Tammy of Wee Treats by Tammy (see her blog for the complete recipe) selected the Caramel-Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake for this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe. I have been looking to make this cake for a while so I was glad to have a chance to make it. I usually bake in the evenings and take things in to work the next day. This cake is one that suggests being served right away, so I had always passed it by when picking things to take in to share. This is such a festive looking cake!
I read through the recipe and realized that I would be making my own caramel. Ok, that was a new one for me. I was a little surprised that the recipe didn’t use a candy thermometer, but just eyeballed the sugar syrup by color. Hey, I was willing to give it a try. The cake came together really easily and then it was time to make the caramel.
I mixed the sugar, water and corn syrup together and brought it to a boil. The recipe said that it would take 10 or so minutes to get to a deep amber color. Mine after ten minutes was still as clear as it could be. So I set the timer for 5 more minutes. At that point it was lightly golden. Ok, 5 more minutes! After a total of 20 minutes, the sugar syrup did become deep amber in color. At this point, it was cooking very quickly and I think one more minute and it would have been burned. I tested the syrup on a plate as directed by the recipe.
I added the cream and butter, which makes this sugar syrup into caramel and it did spit and sputter just like the recipe said. I love Dorie’s recipes because you really know what to expect. For my first try at caramel, I was pleasantly surprised. I did learn a couple of things: don’t get the sugar syrup on your counter as it will immediately harden and then it will be really hard to clean up. Also, don’t touch the pan you are making the caramel in or you’ll get burned. (Just a tiny burn.) Finally, caramel is just sticky stuff all around, so you’ve been warned.
The brownie cake turned out excellent, and it would be a good base for any sort of topping. Mine sank quite a bit once I took it out of the oven, so that made topping it with the caramel-peanut mixture a bit tricky. I topped the cake with the caramel-peanut mixture, but all the caramel pooled in the middle of the cake. When I cut the cake, all the caramel pooled out. It was quite a sticky but wonderful mess!
And for those wondering…the caramel was still sufficiently soft the next day, so I think it would work to make it the night before.
Cake from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan