Friday 13 May 2011

Burnt Sugar Cream Cake

The need to use up perishable ingredients before they kick the bucket on you is often a good motivator to experiment with recipes you wouldn't otherwise have looked twice at. Due to an almost-expired tub of double cream sitting in my fridge and the desire to turn it into something other than ice cream, I stumbled upon this delicious-sounding concoction on a blog called Cherry On A Cake (which I believe, is also by a food-loving Malaysian) and could not resist giving it a whirl. She's made it pretty with a special mould, but having no such thing on hand I decided to go for the regular rustic homemade look (as you can tell from the knobbly surface), with several tweaks and modifications to suit my cake pan/personal taste as well.

The result is a cake that is dense but moist, slightly sticky at the top and intoxicatingly fragranced with the aroma of burnt sugar caramel. As a first experiment I would classify it under the "pretty good" category- Arivind loved it and inhaled it by the slab, though I personally would have preferred a lighter crumb and think using butter instead of whipped heavy cream would have added a nicer dimension to its flavour. Of course that would have defeated the whole purpose of using up my perishing ingredient in this case, so if anyone decides before I do to make a butter version do let me know how it turns out!:)

Burnt Sugar Cream Cake
Makes an 8" round cake

  • Firstly, make the burnt sugar syrup
Place 1/2 cup sugar in a small pot over a low flame on the stove- stir it constantly as it gradually dissolves into a dark amber caramel. When all the sugar is caramelised, stand back and carefully pour in 1/2 cup boiling water- watch out as it will start sputtering! Continue stirring over low heat until any hardened crystals dissolve, then set aside to cool thoroughly.
  • Making the cake
With an electric whisk, whip 200ml cold double cream until thick and firm (but not excessively stiff). Set aside.

Whip together at high speed for a few mins until pale and thickened:
2 eggs
150g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Pour the egg mix into the whipped cream and add 1/4 cup cooled caramel. Whisk briefly to combine.

Sift and fold in:
170g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

If mixture is lumpy, whisk for a few seconds to remove lumps. Pour into a lined round 8" cake pan and bake for about 45 mins-1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and let cool for about 15 mins before removing from the pan to continue cooling on a rack. Poke all over the top with a toothpick, then drizzle over the remaining burnt sugar syrup. Let cool completely and store in a covered container/cake tin to prevent from drying out.

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