The cupcakes came out extremely moist (a little denser than a vanilla cupcake) but it kept extremely well even after 3 days in the fridge. I think it was due to the sugar content that kept the crumbs from drying out. The reduced sugar amount that I had used seem about right. However the frosting was way, way too sweet for my taste! And this is even after I had reduced the amount of burnt sugar syrup that was added to the frosting. The burnt sugar gave the frosting a slight distinct maple syrup taste. So if you are not a sweet-tooth I would strongly encourage that you find an alternative frosting for this cake.
By the way, would you believe I had my first rejection to my cakes! However it was not because they taste horrible or anything like that. The recipient said that she had been putting on so much weight since I started bringing baked goodies to the office that she'll have to change her entire wardrobe soon.
Lastly don't forget to check out my fellow bakers at Cake Slice Bakers for more beautiful creations.
Burnt Sugar Cake
Recipe from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott
Makes One 9" cake
For the Cake:
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1¾ cups sugar (I reduced this to 1 1/4 cups of sugar and still found the cake to be a little bit sweet)
½ cup Burnt Sugar Syrup (recipe below) (I used only 1/3 cup of burnt sugar)
For the Burnt Sugar Syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water
For the Burnt Sugar Frosting:
3¾ cups confectioners sugar
½ cup Burnt Sugar Syrup (above)
¼ cup (½ stick) butter
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 – 3 tbsp evaporated milk or normal milk
Method – Burnt Sugar Syrup:
1) Heat the sugar in a cast iron skillet or another heavy bottomed pan with high sides. Heat over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts into a clear brown caramel syrup. It should be the colour of tea.
2) Gradually add the boiling water, pouring it down the sides of the pan so that if the syrup foams and bubbles up, you should be protected.
3) Continue cooking, stirring often, until the water combines with the syrup and turns a handsome brown syrup. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Store the cooled syrup in a sealed jar if not using straight away.
Method - Cake:
1) Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans.
2) In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and stir with a fork to mix well. Stir the vanilla into the milk.
3) In a large bowl, beat the butter and the sugar with an electric mixer at high speed for 2 – 3 minutes, until they are well combined. Stop now and then to scrape the bowl down. Add the eggs, one by one, beating well each time. Pour in half a cup of the burnt sugar syrup and beat well. Add a third of the flour mixture and about half of the milk, beating at a low speed, until just incorporated. Mix in another third of the flour and the rest of the milk. Finally, add the remaining flour.
4) Divide the batter between the cake pans and bake at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes until the cakes are golden brown, spring back when touched gently in the centre and begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. (For cupcakes, fill the cup liners to 3/4 full and bake for about 20 minutes.) Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out the cakes into the wire rack to cool completely.
Method – Burnt Sugar Frosting:
1) In a large bowl, combine the confectioners sugar, the burnt sugar syrup, butter and vanilla. Beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl now and then to bring the ingredients together. Add 2 tablespoons of the milk and continue beating until the frosting is thick, soft, smooth and easy to spread. Add a little more sugar if it is thin, and a little more milk if it is too thick.
Place one layer, top side down, on a cake stand or serving plate. Scoop about ¾ cup of the frosting onto the cake. Spread to the edges and place the second cake layer over it, top side down. Frost the sides of the cake, and then the top until it is evenly covered.