I love cook books – especially ones with LOTS of pictures. I don’t have a collection of cook books (even though I would love to have one). However, my local library does and I usually “max out” my library card whenever I visit. What’s even better is I can order the books from the library’s online system and pick them up when they are ready – at no charge. Pretty cool, isn’t it?
Anyway, a few months ago, I borrowed a book from the library. It was called Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. It was a gorgeous book – the pictures made me want to make and eat all the cakes I saw. But I had never attempted big cakes like the ones in the book. They all looked pretty daunting to make.
I was browsing through www.marthastewart.com one day. I was after some new cupcake recipes and happened to click on this page which featured one of the cakes in the book. There were a couple of video clips to show how it was made. I asked Miss S who was watching along next to me if I should even attempt to make it and she said “yes”. What almost 3 year old would say no to cake?
I had most of the ingredients in my pantry except for corn syrup and fleur de sel. Didn’t have any of that fancy salt but I did have a little package of pink salt flakes that came with a goodie bag from the Auckland Food Show.
It took one whole day to make – the cake, the caramel, then the butter cream. My poor hand mixer nearly had a heart attack. But ta-da, my first “proper” cake.
It was a very rich cake. One small slice was all I could eat, but thankfully Mr K took the rest to work for morning tea the next day.
Would I make it again? Probably, but not with the caramel buttercream – I think it would taste better (to me, anyway) covered with a dark chocolate ganache. And the salt does add an interesting talking point to the cake. If I do happen to find fleur de sel, I’d make it again to see what the differences are.
Note: I substituted veg shortening for butter, the fleur de sel for sea salt and pink salt flakes, and omitted the corn syrup.