Tuesday, October 7, 2008

TWD- Caramel-Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake

I knew this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was going to be ridiculously decadent when I first saw the picture. I also knew I couldn't keep this around the house. My husband can't have chocolate and I can't eat an enormous brownie cake alone. I wanted to reduce the recipe make it in my 4 inch spring form pans but they are in storage so I called Kristi and asked if she could take it off my hands.

I ended up making the cake in an 8 inch spring form pan and making a mini cake in a ramekin as well. That way, I reasoned, I could try it before sending it off to someone else (that always makes me nervous!) The cake came together quickly which was a good thing because my son was "helping" me and dumped about 2 tablespoons of salt into the mixer as I finished the batter! So, I threw that out and made it again. Then I made the caramel and in the middle of the process my husband emailed me an awesome house-hunting site- Zillow. Well I got distracted and burned the caramel so I made that again too! The second batch worked out great, but it was a little grainy since I couldn't find a pastry brush to brush down the sides of the pan. I read later that if you put a lid on the pan while the ingredients come to a boil the condensation will take care of any stray sugar crystals. Frankly, candy making is not my forte and I clearly didn't pay enough attention during that week of my cooking class in college.

Even though it wasn't perfect, the extra caramel was perfect on a little peach.

So, having made the caramel and cake twice and then snacked on too much caramel, I left the room only to find my tall little guy had reached over the counter onto the cooling rack and stolen my mini cake! He had such a look of smug satisfaction and enjoyed every bite, it was hilarious. He ate that whole thing without a bit of remorse, too.

I topped my remaining cake with the peanuts and caramel and sent it off on my trusty red platter. She said the cake was a little dry but liked the flavor and loved it with ice cream. I wish I could have cut a little piece for myself before it went off! Either way, I had a great time making this cake. There's just something therapeutic about baking. With the craziness of getting ready to go to Greece, I knew I didn't really have time for these little projects but I knew I needed to make the time. And I'm glad I did. Next time I'll likely make one of Dorie's brownie recipes and top it with the caramel and nuts since I prefer brownies to cake, but you can't beat the assembly and presentation of a cake- it's so satisfying! Thanks, Tammy, for the great choice. The recipe can be found on her blog.

34 comments:

Engineer Baker said...

It sounds like a lot of people got distracted while making this and burnt the caramel. And your little one looks way too happy with that mini cake :) Too cute.

CB said...

Awesome tip about putting the lid on while the caramel is cooking. I'll have to try that next time! Your little guy looks so pleased with himself. Hilarious!
Clara @ iheartfood4thought

HoneyB said...

I agree! There is definitely something therapeutic about baking! Enjoy your trip to Greece! (like you wouldn't!) ;)

Amanda said...

I'm looking forward to making this today, this is my first week with TWD. I've read on several blogs that this cake was a little dry so I'm really going to watch the time carefully. Thanks!

Aggie said...

Holy delicious brownie cake!!! Lucky Kristi! Your cake looks amazing Anne...I'm drooling over here.

chocolatechic said...

Looks like your little guy totally enjoyed the cake.

Peggy said...

I'm another one that got distracted and burned the caramel. Unfortunately, my second batch wasn't much better. Good job with yours though!

Mary Ann said...

What an experience! Luckily this recipe was fairly quick and easy, so it wasn't too bad to have to make everything twice! I am sorry you didn't get to try it all together, it was really good! It looks yummy! Can't wait to see your pie tomorrow!

Jules Someone said...

Caramel is definitely tricky. Your cake looks lovely! And the mini, it was worth it.

April said...

Sorry you didn't get a taste! It looks delish though and your sweet little boy looks like he enjoyed it. I was almost distracted making my caramel. I made myself stand in front of the stove because I was just sure I would burn it.

Cathy said...

Your little boy is just precious, Anne! I'm another one who got distracted at burned my first batch of caramel. It just sits there and does nothing forever and lulls you into thinking that you have time, and then it goes and burns on you as soon as you look away. Anyway, it sounds like it all worked out in the end -- your cake looks perfect! I hope that you have a wonderful trip to Greece!

Marthe said...

Your cake looks great, glad your little boy enjoyed it!! I still have to bake mine... Will do tonight..

Jodie said...

Ahh, to be a toddler again and not care what you eat! He's a cutie! And your cake looks good, too!

Teanna said...

HOW CUTE is your son! I love that he is a cake snatcher! But, hey, if it looks that good, I'd do the same thing!

rainbowbrown said...

Yum...caramel on a peach. How ethereal. Wish you coulda tried your cake! Oh well. Glad everyone else liked it.

Jenny said...

I love the picture of your cutie pie stealing your mini cakes! I have a few of those pics myself. For a second I thought you had twins until I realized it was split in the middle!

Great pics, looks fantastic!

vibi said...

Beautiful pics, beautiful boy!
The eyes on this child, go right to your heart!
BRAVO! ...for the well done challenge!

Katrina said...

I burned my first batch of caramel, too. It's tricky--that candy making! But was happy with it second time around. Everyone is saying the cake seems dry, but I thought mine was quite moist. I thought it was going to be more brownie like, but cakey was fine, the star of the show was the caramel and peanuts on top!
I would worry that the lid on top of the caramel would make it burn fast.
Sorry you didn't get to try it (or smart that you chose not to!) I picked on it WAY too much.

Madam Chow said...

Your family is very, very lucky to have you!
Madam Chow
http://www.mzkitchen.com

Jess said...

I think a recipe is a success if your little one tries to steal some off the counter! Lovely cake.

pinkstripes said...

I'm always nervous about bringing a desert that I haven't tried...I usually also have my husband be a 2nd opinion.

Your caramel looks delicious. Yum!

Tammy said...

that looks so yummy and your wee man is so sweet!

Karen said...

That's great that you have a friend that will be honest about your cooking. I am not sure I know anyone who would tell me the cake was dry! :)Your little guy is adorable!

Carol Peterman said...

Caramel is one of those must not take the eyes off of it cooking tasks. I love the idea of making a tiny sample when planning to give the big cake away - sorry your great plan was foiled by the little one. Clever kid.

Prudy said...

He is so darn cute. He can come to my house and have whatever his cute little heart desires.

Di said...

Great pictures of your little one. =) That could totally happen in my house... Gillian's definitely at the stage where she gets into things that I didn't realize she could reach. Your cake looks delicious!

kim said...

your cake looks so delicious (and so does that peach... and pretty much anything with caramel ;) ) sorry your mini cake was stolen! ;) hehe.

Heather B said...

Your son looks so cute! Have a great trip!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Your little guy looks very happy with his ramekin of cake! Cute!

Pamela said...

Sorry I'm getting over here so late. I LOVE the picture of your little guy with the mini cake! He is so adorably handsome. Good for him, eating the cake with no remorse. It looks great. I just mastered the art of caramel making this afternoon. Yeah, me!

Annette said...

Too bad you didn't get to taste it. It looks delicious! At least your little guy enjoyed it.

AmyRuth said...

I think that little chocolate tall man looks a lot like his wonderful Mommy. : ) Your cake looks great and there is alway satisfaction with accomplishment. Way to go.
AmyRuth

Have fun in Greece

n.o.e said...

I agree about the brownies. While I was eating the cake, I kept thinking "I wish this were a brownie!" Yours is beautiful. Really, the caramel was the best part.
Nancy

Matt said...

What a great post and perfect picture of your son. "Forbidden fruits are the sweetest..." or in this case stolen mini-brownie cakes...