Tuesday, October 7, 2008

TWD: Caramel-Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was Caramel-Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake, chosen by Tammy of Wee Treats by Tammy.

For its big, complicated name, it really wasn't that difficult to make. Start with a brownie type cake baked in a spring form pan. Top with homemade caramel with salted peanuts mixed in and that's about it.

My experience was, well, let's just say there were some high points and some low points. I halved the recipe, but forgot to cut down the baking time, so my cake was over-baked. I bought what I thought were salted peanuts, but when I took them out of the bag I found they were "raw" peanuts. Blech! So then it was on to "Plan B" with the nuts.

I rummaged through the pantry and found some blanched, slivered almonds. Voila! Plan B! They didn't add a lot of taste, but I liked the crunch.

That leaves the caramel. This would be my third time making caramel. The first time, I burned it so badly that I ruined my pan (sniff). The second time, the pan survived without injury, but the caramel burned again and it tasted positively wretched. This time, lol, there I was, at the stove, testing my caramel color diligently with frequent drops of the dangerously hot liquid on a white plate. Then, as I was getting closer, closer, almost there, so close... wait for it... "ding, dong!" the door bell rings. *&^+**)&%#!! I RUN to the door, open it, RUN back, and in that time, there it is, that smell. That smelly smell. That burned smell.

Double *&^+**)&%#!!

I grab the pan and plunge the bottom of it in my dish water to stop the cooking. (I know, I know... it's an unsavory image, but it was the best I could do under the circumstances.) I take the pan out of the water and pour in the cream and butter, stir like a mad woman, and you know what? It wasn't bad. Just a whisper of a bitter taste, but I can live with that. I could actually eat it this time, so I'm calling it a success!

I think this cake would have tasted excellent if it had turned out as written in the book.

So there you go. I'm looking forward to next week's Lenox Almond Biscotti. See you then!

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