Sunday, January 12, 2014

Insane Caramel Cake

I was just reading David Lebovitz's new blog post about a white chocolate cake he made.  In the post he mentioned how in the United States we are more accustomed to layer cakes ensconced in frosting.  But in France--and other places in Europe--the cakes are often single layer with some icing or buttercream.  So it reminded me of when we were in Sicily this past Fall and I looked up all of the top pasticceria's in Palermo to visit.  One of the reviewers mentioned a famous seven layer chocolate cake that was housed at one particular pasticceria.  My mouth began watering at the thought of this cake.  Thus, we trekked over there and as I was perusing the glass case of pastries I asked the gentleman manning it if they had a seven layer chocolate cake.  He pointed to something that I took notice of but certainly not because it was what I was looking for.  It was about as tall as a one layer cake and although it looked delicious each layer was only about an 1/8" thick.  My boyfriend tells me that my jaw dropped at the realization that the cake I built up in my head (as a cake that was probably as big as my head) was a petit torte that I could probably down in three bites...

See how the caramel just drapes the whole cake?!
On the other hand this cake here--this insanely decadent caramel cake--is the anti-cake of any cake you would probably find in a French or Italian bakery.  Not only is it composed of three giant layers of yellow cake but, as you can see, it is seriously draped in caramel.

I've been wanting to make this cake for a long time.  It's supposed to be a traditional southern caramel cake and it's got pounds of butter and shortening in it to prove it.  I had read the reviews on it and everyone said it can be kind of challenging because you need to work quickly to make sure the caramel doesn't stiffen up while you put everything together.  Also, there are a lot steps.  I didn't have an issue with this exactly.  What I did realize is that this cake is messy--like really messy.  And if you're looking to make a pretty cake that is beautifully frosted and even then you probably don't want to make this cake.  I mean you pretty much just pour the caramel over the cake and try direct it.  But really it just drips wherever and then you put on the next layer and try to do the same thing over again.

You're gonna need that glass of milk.

Nevertheless, I loved this cake.  Despite it's challenges in putting it together, I think it's fun to make and I would most definitely go another round with it.  The cake itself was awesome, tender and had a great "crumb."  And the god...the caramel was something sent down from heaven or something like that.  It was phenomenal.

Here is the recipe.  Read the reviews too--they give some helpful tips.

Make.  This.  Cake!!!

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