Monday, March 18, 2013

Granny knows best

I always knew it was true, so I don't know why I didn't listen to her.  Now I know and I won't soon forget, Granny knows best.
But here is the caramel cake that resulted from that one time when from this Girl listened to Pinterest instead of her Granny. 
A few weeks ago I pinned a caramel cake from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody. I finally decided to make it this weekend and asked Granny if she would help me out, mainly because I've attempted Caramel Cakes before and failed miserably (see Going Nutty).
This cake has actual caramel in the cake and not just icing.  Creating the caramel syrup for the cake proved to be a little harder than I expected.  Granny quickly noted that the syrup was getting too dark.  Nonsense I said. The recipe said it should turn dark.
I removed the syrup from the heat to get ready for the next step.  Granny said that's going to keep cooking even off the heat.  Needless to say I wound up with a burnt caramel syrup.
But never one to give up easily I pressed on to let my burned syrup cool and prep the rest of the cake.
Granny took a look at the ingredients procedures and asked, "is this a pound cake?"
The cakes baked up nicely in the oven. After removing the cakes from the oven Granny covered them with a towel like she always does.  I told her the recipe said to remove them from the pans after 10 minutes and let them cool on a rack.  Granny looked at me like I had lost my mind and told me she never does that even though lots of recipes say to do it.

Did I listen to Granny? Of course not!  I removed Granny's towel, removed the cakes from the pans and put them on a rack.  Granny shrugged it off.
I then started to make the caramel frosting.  I constantly stirred the brown sugar, half & half mixture to keep it from sticking to the pot.  Granny scolded "Stop that constant stirring!"  Did I listen to Granny? Of Course not!
Peabody's recipe said to heat the frosting to 235.  So like any Girl who had just burned her last caramel syrup I turned off the heat when it reached would keep cooking, right?
Granny asked why I turned it off and told me the frosting was not ready yet.  She said she could look at the way it looked in the pot and on the spoon and know when it was ready.

Finally, the frosting was ready according to the thermometer (and Granny's eye).  I tried to look for the softball that should form by dropping a bit of the hot caramel into a glass of cold water.

And I still don't see it!
After letting it cool, we were supposed to beat the mixture until it reached a spreadable consistency. I think I might have beat it for 72 hours straight and it still didn't reach the spreadable consistency (or at least not the consistency I thought it should be). 
Still beating, and still not the right consistency!
I (after consulting Granny) added some confectioner's sugar to thicken things up a bit.
Granny and I were finally ready to frost the cake when we both noticed how hard and dry the cake seemed.  That's when Granny revealed that she hardly ever cooks cakes for the amount of time called for on the recipe (thanks for telling me now Granny).
So we frosted our dry cake and then watched as the frosting slid right back off the cake.
And finally we tasted the worst cake I have ever eaten or made.
There's only one word that could describe this atrocity:  DRY!
I'm not giving up on making a good caramel cake, but I will definitely listen to Granny next time I try.  Afterall, Granny knows best.  


  1. hey! Don't knock that Caramel Cake- me and the Littles (mostly me) ate that whole darn thing!
    Keep trying (and send all "mistakes" my way!!!!
    Going Nutty!

    1. Squirrels,
      This one was 10x's worse than the one you and your Littles had. It's one mistake you wouldn't want to try!

  2. Why would Granny tell you about lessing baking time, you didn't listen to anything else she told you to do?!
    You gon learn, girl!


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