Eat Your Cake and Have It, Too

brown sugar caramel pound cake. jpeg

Brown Sugar Caramel Pound Cake

This cake is soooo tasty that I had to share. Maybe you’ll make it this weekend.

Brown Sugar Caramel Pound Cake

1 ½ cups butter softened  (I used 1 cup instead)
2 cups light brown sugar, packed  (a bit too sweet, and I recommend cutting to 1 ½ cups)
1 cup granulated sugar (you may want to cut this, too, to ¾ cup)
5 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt (if you use unsalted butter, add ¼ tsp salt per cube of unsweetened butter)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 8oz bag toffee chips
1 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 325
Grease and flour a 12 cup Bundt pan.

Beat butter until creamy. Add sugars, beating until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla.

In medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mix to batter alternately with milk and vanilla, beat until just combined. Stir in toffee buts and pecans. Spoon batter into pan.

Bake 85 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean. (Mine was done in about 77 minutes.) To prevent excess browning, cover cake with foil while baking. (For the first 50 minutes or so, I covered with foil, with slits in it to let out steam. Then I took off the foil.)

Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool for 15-30 minutes on a wire rack. While it cools, make caramel sauce. (Or buy your favorite caramel topping and use that.) I used a recipe from Barefoot Contessa, below.

With a chopstick of some other stick, poke holes in the cake. Spoon Caramel Sauce over hot cake, letting it seep into the holes.

Barefoot Contessa Caramel Sauce: (for this cake, I halved the recipe)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1 1/4 cups heavy cream (I substituted whole milk, which makes this a runnier sauce–perfect for this cake)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Mix the water and sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Do not stir. Increase the heat to medium and boil uncovered until the sugar turns a warm chestnut brown (about 350 degrees F on a candy thermometer), about 5-9 minutes, gently swirling the pan to stir the mixture. Be careful – the mixture is extremely hot! Watch the mixture very carefully at the end, as it will go from caramel to burnt very quickly. Turn off the heat. Stand back to avoid splattering and slowly add the cream and vanilla. Don’t worry – the cream will bubble violently and the caramel will solidify.

Simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until the caramel dissolves and the sauce is smooth, about 2 minutes. The Barefoot Contessa suggests letting this sauce cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours, but I let it cool for about 10 minutes and used it!

Until Monday, and wishing you Happy Cake Eating,

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I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for… Pie!!!

butterscotch pie

Every time I look at this photo of this butterscotch pie I made, my mouth waters. This recipe calls for real Scotch. The alcohol cooks out and leaves a rich, nuanced taste that skyrockets this particular pie into food heaven. 🙂

It looks hard, but I promise you, it isn’t.

Butterscotch Pie

One 9-inch baked pie crust (recipe at the end… or use your own)

2 cups 2% milk
1 1/2 cups half and half (you could probably substitute whole milk to cut down on the richness)
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
3 egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue top)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp Scotch whiskey
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Meringue top:
3 egg whites
pinch salt
2 Tbsp sugar

In a large saucepan, combine milk and half and half and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off heat and set aside.
In a large, heavy skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Stir in brown sugar and cook 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly, to caramelize the mixture. (You will smell a characteristic nutty-caramel flavor odor when the butter browns, signaling that the mixture is ready.)
Whisking constantly, gradually add the brown sugar mixture to the hot milk mixture. If mixture is not smooth, blend for 20 seconds with a hand mixer or pour through a fine sieve.
Put the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Whisk in about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture. Whisk in cornstarch and salt until dissolved. Whisk the cornstarch mixture back into the hot milk mixture in the saucepan. Add the Scotch and whisk in.
Whisking constantly, cook over medium-high heat until thick and just boiling. When the mixture thickens, the whisk will leave trail marks on the bottom of the pot and the mixture will have a few large bubbles boiling up to the top.
Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Pour into the pre-baked pie shell and cover with meringue. Then chill at least two hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Whip whites and salt to soft peaks, then add sugar and whip until sugar is dissolved and whites are glossy. Spread meringue on top of the slightly cooled pie and bake for five minutes or until lightly browned. Chill as above.

Crust (made in a food processor):
Makes enough for bottom and top or two bottoms
2 cups flour
3/4 cup butter, straight from the refrigerator and quickly cut into chunks
1/4 cup shortening (I use the white Crisco)
6 or more Tbsp ice water
Put flour into food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add butter and shortening and pulse a little at a time until mixture is crumbly and about the size of peas. Don’t over mix. Add water one Tbsp at a time, pulsing briefly with each addition. As soon as the mixture forms a ball, stop (you may need more or less than 6 Tbsp water).
Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate 30 minutes. Divide dough in half and roll half to fit a 9-inch pie pan. Place in pan. Bake at 425 degrees until golden brown. Roll out the other half, put in pan, wrap in freezer paper or freezer bag and freeze unbaked for later.

Until Monday, and wishing you a pie-filled weekend,


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