Archive for November, 2008

Time sure flies! Before you know it another month has passed and it’s time for another DB challenge. After exploring 2 month’s of savory delights, we have once again returned to wonderful world of sweet delicacies. This month, I am really proud that for once, instead of leaving it till the week of posting to complete my challenge, I had mine all done and completed by the first week of November! 🙂

caramel cake

Well, it’s time to unveil this month’s challenge – Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting. This month, our hostesses are: Dolores from Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity, Alex from Blondie and Brownie and Jenny from Foray into Food. I decided that not being a caramel fan myself, I was gonna bless some people with this really lovely cake. And the lucky winners were the boys involved in the Teen Challenge program here in Tassie. For those who do not know, Teen Challenge is program that’s been running for more than 30 years, helping young people with life-controlling problems, namely drugs and alcohol. I was in-charge of event setup for our church women’s conference recently and was privileged enough to have these boys come along and assist me with the setup. If it wasn’t for them, I honestly would not have known how I’d be able to complete the event successfully! Therefore, I decided that I’d bless them with something that will hopefully brighten their day. And since I wasn’t going to get a chance to sample the cake, I made 2 tiny cupcakes for myself and Krys just so I could get a taste of the cake. 

caramel cake

Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting

By Shuna Fish Lydon 


10 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 Cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 Cup Caramel Syrup (see recipe below)
2 each eggs, at room temperature
splash vanilla extract
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk, at room temperature


Preheat oven to 350F

Butter one tall (2 – 2.5 inch deep) 9-inch cake pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy.

Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl. Scrape down bowl and increase speed. Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform.

Sift flour and baking powder.

Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dry ingredients. When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time. Add another third of the dry ingredients, then the other half of the milk and finish with the dry ingredients. {This is called the dry, wet, dry, wet, dry method in cake making. It is often employed when there is a high proportion of liquid in the batter.}

Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds, making sure batter is uniform. Turn batter into prepared cake pan.

Place cake pan on cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan. Set first timer for 30 minutes, rotate pan and set timer for another 15-20 minutes. Your own oven will set the pace. Bake until sides pull away from the pan and skewer inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely before icing it. 

Cake will keep for three days outside of the refrigerator.


2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup water (for “stopping” the caramelization process)


In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand. Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush. Turn on heat to highest flame. Cook until smoking slightly: dark amber.

When color is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water. Caramel will jump and sputter about! It is very dangerous, so have long sleeves on and be prepared to step back.

Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly and feels sticky between two fingers. {Obviously wait for it to cool on a spoon before touching it.}

Note: For safety reasons, have ready a bowl of ice water to plunge your hands into if any caramel should land on your skin.



12 tablespoons unsalted butter 
1 pound confectioner’s sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons caramel syrup
Kosher or sea salt to taste

Cook butter until brown. Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, set aside to cool.

Pour cooled brown butter into mixer bowl.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, add confectioner’s sugar a little at a time. When mixture looks too chunky to take any more, add a bit of cream and or caramel syrup. Repeat until mixture looks smooth and all confectioner’s sugar has been incorporated. Add salt to taste.

Note: Caramelized butter frosting will keep in fridge for up to a month.
To smooth out from cold, microwave a bit, then mix with paddle attachment until smooth and light

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Just a quick note…

Hi everyone! 

Just in case you are following my hectic life, thought I’d dropby quickly and let everyone know that I’m still very much alive and have so much to tell you guys I do not know where to start! But right now, all I can say is that I’ve limited internet access hence am unable to come on often and post. Fret not, I will return by the end of this week with news for all of you!


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It’s once again my favourite season of the year! I know I’m a bit late in celebrating spring but if you are in Tassie, spring kinda just starts right about now! 🙂 Most people who know me (or think they know me) would say my favourite season’s winter since I love the cold and snow. However, few know that the real me loves spring most of all! It’s the season where growth begins, the season where the sun starts peaking out at you again, the season wit all the colours and beauty God intended for this earth. In other words, it’s the perfect season! 🙂

If your gardens are overflowing with apples you have no idea what to do with, or if you go to the market and can’t help but buy heaps of apples and after you go home stare and wonder what you are going to do with them, then I have the ultimate solution for you! There are so many recipes out there for apple pies, and apple tarts, and apple crumbles, but this here my friend, is the perfect afternoon tea cake. It’s the cake you cut and serve up with a hot cup of English tea on a beautiful, sunny spring afternoon. It is an Apple Streusel Cake! 🙂

I am not exaggerating…trust me…! From the first time I saw it in the Women’s Weekly cake book, I knew I had to try it and it definitely didn’t disappoint! Light and soft in texture, with a crispy streusel topping, this is the next best thing that will make you the the star of every afternoon tea party! 🙂

Apple Streusel Cake

(from The Australian Women’s Weekly – Cooking Class Cakes)


  • 3 medium apples (450g)
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 185g butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2  1/4 cups self-raising flour
  • 3/4 cup milk

Cinnamon Streusel Toppping:

  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 60g butter, chopped
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp water, approximately


  • Cinnamon Streusel Topping: Combine flour and cinnamon in a small bowl. Rub in butter and add sugar. Using one hand, add in enough water to make mixture come together in a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes. Coarsely grate topping mixture before sprinkling on unbaked cake.
  • Preheat oven to moderate (about 175-180C). Grease square pan and line with baking paper.
  • Peel, core and quarter apples; slice thinly. 
  • Combine apple, sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer covered for 10 minutes or until apple is tender. Drain well.
  • Meanwhile, beat butter and extra sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. 
  • Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour and milk, in 2 batches. 
  • Spread two thirds of the mixture evenly over base of prepared pan, top evenly with apple then spread the remaining mixture. Sprinkle evenly with cinnamon streusel topping. 
  • Bake cake for approximately 50 minutes or will skewer inserted comes out clean. Stand cake for 5 minutes then turn cake onto wire rack and allow it to cool top-side up.

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