There was a birthday in the household this week. Miss now 6 has decided caramel is her favourite flavour. So a caramel cake was requested. Never made one before. She also requested that it be decorated to look like a white bird with pink eyes. I am glad she has a lot of confidence in my cake making abilities. But I managed to get out of failing at making a cake look like a bird by suggesting the girls decorate the cake themselves. Better than I could do it myself!
The cake is even more delightful to eat than it is to look at (impossible!). I based it on this recipe that I discovered through googling Caramel Cake Thermomix. Who knew what would result? A beautifully flavoured, not too sweet, soft cake that would be perfect for any occasion. Add a little more salt to the mix and you have the flavour of the last few years – salted caramel. It would be beautiful with some sliced fruit baked on top (or bottom if you want to call it an upside down cake). It would also be delicious with some vanilla ice cream.
Take some sugar, about 200g. The recipe says brown, I used rapadura, as I had some on hand and I find it does have a lovely toasty caramelly flavour. You could use raw sugar if you don’t have the others. Into the Thermomix bowl and grind to fine powder on Speed 9 for 15 seconds. Add 125g softened butter. If you forgot to get it out of the fridge in time, simply put the sugar out of the bowl, add the roughly chopped butter and soften on 50 degrees, for 40 seconds, Speed 4. Scrape the butter from the top of the blades and insert butterfly with a flick of the wrist. Return the sugar (if you have removed it), add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and cream together for 30-40 seconds. While you have the butter on hand, grease and line a smallish cake tin (I used an 18cm) and turn on the oven at 160 degrees.
With the Thermomix still spinning at Speed 4 crack 2 eggs over the lid and pour contents through the hole. Add a tablespoon of golden syrup (or treacle, as that is what I had to hand) while its all still whipping away. Try not to have it all going for much longer than 2 minutes during this process. Open the lid and weigh in 225g plain flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Add 125g milk. Close the lid and mix it all together (with butterfly still in place) until you can see the flour has blended through completely (about 15 seconds). Pour into prepared cake tin and bake until a wooden skewer comes out clean. My oven took about 45 minutes.
Let it cool completely in the tin and then ice according to taste. I just did a vanilla royal icing as white icing was requested. Yes, the vanilla turns it brown at first but you can add extra egg white and it will come back to white colouring. There is a caramel icing listed on the site where this recipe came from. Or choose any of the icings from the Everyday Cookbook – cream cheese, buttercream and of course, colour accordingly. The flavour is so light and delicious that it could perform very well as a teacake – no icing at all, perhaps a sprinkling of cinnamon.
Don’t ask what kind of cake I am doing for the actual party. I usually don’t publish photos of those, lest they be reposted under the heading Nailed It. Presentation ain’t my strong suit.
I have been experimenting with lots of new recipes lately after my jam frenzy. A lovely family of Thermomix owners have shared their recipes for brownies, chocolate cheesecake and ginger slice among others and I have been trying them all. I will be blogging about some of them shortly.
First, I thought I should share with you something I didn’t experiment with at all, just slapped together one night on the request of my mother in law for her birthday cake. It was a great request because I knew I would have all the ingredients and I hadn’t tried making it before. My perfect combination. There is an orange/lemon cake recipe in the Everyday Cookbook which I have since tried (I made a lemon poppyseed cake this time) and works very well. However, for the first time I followed the recipe on Chonny’s Thermomix Delights because a) I hadn’t realised I already had a recipe and b) this recipe used oil instead of butter and I had run out of butter. I loved this recipe because you just chop a whole orange into quarters and bung it in the Thermomix and whiz it till its smooth. No big chunks of orange peel. No peeling zest, no mess, no fuss.
So my slightly adapted version is to pour 200g raw sugar into the bowl. Zap into castor sugar by whizzing on Speed 9 for 4 seconds. I love milling the sugar so I usually do this step even if its not necessary. Throw in quartered orange (peel, pith, everything, though if there are seeds try to take them out as they can add a bitter flavour) and blend on Speed 7 or 8 for 15 seconds. I really didn’t want any peel chunks so really blended that orange to liquid. If you don’t mind your orange bits a bit bigger blend on Speed 6 for 6 seconds.
Insert the butterfly with a little twist so it holds on when mixing, then add 300g plain flour, 3 tsps baking powder, 1 tsp cream of tartar (handy to have in the cupboard for making your own baking powder and playdough), 3 eggs, 250g oil and 2-3 tbsps poppyseeds. Mix for 10 seconds on speed 4. Pour into a greased tin – I used a bundt tin – and bake for about 40 minutes on 180 degrees.
While the cake is baking make an orange syrup with 30g sugar and the juice of one orange. Place both into cleaned Thermomix bowl and heat at 100 degrees for 2 minutes on Speed 2.
Test the cake with a skewer to see if it comes out clean, then cool in the tin a little before turning out onto a plate and drizzling over some orange syrup.