Monday, February 15, 2016

Bon Appetit Desserts: Brown Sugar-Almond Cake with Caramel Frosting

Hello! I made this cake last weekend, for the Superbowl and it was well received. Please make sure that you have brown sugar! I ran to the store to pick up a few ingredients for this cake and when I got home, I realized that I did not pick up brown sugar. I then had to make my own, because I was not going to get back in my car and make another drive to the grocery.

If you would like to make your own brown sugar, simply mix 1 cup granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon molasses and mix until combined. It's that easy!

I also made my own buttermilk for this recipe, because in the markets here, you can only purchase one quart (946 ml) and that is always way too much and then the rest ends up going to waste.

If you would like to make your own buttermilk, you simply combine 1 cup of milk and 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice. Stir together and let sit for 10 minutes. Measure out what you need, lumps and all!

Brown Sugar-Almond Cake with Caramel Frosting
12 servings


2            cups cake flour

3/4         teaspoon baking powder

3/4         teaspoon baking soda

1/4         teaspoon salt

1            15-ounce can pear halves in light syrup, well drained

3/4         cup blanched slivered almonds

3/4         cup buttermilk

3/4         cup sugar

1/2         cup (packed) golden brown sugar

1/2         cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

2            large eggs

1            teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4         teaspoon almond extract


3/4         cup (packed) dark brown sugar

1/2         cup heavy whipping cream

1            tablespoon light corn syrup

1/2         cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1            cup powdered sugar, sifted

1            teaspoon vanilla extract

            Toasted sliced almonds

           Additional powdered sugar

CAKE: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter 9x9x2-inch metal baking pan. Line pan with waxed paper; butter paper (I did not do this and everything turned out fine.... I just heavily greased my pan). Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl.

Place pears and nuts in processor; blend to thick puree. Add buttermilk, both sugars, eggs, both extracts. Process until well blended (mixture may look curdled). Add to dry ingredients; stir to blend. Transfer to prepared pan.

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 10 minutes. Run small sharp knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Turn cake out onto rack; peel off paper. Cool cake completely.

FROSTING: Combine brown sugar, cream, and corn syrup in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Boil 2 minutes, swirling pan occasionally. Pour mixture into medium bowl. Chill until cold and beginning to thicken, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour.

Using electric mixer, beat butter and powdered sugar in medium bowl until smooth. Gradually beat in cold brown sugar mixture, then vanilla.

Place cake on platter. Spread frosting over cake. Sprinkle nuts on top of cake.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill until cold, then cover.

Sprinkle additional powdered sugar over cake.

**I do not have a food processor, so I ground up the almonds with a hand mixer and I diced up the pear with a pastry cutter and then mixed the two together. You do not need fancy gadgets to be a good baker. :) ** I also forgot to put the extra almonds and powdered sugar on top of the frosting. All was still well. **

P.S.- I am sorry for not formatting this post as usual, I am having major computer issues at the moment and it is amazing that I was even able to type this recipe at all, as my screen flashes on and off incessantly. It's all quite dramatic.

Happy Presidents' day to any Americans reading this and happy Monday to everyone else! Unless you are in Canada, then happy National Flag Day!