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.