Friday, November 28, 2008

Daring Bakers: Caramel Olive Oil Cake w/ Vanilla Fig Bites

I was so excited when I heard of November's Daring Bakers challenge - not only was it a real, honest-to-goodness fiddly multiple step recipe for something cake-like and gorgeous - but it was PURE SUGAR. No fruit, whole wheat, nuts to get in the way of every aromatic melt-in-your-mouth slice, hurray! (okay, my body started sending off little siren alarms with every bite, but it was worth it... sooooooooooo worth it)

It all starts with a big pot of caramel syrup, which becomes like magic flavour goo that's added to the batter and the frosting. The browned butter frosting. I had heard you could brown Earth Balance and last Saturday was the day that my hopes were confirmed - it does brown and turn also quite magically delicous! Seriously, this frosting is my answer to buttercream, way more depth of flavour and the texture's like... creamy fudge, yee-um. Part of the appeal may have been the happy accident of using mediterranean-style olive oil Earth Balance instead of buttery spread. Olive oil and caramel makes perfect sense to me. And to my tongue. :)

Other modifications... I don't think I paid a speck of attention to how much salt was supposed to go in this thing and just sprinkled away until it tasted like a salted caramel I'd like. I didn't make the butter caramels that could go with this because I ran out of sugar, cream and butter (ha!), but I did make a little batch of Fran Costigan's vanilla wafer cookies with fig jam sandwiched inside. I'm still savoring each tiny nickel-sized piece... I think I've been making coffee just as an excuse to eat them. :D

I also used flax goo instead of eggs (the method where you soak whole flax seeds in water and then strain the thickened liquid out), but next time I'd definitely go for tofu or soygurt instead - flax was way too gummy.

See? A wee bit dense. Mismeasuring the milk had a lot to do with that, too. (try 1/4 cup too much - it makes a difference!) But I learned a lot about cakes (like, also I should trim them), and I'm all of a sudden really curious about veganizing other omni desserts, because da-amn.... the flavour on this one was just heavenly... and I really want another sticky sticky piece... I guess I'll just have to try again in the noble name of science. :)

[ Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting recipe courtesy of Shuna Fish Lydon (http://eggbeater.typepad.com/), as published on Bay Area Bites (http://blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/2006 … he-recipe/ ]

13 comments:

Jes said...

Holy Yum. Send me a slice please? And Earth Balance can be browned?! I have so many new recipes to try now that I haven't because of that one ingredient!

tofufreak said...

WOW. SUGAR..... *Drool*

ach! darn this retarded sugar coma that i am in! :'(

Hannah said...

Oh, your cake looks so rich and moist! That paired with this amazing frosting must be so addictive... I can almost taste it. :)

shellyfish said...

An amazing job! My sugar teeth are tingling with delight! And I love that serving platter - beautific!

Vegan_Noodle said...

Nice job on the challenge!! Making caramel was tons of fun, huh? And it is amazing how chaning the ratio of ingredients can make a huge difference in cake texture! Still looks really tasty though.

Carrie said...

Wow...that looks so sugary and heavenly!!

Melody Polakow said...

Looks great! I love using olive oil in baking. To me, it comes out soo buttery and delicious..

Cyn said...

Whoa. That looks crazy delicious. Also, now I need to figure out where to get olive oil EB

Mihl said...

What a delicious cake! And those cookies call my name.

Alice (in Veganland) said...

In the name of science, you should veganize yummy desserts! yay! It looks very good, but I guess too much milk is too much milk! I want a sticky piece though :-)

Fran Costigan said...

Hello
Yum, your cake looks very interesting, and I love how you took the Vanilla Cookies in my book and made figgy sandwich cookies. Perfect. I adore figs, and as I am just home from CA with bags of dates and figs, I am planning to do same.
Mine may get a side dipped in some chocolate though.

Thanks for the mention and for doing what you do.
Best
Fran Costigan

vegetalion said...

That. Looks. AMAZING.

Vaala said...

Yay for sugary goodness! That cake has definitely got that "eat me" look about it (the cookies look good too).