Caramel Pecan Cake

Caramel Pecan Cake

20180825_215523 (1)
Caramel Pecan Cake – Getting Started!

In the brilliant book BakeClass they refer to today’s recipe as a ‘cake’, perhaps becuase it is so light and airy, but I’d classify it as more of a loaf or bread.  Mostly because it bakes in a loaf pan and has a drizzling of icing not a layer of icing piled on top.

Looking for quick, easy and minimal dishes plus light, moist and sweet, here is a winner.  No mixer required and you can make it at the last minute and not worry about room temperature butter since you use a saucepan!  Yup, a saucepan!

If you have self-rising flour in your pantry you won’t even need a measuring spoon.  No self-rising flour??  No worries, measure 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt into a dry 1-cup measure and top with all-purpose flour.  Make sure to give a good mix before adding to the recipe.

This comes together quickly so make sure your oven is preheated to 325F and your 9×5-inch loaf pan is greased and lined with parchment paper (with an overhang for easy removal).

Pecans would be my first preference for this loaf but walnuts would work great or a combination of pecans and walnuts.  Just bake it up next time you require a simple tea cake or a suppliment with your afternoon coffee.  Oven’s on you say?!  Then let’s get started!

Caramel Pecan Cake
Caramel Pecan Cake – sweetenuf.ca

 

Caramel Pecan Cake

Preheat oven to 325F.  Grease and line 9×5-inch loaf pan.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 3/4 ounces butter, cubed

1/2 cup milk

1 egg, room temperature

3/4 cup, rough chopped pecans

1 cup self-rising flour

1/4 toasted whole pecans – for garnish

1 tbsp golden corn syrup – for garnish to drizzle

Caramel Icing:

Mix together: 1 tbsp water, 2 tbsp golden corn syrup and 1 1/2 cups icing sugar until thick but pourable.  Add a little more water if necessary.  Set aside for cooled cake.

Method:

In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt together the butter, brown sugar and milk, until the butter just melts.  Make sure it is not too hot.  Remove from heat and let cool if necessary.

With a wooden spoon or whisk, stir in the egg and pecans.  Add the flour and stir until just combined.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and smooth the surface with offset spatula or back of spoon  Bake approximatley 35 minutes or until skewer inserted in centre comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan.  Once cool, spoon on with Caramel Icing then drizzle on syrup and garnish with remaining pecans.

 

 

Caramel Frosting


 

20180110_191253 (2)
Caramel Frosting topped with Caramel Drizzle – Sweetenufblog.com

First comes Caramel sauce, next comes Caramel Frosting (or icing as we call it here in Canada). Well, actually, first comes the sugar and water boiled to a beautiful amber colour and then comes the cream, etc. but believe me you will not be disappointed in this sweet smooth icing and the extra effort to make the caramel from scratch is well worth the time.

Satiny, sweet and full of mellow flavour this sauce is Nirvana!!  Set a little aside  to drizzle over top whatever you currently have in the works or tuck it away for your next ice cream attack.  A big spoonful when your craving something sweet or maybe a little drizzle into your coffee or on top of some fruit.  I figure whatever you choose to snack on with Caramel Sauce or even Caramel Icing in the privacy of your own kitchen is your business.  Who am I to judge!! You might just make the Caramel sauce again and again even if you don’t need any more icing.

Caramel Frosting (Bake From Scratch Cake Issue 2016)

Makes about 5 cups.

Ingredients:

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

1 cup whipping cream (35% cream), warmed slightly

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

6 cups icing sugar

Method:

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and 1/2 cup water.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves.  Stop stirring and leave the mixture to cook until it is amber in colour.  (Very important to make sure your sugar mixture turns a nice deep amber colour.)  If any sugar crystals form on the side of the saucepan use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush down the sides.  Remove from heat.

Add in the cold cubed butter and stir with a wooden spoon.  The mixture will foam up.  Gradually add the cream, vanilla and salt.  Stir until mixture is smooth.

Transfer mixture into a medium bowl and place the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water to cool for about 20 minutes.  Stir occasionally.

Once cool set aside 1/3 cup of the caramel to drizzle on top of your iced cake or cupcakes.

Caramel Icing Sweetenufblog

Place cooled caramel in a mixing bowl and add softened butter.  Beat on medium speed until combined.  Add in icing sugar gradually, beating well after each addition.

Use immediately as icing will harden.

