Monday, August 24, 2009

Sweet and Salty Cake and a Giveaway - copy of Baked


A few months ago I blogged about seeing Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, the authors of Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. In that post, I mentioned that they encouraged anyone with moderate baking skills to bake their signature Sweet and Salty Cake. What I didn’t mention was that I bought an extra copy of their book to give away on my blog. I was eager to make the cake, but the quantities of butter, sugar, chocolate, and butter definitely make it a special-occasion cake, so I figured I would bake it when I had something to celebrate, like hitting one-hundred posts or my blogiversary, and give away the book at the same time. My blog recently hit one-hundred posts, which I would have mentioned before, but it was one-sentence-blog-post week and I had to be parsimonious with my words. And luckily, we have had an even more exciting reason to celebrate around here: I don’t usually like to talk about what we do between nine and five, but when Mr. Penpen was offered the new position that he had been hoping for, I found the perfect opportunity! Anyway, I finally got around to making the illustrious Sweet and Salty Cake and now I’m giving away the copy of the book. To enter the giveaway, just tell me your favorite kind of cake in the comment section. I will select the winner with a random number generator and announce the winner next week.



So the Sweet and Salty Cake. I was going to write this post yesterday, but I decided it was better to wait until I was a little removed from the experience, since by the time I got my sticky self out of the kitchen, I didn’t even feel like eating the cake. The cake has several components: a chocolate cake, caramel sauce, and whipped caramel ganache frosting, and I managed to have problems with two of them. The caramel sauce didn’t soak into the cake and I burned the first batch of caramel for the frosting (I look forward to the day when I have a successful caramel experience). My ineptitude frosting cakes didn’t help either, but that’s not the recipe’s fault, I just need more practice. In the midst of my problems, I looked up the cake online to see if other bakers had similar issues and found THIS POST at Sassy Radish where she renames the cake "I'm Going to Tear Hair Out of My Head and Curse Like a Sailor Cake.” That title seemed accurate at the time. I did not make the actual cake recipe in Baked. I had read on Sarah of Blue Ridge Baker’s blog that she wasn’t thrilled with the actual cake part and she seems to know her chocolate, so I tried a Devil’s Food cake from Cook’s Illustrated. The cake I made wasn’t my superlative chocolate cake, but covered with caramel it was quite yummy. Even after all the headaches, we thought the cake was fantastic. I gave the cake a 9.5 for Deliciousness and a 5 for Effort, giving it an EDR of 1.9. You can find the recipe HERE and HERE (and linked above on Sassy Radish, with some helpful tips), and it is definitely worth baking.



I decided since we were having such a special dessert, Eloise deserved a treat too, so I made her some pupcakes. Joy of Hot Oven, Warm Heart provided me with the recipe, and I’m sure she wouldn’t mind me passing it on to other dog lovers/bakers, I'm happy to email it. Eloise loved that I finally baked something just for her, though I fear that now she’ll become even more curious when I’m baking. I made the cupcakes minis, since she would devour the entire cake in one gulp either way. I had my camera on the sports/action setting in attempt to photograph her eating the pupcakes; she’s so fast that I really needed a video camera to record it.



And since this cake knocked my will to bake anything else yesterday, this is how far along I am on the TWD Creamiest Lime Meringue Pie.

27 comments:

Lucia from Madison said...

Congratulations on your 100th post! Mine was on Sunday. The cake sounds interesting. Love your blog, actually found your blog through Smitten Kitchen. Look forward to reading your next 100 posts!

Karine said...

This cake looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing your recipe :)

Mrs. G said...

That sounds like a rich cake. My favorite cake is my grandmother's caramel cake. I am too intimidated to try it any time soon.

Katiecakes said...

That cake looks amazing!!

My favorite cake is a lemon drizzle or victoria sponge. There's a reason why they're classics ;)

Katie xox

Ras Yeti said...

Is Mr. Penpen you"random number generator"? Congratulations to him on his employment ass kickery!

My favorite cake is Cherry Pie.

Karin said...

Sorry the cake was such a headache- it looks delicious! I would definitely love to try the pupcakes for my two dogs so would you mind e-mailing it to me (sugarspicekitchen@yahoo.com)??

Oh, and my favorite cake... my mom had a recipe for an orange layer cake she used to make for us when we were little. She would layer it with lemon curd and strawberries and it was sooooo good!

hotovenwarmheart said...

Wow, where do I begin Margot?- that was quite a post! The best place to start is probably wishing you a DOUBLE CONGRATULATIONS (or Mazel Tov!) on two wonderful accomplishments. As a new blogger, I can attest that reaching 100 posts is quite a feat. A lot more goes into producing a fabulous blog like yours than people think! Please send along my congratulatory wishes to Mr. Penpen on receiving his new position. That's very exciting, and I wish him the best of luck with this next endeavor.

Now, on to your sweet and salty cake. I'm sorry you had such a time with it in the kitchen... sometimes those multi-component layer cakes can be a real challenge (and I have a fear of making caramel... don't get me started on the day I set off the smoke alarm when I tried to add the cream- Oy vey!) so I can only imagine how difficult this one was. It's been on my must-try list for a LONG time- I actually saw Matt bake it on MARTHA a few years back, but your experience with it has made me think twice! Maybe once I conquer my caramel phobia I'll give it a go! I think your cake came out great- way to hang in there and pull together a winning dessert fitting for a celebration!

I'm so glad to hear Eloise enjoyed her pupcakes! Bella sends her love, by the way :) I love the picture you included... she is such a striking beauty, and I'm sure she's quite a sweet heart too. Bella is always interested in my baked goods, especially homemade breads, and if there's nothing in it to make her sick, she usually gets a few crumbs!

