwhelming, but it turned out to be a refreshing combination. The tangy cream cheese cuts through the sweetness of the caramel. For the finishing touch, I drizzled some sweet and salty caramel sauce on top and used the millefeuille technique. It’s actually quite simple yet looks elegant.
Recipe adapted from Baked Elements
Yields 10 portions
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
5 ounces (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
sweet and salty caramel sauce
1) Preheat the oven to 350F.
2) Butter two 8-inch round cake pans. Line them with parchment paper and dust with flour.
3) Beat the butter until creamy in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
4) Add both sugars and beat until fluffy.
5) Add the eggs, one at a time.
6) Add the flour in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk. Make sure to start and finish with the flour.
7) Dissolve the baking soda in the vinegar in a small bowl. Pour the mixture into the batter, beat until just incorporated.
8) Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Smooth the tops.
9) Bake the cakes for 32 to 37 minutes, until the cake tops are slightly browned. A toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
10) Place the pans on wire racks and let cool for 20 minutes.
11) Flip the cakes out of the pans and let cool completely.
1) Mix the brown sugar and 2 ounces (1/2 stick) of the butter together until melted and combined in a saucepan over medium heat.
2) Bring the mixture to a boil and let boil for 10 to 15 seconds.
3) Remove saucepan from the heat.
4) Pour the cream into the saucepan and whisk.
5) Transfer the brown sugar mixture to a bowl and let cool completely.
6) Beat the remaining 3 ounces of butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
7) Beat in the cream cheese and salt until smooth.
8) Reduce the speed of the mixer and pour the brown sugar mixture into the bowl.
9) Add the confectioner’s sugar. Beat until smooth.
Once you have assembled the cake, drizzle the sweet and salty caramel sauce in parallel lines. Run a knife perpendicularly through the lines, going back and forth. I hope I’m making some sense.
Store the cake in the fridge for up to 3 days. Let it come to room temperature before serving.