 

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

chocolate-caramel-shortbread
Chocolate Caramel Shortbread sweetenufblog.ca

‘Tis the season, for shortbread, it seems, in all shapes sizes and variations.  Today the shortbread is combined with a few other yummy things.  On their own chocolate, caramel and shortbread are delicious.  Put them together and the taste combination is superb.

This is an oldie but goodie I go back to every year during holiday time.  I’m not sure how old it is but it is a Borden Foods recipe (probably most of you reading this have no idea who the Borden Food company or Elsie the Cow is). No matter, like most delicious and simple recipes it stands the test of time…and it’s not really THAT old!

Fabulous right out of the fridge these squares will also freeze well so you can bake ahead and have ready for yourself or when company drops by.

Tip:  When making the caramel layer make sure to stir every minute or so.  The butter, condensed milk and corn syrup can get some burnt bits if you leave to long before stirring.  If you happen to get some solidified bits in your caramel because you ‘saved’ it before the burning point (not like that’s ever happened to me!!) pour it through a sieve and no one will be the wiser.  If you burn it…well, unfortunately it will need to be tossed.  Hint – always have a second can of condensed milk on hand!

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease or parchment line a 9-inch square pan.  Makes approx. 20 pieces.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of butter, softened (divided into 1 cup and 1/2 cup measures)

1/2 cup icing sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 can Condensed Milk

3 tbsp corn syrup

3 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate, melted

Method:

Beat 1 cup soft butter with the icing sugar and salt until light and fluffy.  Add in flour and mix until combined scrapping down sides and bottom of mixing bowl.

Press mixture evenly into bottom of prepared pan and bake in oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.shortbread-layer

In a microwave safe bowl melt the remaining 1/2 cup of butter.  Add in the condensed milk and corn syrup and return to microwave.  Cook on high for about 6-8 minutes making sure to stir after every minute until mixture turns a light caramel colour.

Pour caramel mixture on top of warm shortbread layer.  Let set and drizzle with melted chocolate.  Allow to cool completely and cut into squares.

Can you say, Mmmm Mmmm amazingly good and perhaps just a little indulgent!

 

 

 

 

 

Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars

Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars

Combine the flavours of coffee, oats, caramel, brown sugar and top them off with a coffee glaze and you have a winner!  Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars to be exact.

You could leave off the glaze but it is so simple to make and adds another layer of flavour without being overwhelmingly sweet so just go for it.  Whip these up this weekend and enjoy with a hot beverage.  No need to go out of the house to visit a bakery or coffee shop with a tray of Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars cooling on your counter.  You won’t even miss the hour of sleep due to the clocks turning back since you’ll be eager to enjoy another square with your Sunday coffee.

cappuccino-carmel-oat-bars-up-close-personal
Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars – Sweetenufblog.com

 

Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars

Preheat your oven to 350F.  Lightly grease a 13 x 9-inch pan.

Ingredients:

3 cups regular rolled oats

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup chopped pecans

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup butter, room temperature

2 cups packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tbsp instant espresso powder (or instant coffee crystals)

2 tsp vanilla bean paste

3/4 cup Caramel Sauce (any brand or homemade caramel sauce)

1/2 cup chopped pecans (for adding at end)

Coffee Glaze (optional) – combine 2 tablespoons hot milk and 1 tsp coffee until dissolved.  Stir in 1 cup of icing sugar until smooth.

Method:

In a medium bowl combine the oats, flour, 1 cup pecans, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter for about 30 seconds.  Add in the brown sugar and beat until combined and well mixed.  Scrape down beaters and bowl.  Add in eggs, coffee and vanilla and beat until combined.  On low, beat in the oat mixture.

Reserve 2 cups of the mixture and with floured hands press the remaining oat mixture evenly into bottom of prepared pan.

Spread the caramel sauce over top of the mixture and then using your hands, crumble the reserved 2 cups of mixture, randomly over top.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cups of pecans.

Bake for 20-25 minutes and set.  You DO NOT want to overbake.

Cool and drizzle with the coffee glaze.  Cut into bars.

 

 

Caramel Coffee Cake

Caramel Coffee Cake

Pecans, caramel sauce, butter, sugar and eggs all combined together to make a delicious, moist coffee cake.  The caramel sauce can be drizzled over the top and for an added finish sprinkle a few toasted chopped pecans over top of each slice or the whole cake.

