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Monday, October 1, 2012

Burnt Sugar Bundt Cake with Caramel Rum Frosting

Burnt Sugar cake?  I've never tasted anything with "Burnt" intentionally in the name (though I've sampled my share of accidentally "burnt" recipes).  The title had me intrigued.  Browed butter (which is kind of "burnt" I guess) adds a delicious nutty flavor to recipes, so I thought Burnt Sugar must do something similarly magical, right?

In this recipe from Baked Explorations, the directions said to melt sugar (just sugar) slowly on medium heat on the stove top.  I was a little scared that I'd burn it, even though the recipe is called "Burnt Sugar Bundt Cake".   I think I've always had something else in with the sugar when I've melted it, like corn syrup or water so the idea of melting sugar and sugar alone had me concerned.  But my fears were all unwarranted because it really was simple.  The sugar melted slowly and without one single problem.  It turned into a delicious smelling caramel after the addition of coconut milk, heavy cream and lemon juice.

The rest of the cake went off without a hitch, too.  Half of the homemade caramel is added right into the cake batter, and the other half is turned into a frosting (though mine was much runnier, and more of an icing or a glaze than a frosting).  With a somewhat intimidating sounding title, the cake really was pretty easy to put together.

I let it rest for one day before serving it (willpower!).  We found it deliciously simple, and I mean that in a good way.  The cake itself it is like a moist, but not at all dense pound cake with a subtle taste of caramel/burnt sugar.  The frosting is very sweet and compliments the cake perfectly.  Everyone will enjoy the flavor of this cake, even the kiddies if you choose to make the caramel rum frosting into a caramel vanilla frosting like I did...simply use 1 tsp pure vanilla instead of 2 Tbsp rum.  

Burnt Sugar Bundt Cake Recipe
For the Burnt Sugar Liquid
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup heavy cream
approx. 3/4 cup coconut milk
1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For the Bundt Cake
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 ¼  cups unsalted butter (2 ½ sticks), room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Burnt Sugar Liquid (see above)

For the Caramel Rum Frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons dark rum (OR 1 tsp pure vanilla extract for an alcohol free version)
2 1⁄3 cups confectioners’ sugar
Burnt Sugar Liquid (see above)

Make the Burnt Sugar Liquid
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, slowly melt the sugar. Use a wooden spoon to stir it continuously to ensure even melting. When the sugar turns a dark caramel color, remove the pan from the heat and slowly stream in the cream while continuing to stir (don’t worry if mixture starts to clump). Return the pan to medium heat and stir until completely combined; cook for 2 minutes longer, stirring. Transfer the burnt caramel mixture to at least a 2-cup heatproof liquid measuring cup (like Pyrex) and add enough coconut milk to make 1 1/4 cups liquid. Add the lemon juice. Whisk to combine, divide the mixture in half, and set both portions aside.

Make the Bundt Cake
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Generously spray the inside of a 10-inch Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray; alternatively, butter it thoroughly, dust it with flour, and knock out the excess flour. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat for 5 more seconds. Retrieve one of the reserved portions of burnt sugar liquid. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the burnt sugar, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat again for 10 seconds. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a small sharp knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Gently loosen the sides of the cake from the pan and turn it out onto the rack.

Make the Caramel Rum Frosting
Put the butter, rum, confectioners’ sugar, and remaining portion of burnt sugar liquid in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until the frosting is shiny and smooth. Use an offset spatula to spread the frosting over the crown of the Bundt in a thick layer. Let the frosting set before serving.

Be sure to check out the other Club Baked bakers' versions of this Baked Explorations twist on a traditional Bundt!  I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did. 


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