Whew. Fritz and I went to dentist prom last night (their formal) and had a total blast.
I did not take one single picture, so none of you get to experience the rarity that is me all dressed up in high heels and way too much makeup. Sorry! There weren’t as many crazy dental students gettin’ down on the dance floor as I’ve experienced in years past, which was kind of a bummer, but we still had fun.
Speaking of dental students, I made a cake last weekend for Fritz’s friend Jun Oh, and thought it was about time I shared my new favorite baking skill.
It’s called caramel sauce, my friends. Which I then went and made into a buttercream frosting. Hel-LO.
Salted Caramel Sauce (Original recipe from mykitchenaddiction.com)
- 1 C sugar
- 1 T water
- 4 T unsalted butter
- 1/2 C heavy cream
- 1 t sea salt
Combine the sugar and water over medium-high heat in a saucepan.
You can stir it up (try to mix in some of the water) but once the sugar starts browning, leave it alone. No stirring. Put the spoon down.
I kinda shimmied the pan around so all the sugar got mixed in. Let it turn a nice, dark brown.
But not too dark.
Once it’s ready, remove the pan from the heat and pour in the heavy cream, butter, and sea salt. Be careful here–it can foam up and get all over the place, unlike my photo, in which the caramel cooled a bit since I had to switch pans midway. Just be careful.
Stir until everything comes together, and set aside to come to room temperature.
And taste some of it, too. I don’t even really like caramel, and this was delicious. The best part was biting into a crunchy sea salt grain–an unexpected and completely delightful taste sensation.
And to turn this into frosting is super easy. I’m not gonna share the chocolate cake recipe since I never got to taste the finished product, so I have no idea how it turned out. Looked good, but very basic recipe!
Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting (makes enough to generously frost a 9″ layer cake)
- 1 recipe caramel sauce (see above–probably a cup and a half?), cooled
- 1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
- 5-6 cups confectioners’ sugar
Onc e the caramel has cooled, beat in the butter using the flat beater of your mixer. Or your muscles, if you are cool like that.
Start adding in the sugar, a few cups at first, then in smaller amounts, until the frosting reaches the consistency you like.
So good. You can absolutely taste the browned sugar taste of the caramel.
To frost the cake (note that the layers aren’t exactly the same size and I didn’t feel like cutting the bottom one–I’m not just an uneven froster), pile on the frosting and give it a rough shape.
If you get crumbs on the knife you use, wipe that frosting off the knife pronto. Nothin’ like crumbs in the frosting to ruin the look.
Once you’ve got frosting up the wazoo, smooth everything out with a fresh butter knife. I don’t mind some knife marks, because 1) I’m not a professional baker or crazy person and 2) I kinda go for the rustic look anyway.
I decided to cram chocolate chips all over the edge of the cake–mostly so everyone knew to expect chocolate. I think I like the look of the cake better without them, but I like for people to get an idea of what’s inside.
Then there’s no unfortunate surprises.
Top with some sea salt and a little more chocolate. If you want to be fancy, shaved chocolate would be much prettier!
I got good review from Fritz on the whole cake, but never tried a full slice myself. I can tell you, though, the frosting is the best. It would be stellar on a white cake, too.
And the caramel sauce itself is going to make a return really soon. Keep an eye out!