Beautiful! Caramel Coffee Cake
Beautiful! Caramel Coffee Cake

To make this coffee cake you will need:

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)

3 tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons butter, melted

For Caramel Glaze you will need:

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a bundt pan.

In bowl of electric mixer put 1 cup softened butter and granulated sugar.  Beat until fluffy.  Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each and scrapping down bowl after adding eggs.

Add in sour cream and vanilla and mix in well.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda plus salt.  Add into the creamed mixture gradually, beating until just combined.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared bundt pan.

In a small bowl combine the chopped nuts, brown sugar and melted butter.  Sprinkle the mixture over the batter and then top mixture with remaining batter. (Or you can sprinkle 1/2 of the nut mixture over batter and remaining 1/2 on top of the batter.)

Bake for 40-45 minutes.  *Note:  My oven on convection bake had this baked up in about 30 minutes!*

Baked up to perfection.
Baked up to perfection.

For the Glaze: cook the sugar, water and light corn syrup over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is light amber in colour. (This may take 10 minutes, more or less.  Watch carefully…this gets scalding hot and can go from no colour to burnt in 30 seconds.)

Once mixture is amber colour remove from heat and stir in the whipping cream and butter.  Mixture will bubble up so be careful!!  Let mixture cool before using.

Finishing…drizzle caramel sauce over top of cooled cake.  Sauce can be kept in fridge for about 2 weeks.  Cake can be well wrapped and frozen.

Enjoy!

Coffee cake with caramel sauce.
Coffee cake with caramel sauce.

 

 

Caramel Macadamia Nut Bars

Caramel Macadamia Nut Bars

Caramel Macadamia Nut Bars
Caramel Macadamia Nut Bars

These scrumptious bars may be a little labour intense but worth it. With a sweet pastry dough base, a layer of toasted macadamia nuts on top and then those layers smothered with a rich golden caramel, you have made yourself no less, what is not to like.

Just follow the steps and savour these sweet bites.

 

Caramel Sauce and Ice Cream Cake

Caramel Sauce and Ice Cream Cake

Today’s post is easy Caramel Sauce.  What to do with the leftovers, if there are any, why make an ice cream cake.  So simple you won’t need to spend the $40 to purchase one at a specialty store again.

For the Caramel Sauce you need:

1/4 cup butter

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup 35% cream

2 Tbsp Corn Syrup

In a small saucepan melt the butter over a low heat.  Stir in the brown sugar, cream and corn syrup.  Cook and stir over the low heat until the mixture just comes to a boil (you will see small bubbles around the edge).

Remove from heat and cool slightly.  Serve when warm.  This will keep in a covered container in your fridge and can be warmed up in the microwave.

IMPORTANT:  This is one of those delicious items you cannot wait to taste.  DON’T, until it has cooled considerably or else you will give yourself a bad burn.  Hold off and then enjoy a spoonful.  It is worth the wait.

Now for the ice cream cake.  Use what you have in the house.  The one I made today was delicious but I would do a couple of things differently which I will suggest.  Each one you make can be unique for the individual you are planning to share it with.

I used a loaf pan and lined it with Saran Wrap to make it easy to remove and cut.  I used a crust of KitKat’s and Coffee Crisp as those are fav’s in my house and I did have a supply in my cupboard.  I would suggest using a chocolate wafer crust or graham wafer crust instead as you need a firm base but something easy to cut through.  Say 1 cup of crumbs with 1/4 cup melted butter mixed together and pressed into the bottom of the pan to create your crust.  Use a springform pan or pie plate, whatever you have on hand, if you don’t like the idea of the loaf pan.

Now top with softened ice cream of your choice.  Use your favourites or mix what you have left in the freezer.  Let the ice cream sit on the counter for maybe 15 minutes or so to soften up.  Scoop a generous amount of ice cream onto the base and gently spread.  I added a layer of caramel and spread it gently on top of my first layer of ice cream and then a layer of chocolate wafers.  Now this is where I would suggest adding the chocolate bars….but I would chop them up and sprinkle them over the caramel.  You could top the caramel with mini chocolate chips, mini M&M’s, chopped nuts or chocolate sauce.

Now add your next layer of ice cream and again top with whatever you like.  For this layer I just added the caramel. Cover lightly with Saran Wrap and put back in the freezer to set for a couple hours.

Remove before serving and cut into slices.

Don’t over think it.  Mine didn’t cut to well as I had the hard frozen chocolate bar crust but it was amazing.  Make it your own.  I hope you enjoy.