Man oh man, I haven't even been blogging for a year yet and I am already posting my second caramel frosting! I think I may have a problem! Oh well, I can't help it. Besides, this one was assigned to me (sort of!)
I have been wanting to make a caramel cake for a while now and the opportunity finally presented itself. This was the perfect excuse to kill two birds with one stone. I don't want to say too much about it because I want the reveal tomorrow to be fun.
To be honest with you, this icing was not the easiest to work with. The instructions were very precise. Not to mention the fact that when I started spreading it, the frosting was very loose. Almost a thick glaze. I thought there would be no chance it would stay on the sides of the cake and I was going to end up with a trifle. The next thing I knew, it went the other way and was so thick it didn't spread smoothly. The top of my cake looked so glossy until that stage, then as I tried to bring it all together I ended up with a rougher finish. Next time I know to work faster and I think I could do better(though honestly even the picture on Southern Living's website has a textured finish). It definitely isn't the fluffy forgiving frosting I usually make, but somehow I managed to get the job done. In an age of smooth fondant covered cakes, this one has a much different look. It is definitely not the fluffy forgiving frosting I normally make, but it is a delicious dense frosting that melded perfectly with the cake it was meant to go on.
The flavor is actually REALLY good and I was very happy with the finished cake, but you will have to wait until tomorrow to see the rest!
Traditional Southern Caramel Frosting
Adapted from: The Southern Living Cake Book
1/3 cup sugar
1 T flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup milk
3/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Place the first 1/3 cup of sugar in the bottom of a large heavy-bottomed saucepan.
- Stirring frequently, cook over medium heat until it melts and becomes lightly golden brown. This will take about 3 minutes and don't worry if the sugar clumps a bit.
- In a second sauce pan, combine flour, sugar and salt. Whisk in cold milk until combined and any lumps are worked out. Place over medium-high heat and cook until it comes to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Pour 1/4 of the hot milk mixture into the caramelized sugar. Whisk until combined. Slowly add the rest of the hot milk, stirring as you go.
- Cover mixture and cook over low heat for 2 minutes. Uncover and turn heat to medium, without stirring cook until it reaches 238 F (soft ball stage.) This will take about 10 minutes. Add butter and stir until well blended. Remove from heat and let sit for about an hour.
- Pour into stand mixer bowl. Add vanilla and mix on medium for 20 minutes.
- Spread immediately over cake, working quickly as it sets up.
For a caramel frosting that is a little less precise, try this one: