This week’s Baked Sunday Mornings recipe was for the “Burnt Sugar Bundt Cake with Caramel Rum (or whisky, in my case) Frosting”, from Baked Explorations. The cake starts off with slowly melting sugar in a sauce pan, until it is a deep brown color, and then mixing in heavy cream, coconut milk and lemon juice. Half of that caramel liquid is added to the cake batter, while the other half is reserved for the icing. The cake is a pretty standard variety bundt mix, starting with creaming butter and sugar, adding in eggs, and then alternating flour and the rich caramel liquid. The batter was delicious. I was hopeful that the lemon and coconut would be key flavors, but I didn’t really taste anything but caramel. Definitely make sure that you throughly grease the bundt pan, I had a bit of a sticking problem. Luckily I was able to gently reassemble the parts that stuck to the pan, and cover the cracks with frosting.
The icing was a bit tricky however, to the point that I kind of think that the recipe for it should be re-worked completely. I would recommend starting with the powdered sugar, butter and booze, and slowly adding in the caramel liquid until you reach your desired consistency. Using all of the reserved liquid results in a very thin mess, nothing like the beautiful frosting shown in the cookbook’s photo. I also wasn’t too thrilled with the way that the icing tastes. It is overwhelmingly sweet, the powdered sugar takes over any hint of whisky, caramel or butter. It might be better to baste the cake with a bit of whisky and caramel sauce, and then perhaps drizzle some melted caramel on top.
I skipped the optional caramel shards. I honestly didn’t think that they looked that great in the cookbook photo, and I’m not a fan of hard candies like toffee. One of the other bakers recommended taking care while eating them because some were quite sharp. That made it sound even less fun, I may think of myself as an adventurous cook, but that doesn’t extend to risking injury while eating.
Overall we weren’t crazy about this recipe. I wish I had added some pecans to the batter, it would have added a nice crunch. Ours also didn’t turn out anywhere near as dark as the photo in the cookbook. I’m not sure if I could have caramelized the sugar any longer without it burning to the bottom of the pan. This cake sounded really enticing, but I don’t think I’d make it again.