Coffee Caramel cake
It's posts like this that make me realise how long I've been blogging now - I know that almost 3 years isn't that long compared to others out there, but I'm amazed I've stuck at it this long and really pleased that I've found a hands-on hobby that's actually stayed with me (making jewellery out of plastic beads probably held the previous record, which was about a month in 2001...).
So this is the third 'best friend's birthday cake' post I've written! This is another of the the more important cakes on the calendar and requires careful choosing of the recipe! So in January I'd already forced her into choosing a flavour and that flavour was coffee. I've almost exhausted the world's coffee supply with all the coffee cake I've made recently but I knew I wanted to try a new recipe rather than make a fourth coffee, maple and pecan cake (although I did consider it!).
I scoured all my books, bookmarks, to bake lists, and scraps of paper and came up with nothing but then suddenly I had this searing memory of an amazing coffee cake I'd seen on The Extraordinary Art of Cake - how this escaped my bookmarks and 'to bake' list I do not know! The recipe called for making your own caramel, and since all my previous caramel adventures had involved scooping it out of a tin I was keen to try out the real deal.
Initially I thought this cake would be a massive faff to make but really, as long as you factor in the time to make the caramel, it is no trouble at all. And it's definitely worth making the time for the caramel! The only problem was, I don't know if I overdid mine, as it was very thick and difficult to work with - I just couldn't beat it after refridgerating, and so the drizzling between the layers didn't happen. To be honest, I'm not sure that was a bad thing for my best friend's taste - the frosting was sweet enough to give the balance, any more and it might have been too much for her! It did create a slight problem with the decoration - as I was just going to copy the original recipes I didn't have a back up idea for the decoration, but luckily I had some choc chips and fudge pieces to hand to jazz it up a bit.
Without wanting to blow my own trumpet here, the cake was amazing. This is absolutely most definitely now my favourite coffee cake sponge recipe - so light and fluffy and perfectly flavoured! The frosting was a great pairing with the cake, but it was very buttery and sweet - although I was definitely put off by how much butter it contained, so maybe it is more enjoyable if you don't know! I am thinking I will have to make the coffee cake again with the maple frosting from the previous cake.
Thanks so much to Astral for sharing this recipe with the world, and it is definitely worth checking out her beautiful blog as she does some of the most amazing sugarcraft I have ever seen!