Saturday, November 29, 2008

Caramel Chameleon

This month's Daring Baker challenge marked the official end to "the savory streak," and just in time for the holidays! In fact, the baking challenge this month offered up the polar opposite - a holy-bananas-that's-sweet Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting. Yowza!

The original recipe is the brainchild of Shuna Fish Lydon of Eggbeater. Not only it is her brainchild, it's her signature caramel cake, so ... you know ... no pressure or anything. Now that I've tasted it, I know why: It's sinfully delicious. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The gauntlet was thrown down by Dolores of Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity, Jenny of Foray into Food, and Alex of Blondie and Brownie. Offering up assistance to we Daring Alternative Bakers was none-other than Natalie of Gluten-a-Go-Go.

I decided to make this caramel confection as my dessert offering for our Thanksgiving feast and it was enjoyed by vegan and omni alike. I had originally intended to do something different and creative with it ... cupcakes ... or wee bunts ... or something .... but alas the time restraints of Thanksgiving day shut that plan down right quick. When am I going to learn to plan ahead?

The recipe makes plenty of extra yummy caramel sauce, which I intended to drizzle all over the finished cake. But those plans were also shut down when I was icing the cake. You see, I wasn't looking while my husband decided to "help me" by stirring the caramel sauce as I slowly reheated it on the stovetop. He stirred and stirred and stirred and well, if you know anything about cooking with sugar, you already know what happened. All that agitation caused the sugars in the caramel to crystalize turning it into a cloudy, gritty mess.  (Hence the Chameleon portion of today's title.  Plus, alliteration is hot and we just don't get enough Boy George references these days.)

He meant well.

Caramel Cake, sliced
Originally uploaded by Marni Molina
So I had to come up with a last-minute cake decoration - toasted pecan pieces. Yeah, I know it's totally lame. Oh well. Next time.

To veganize the cake I made the following alterations to the original recipe:
  • replaced unsalted butter with Earth Balance
  • omitted kosher salt because EB has plenty already
  • replaced the 2 eggs with 6 tablespoons silken tofu
  • added 1/2 teaspoon baking powder for additional lift
  • replaced AP flour with unbleached because I don't eat bleached flour
  • substituted soy milk for cow milk
To veganize the frosting I made the following alterations to the original recipe:
  • replaced butter with Earth Balance
  • substituted vegan powdered sugar for standard powdered sugar
  • replaced heavy cream with coconut milk
  • substituted 1 teaspoon vanilla extract with the seeds from one vanilla pod because it tastes good and gives you those great specks in the frosting
Yum. Yum. Yum. This cake is awesome and it was easy to veganize with great results. I'd absolutely make it again.

Bring on the next challenge!!!


Anonymous said...

BEAUTIFUL job on that incredibly scrumptious looking vegan cake, bravo! TRUST me, not being able to slather additional caramel syrup on top was probably a blessing in disguise - I'm still in sugar shock - happy sugar shock, but still :) Aren't helpful hubby's the greatest?

Gretchen Noelle said...

Looks great! Hope everyone enjoyed the special dessert!

kimberleyblue said...

Toasted pecans are faaar from lame! Your cake looks wonderful - I like seeing baked goods turned vegan. Great job!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hannah said...

Fantastic job on this challenge, your cake looks flawless!

Happy belated Thanksgiving, by the way. :)

Jane said...

Your cake looks wonderful. And the extra caramel sauce... well, your company may have gone into a diabetic coma with all the carbs from Thanksgiving and then a supersweet dessert. Hubby may have performed advance CPR.
Jane of

Sal said...

Caramel cake - yum, that sounds amazing.

jessy said...

sounds like one tasty success to me, Marni! and i quite like the toasted pecan pieces! :) what i'd do for a slice of that awesomeness! mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Marni said...

Thanks everyone! :)

Jeni Treehugger said...

That Cake looks awesome Marni!