Tuesday, October 7, 2008

TWD: Caramel-Peanut Topped Brownie Cake



In the book, this cake looks absolutely mouth-watering. I was expecting it to taste a lot like a peanut butter parfait from DQ (especially because I planned on serving it with ice cream) which is my very favorite treat from that place. It didn't, but was still very good. I don't mean to sound like this wasn't delicious, because it was, but I guess Creme Brulee is an extremely tough act to follow.

Overall, the consensus at my house was that the brownie cake was great but the caramel was too chewy.


I think if it had been more saucy rather than chewy, it would have been really outstanding. I recommend adding more cream and butter - maybe 1/2 of cream and another tablespoon or two of butter to the caramel. Also, my cake really sank in the middle and created quite the crater.


Dorie warns against this in her book and says that it's okay, but I still think mine sank more than was supposed to and I'm not sure why. Maybe the dark pan caused the outside edges to cook faster? Anyway, all my caramel and peanuts sat well inside the crater and just didn't look quite as nice.

Speaking of caramel, it's not that difficult to make, especially Dorie's recipe which calls for corn syrup (for some technical chemistry-type reason, the corn syrup helps to prevent the sugar from re-crystallizing after you start to heat it up - I think this is true for almost any time you're cooking sugar to make candy). I would add a couple of notes to this recipe:

  • Make sure to wash down the sides of your pan with water (using a pastry brush) before you start cooking the sugar - this also helps to prevent re-crystallization)


  • Really keep a close eye on your caramel as soon as it turns amber in color - it'll get dark on you fast and scorch easily (this means do not leave the stove for any reason other than danger to life and limb of one your children - trust me, I've burned a lot of sugar).



So, when I make this again, I'll be making a saucier caramel and I'll probably try roasting some pecans in place of the peanuts. Thanks to Tammy of Wee Treats by Tammy for choosing this week's recipe (which should be posted on her site) and of course, you can check out all the other fabulous Tuesdays with Dorie bakers here.
On deck for next week: Lenox Almond Biscotti!

16 comments:

Engineer Baker said...

Wow, that's quite a crater you've got there! It looks quite tasty, even if it couldn't stand up to creme brulee. Not much can, ya know.

Peggy said...

It looks delicious. I needed your tips on caramel making before I made mine! It was my first attempt, and I failed. I'll try again.

Jamie said...

That is quite the crater! Looks delicious though..I think I would prefer a creamier caramel too!

Cathy said...

I so wish I had your warning about not leaving the pan BEFORE I started on my caramel, Laura! I also had a crater in my cake, but it seemed to fill up nicely with the caramel/peanut combo. I'm not sure that that was Dorie's original plan. though. Your cake looks fabulous -- sorry that your caramel was chewier than you would have liked; your little girl sure looks cute eating it!

Flourchild said...

I love your step by step with your caramel making. Your cake looks tasty even with the crater.

Melissa said...

My cake sank too and I wondered why. I guess I'm not the only one! I love your idea of using pecans next time. Yours looks delish!

Prudy said...

I had a crater on mine too. You really couldn't tell too much after the caramel was on it. I thought it was a little chewy at first but it started to grow on me. Your little taste tester is just precious!

Pamela said...

There's been a lot of talk about the dry cake. Mine was a bit dry, too and it sank, but mostly right in the middle. I wasn't truly successful with the caramel, but I will give it another shot, for sure.

Tammy said...

thanks for making my pick! I think the sinking part must be to catch more caramel!

Katie @ makingthishome.com said...

Oh wow! This dessert looks amazing. We just started tearing out our kitchen for a complete remodel in our new home in Berlin, Germany (just started a home blog!), so I can't decide if it's a good thing that I can't make this recipe or a bad thing. It looks SO good.

CB said...

What an adorable picture of your daughter! Love that string of caramel stretching from the spoon to her mouth! HAHA. I definitely think following the creme brulee was hard. The creme brulee was AH-MAZING! I am drooling just thinking about it...
Clara @ iheartfood4thought

Jules Someone said...

Beautiful cake! Thanks for the caramel photos. I need visuals.

Barbara said...

Thanks for the caramel photos! I recommend the pecans -- that's what I used and they were great!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Your ideas for your next version sound wonderful too!

n.o.e said...

Oooh, love the instructional photos! Your dark amber looks perfect. Mine tasted a tiny bit scorched but I ended up loving that flavor. Ate all the leftover over the next week, one spoonful at a time.
Nancy

Matt said...

Chewy caramel or not, it looks delicious. I love the way you captured the strand of caramel stretching between the spoon and your daughter!