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Category: Desserts

Caramel cake

Caramel cake
Los Angeles Times

IF Maya Angelou likes you, even just a bit, she wants to cook for you. The 76-year-old celebrated writer and poet invests something personal in each dish, whether for the hungry stranger walking into the San Francisco joint where she ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes | Serves 8 to 10
Note: Adapted from "Hallelujah! The Welcome Table," by Maya Angelou.

Caramel syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup boiling water

Step 1Heat the sugar in a heavy skillet over low heat. Stir constantly until it is melted to a brown liquid. When it bubbles over its entire surface, about 20 minutes, remove from the heat.

Step 2Slowly add the boiling water, stirring constantly. Pour into a container and cool. Use one-fourth cup for the cake; save the rest for another use.

Caramel frosting

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Step 1Brown the butter in a heavy pot over medium heat -- be vigilant or it will burn. Allow the butter to cool.

Step 2Pour the cooled butter into a large mixing bowl. Add the powdered sugar, cream, vanilla and salt and beat until smooth. If the frosting is too stiff, add a tablespoon of half-and-half or cream.

Cake and assembly

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup caramel syrup
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 recipe caramel frosting

Step 1Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the bottoms of two 8-inch layer cake pans with greased wax paper.

Step 2In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Beat in the syrup.

Step 3In a medium mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk.

Step 4In a separate medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs about 3 minutes, until foamy. Add the remaining sugar and beat until mixture resembles a fine spongy foam, another 3 minutes. Stir it into cake batter until blended.

Step 5Divide the batter between the cake pans. Bake for about 25 minutes. Check by gently pressing the center of a cake; it should spring back. If it doesn't, bake for 10 more minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then on a rack before frosting with caramel frosting. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Each serving:
637 calories; 6 grams protein; 98 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 26 grams fat; 15 grams saturated fat; 122 mg. cholesterol; 300 mg. sodium.
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