Thanks again for the shout out! Hope you're having a great day! Talk to you soon.

<3,
Joy

P.S.- My favorite cake has to be my Grandma's honey cake. Even though she hasn't baked in years, she used to make it *special* just for me and it always made me feel so loved. I have wonderful memories of traveling to NY to her house and her pulling me aside to show me where she had stashed it, so that no one else would get a piece! Do I have a great Grandma or what? Thanks for running this fun contest- I'd love to add Baked to my cookbook collection so I'm excited for a chance to win :)

Megan said...

Did I miss the link for the pupcakes? Because I would love to make those for my three pups -

Any cake that makes you want to tear your hair out and scream is definitely relegated to the bottom of the "never to make again" list. What a shame, especially when you are so looking forward to it.

pinkstripes said...

The sweet and salty cake looks gorgeous and very delicious. i will have to try it.

JoAnn Freda said...

Your cake is beautiful! I wonder if Eloise knows how spoiled she is? My favorite cake is princess cake but don't enter me in the contest because a baking book would be much better off in the hands of any of your other readers.

Isabelle said...

Beautiful cake!
Congratulations on your 100th post!

TZel said...

This cake sounds so good! Congrats!

Melissa said...

Congrats on 100 posts!! The cake look amazing. My favorite cake is CHOCOLATE-anything!

jillbert said...

The cake really looks good, and so do the pupcakes! Some recipes are just exhausting, and it's worse if you don't expect them to be so frustrating. If I know it's going to be a pain, I try to split it up over two days.

My favorite kind of cake is a dense chocolate cake with lots of chocolate frosting - a lot like the slice pictured in your post! Caramel sounds like a great addition to a chocolate cake, but I haven't dared to try making it yet.

Congrats on 100 posts!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

What a great post! That's a lot of baked goods, and a truly gorgeous cake (your decorating skill has mine beat up one side and down the other!) My dogs would adore those pupcakes (well, they'd adore the cake also...)

I share your caramel issues/fear, so I'd need to summon a good deal of courage to tackle this cake. I'm amazed at your dedication to one sentence blog post week, to let your 100th post pass unremarked - wow! (and congrats)

And too bad we don't live closer because I have a ziploc bag full of extra lime filling in my freezer and I could easily spare enough for that adorable little tart crust.

Oh, and my favorite cake is yellow with chocolate frosting, but a close second would be chocolate with peanut butter frosting... congrats to Mr. Penpen (and thanks to him also for that great giveaway reason)

spike. said...

That cake looks beautiful. My favorite kind of cake is ice cream cake. yum

The Whimsical Cupcake said...

congrats on 100 posts!! i'm at 13... whew, long way to go!!

does cheesecake count as my favorite cake? its not technically a cake, but its not a pie... but its my favorite. i've never met a cheesecake that i didn't like :)

Bungalow Barbara said...

Congratulations on your 100th post and on your husband's new job!

My favorite cake is a dense chocolate cake with ground nuts and very little flour. Preferably made with really good bittersweet chocolate, brandy-soaked cherries, and a chocolate glaze. Yum!

Still searching for the ultimate chocolate layer cake recipe. Let us know if you find one!

HanaĆ¢ said...

Congratulations Margot! Wow, that's quite an accomplishment. Your cake looks absolutely delicious!! I'm glad you persevered and made it work.

At the moment, I would have to say that my favorite cake is the Tres Leches Cake from America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book. A while back, I made it like 3 times in one week. Get the book from the library and go bake it! To make it extra special, sub the sweetened condensed milk with Cajeta (which is sweetened condensed milk that's already been caramelized in the can for you -- you can find it in the ethnic/Mexican section of your grocery store).

Leslie said...

Congrats on hitting 100! This cake looks delicious (but with chocolate and caramel, how can you go wrong!) I have a caramel post going up in a couple of weeks (shh! don't tell). I'm not sure it will be anything new for you but it's ridiculously easy.

Marthe said...

This cake looks amazing!! Congrats on you 100th post!! My favorite cake would be homemade Dutch appeltaart. I don't have the recipe on my blog yet, but I'm sure it won't be long before it is online...

Amanda said...

Wow that was quite an adventure to get to that cake, it looks fabulous! Loved the title of the cake from the other blog LMAO!

HanaĆ¢ said...

Btw, Cajeta is also known or sold as "dulce de leche" (I couldn't think of that name yesterday). I hope you get a chance to try the Tres Leches Cake with that. Delicioso!

Linda said...

First off congrats on your 100th post! It's a huge accomplishment - kudos to you.

I've been wanting to make this cake...i've got to try this. My fav cake - yellow butter cake w. chocolate frosting (I know pretty basic)

BTW, would love to get the recipe for the pupcakes -i think my pup would totally enjoy them.

The Bahens said...

I'm so glad I checked your blog before the give-away was over! Phew! My favorite cake is Texas Sheet Cake. I've always liked it, but a few years ago I found a new recipe for it in this awesome cookbook I got for Christmas (it's called "Birthday Cakes" and I LOVE it!). Anyway, it is so delicious; I'm drooling just thinking about it!

rhianna said...

My favorite cake is a sponge cake with whipped cream and strawberries.

Sarah said...

Your cake looks perfect! I see no frosting ineptitude whatsoever. I'm so glad you finally had a chance to make this one. It is so much work, but so delicious. I'll have to try the devil's food recipe you used. I burned the caramel on my first try too. It seemed to me that the temperature was unusually high that we were supposed to bring it to. I'm glad it was such a hit. Congrats on 100 posts and Mr.Penpen's new position!

Has anything ever gotten a 10 for deliciousness?