I’ve been a busy baker over the past few days and am behind in blog posts, so they will be in reverse order, like tweets on Twitter. The 23rd was the 87th birthday of a friend whom I invited to choose the flavors of his birthday cake and frosting. He chose caramel frosting on a moist chocolate cake. I knew just the ticket from years of experience! Why?
This is the favorite cake of almost everybody in my immediate family, except that it’s most always served in the sheet cake pan in which it was baked. Crazy Cake* recipe can make three 8″ layers or a 9″x12″ or 10″x13″ or other combinations. Cooked caramel fudge frosting is known as penuche to us. Some family members have been known to travel for three hours knowing this cake is at their destination.
I’ve long suspected it’s not the cake they’re after, but the frosting. A heavy duty pot over medium low heat and a lot of stirring the cream, butter and brown sugar in the pot are necessary until the mixture is boiled to “just so,” then cooled, untouched for 20 minutes. That’s just enough time until the blazing hot, gooey caramel can be poured into the mixing bowl on its way to becoming the beloved penuche, aka caramel frosting, aka fudge on a cake. Who doesn’t like creamy fudge? (Failed penuche is sugary. Thost bakers don’t understand how long to stir the mixture in the pot until the caramel is “just so.”)
The set table was lovely for the grand finale hiding under the cake saver.
*https://mschefinseattle.com/2016/07/08/passing-on-a-favorite-to-a-new-generation-of-bakers-crazy-cake/ Cake recipe is in this post, but not my frosting recipe. It’s secret.