Sunday, December 14, 2008

Caramel for the Carmella ~ Dipali's Anniversary @ The Log Hut

It was Dipali's anniversary, we were going to The Log Hut. Wanted to surprise her with something special...... Decided to do a Caramel Cake with Creamy Caramel Frosting, which I had seen a few days back on Deeba's blog [That had Butter frosting, knowing Dipali.... butter frosting wasn't a good idea, used a cream based frosting instead]. This cake was soooooooo Dipali...... difficult to understand, yet when you do..... the most awesome cake and most awesome person. Grammer gone for a toss, but the lady and the cake both deserve these superlatives.

Met Dipali, while do a play with Living Room Theatre called Urban Tadka. We hit it off instantly. We use to have a blast during practices. We went out a lot, did crazy stuff, went on a neemrana property spree [Patudi, Neemrana and Kesroli]. Morning walks at Lodhi Garden, Humayun's Tomb, All American Diner, Sagar, Cafe Coffee Day, Stone, Movies, ran the Airtel Marathon........ We can chat for hours.

Her infectious smile can mesmerise anyone.....
Her thoughfulness is... beyond thoughts.... She's a wonderful mom, manages husband's work here, makes time for friends, teaches children, learns dancing and spanish [n tops at that with scores of 92%], does theatre, I could go on and on about the live wire she is.....

Am so glad we met......

At the Log Hut we had decided to make out own cocktails. Vikram and Amit [each of them should have a post dedicated to them] set up the hut[Vikram's farm]. These guys had carried everything one could think of in order to make cocktails....... are they planned or what....... they even had a cocktail book......

Amit was busy fixing the drinks..... I was clicking away, Dipali n Vikram were freaking out on the lovey music playing...... The warm fire saves us from the icy winter breeze at the farm.

She was thrilled with her cake and did an impromptu twirling dance with it....... :-)

Happy anniversary Dipali n Sumeer[not in pictures, cause he had to be away for some work]. May god bless you with all the togetherness in the world.....

Deeba’s Recipe Source: Shuna Fish Lydon of Eggbeater, as published on Bay Area Bites
(Deeba’s changes in brackets alongside in italics)
10 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 Cups granulated sugar (1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 Cup Caramel Syrup (see recipe below)
2 each eggs, at room temperature
splash vanilla extract
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350F
Butter one tall (2 – 2.5 inch deep) 9-inch cake pan.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth. Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy.
Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl. Scrape down bowl and increase speed. Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform.
Sift flour and baking powder.
Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dry ingredients. When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time. Add another third of the dry ingredients, then the other half of the milk and finish with the dry ingredients. {This is called the dry, wet, dry, wet, dry method in cake making. It is often employed when there is a high proportion of liquid in the batter.}
Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds, making sure batter is uniform. Turn batter into prepared cake pan.
Place cake pan on cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan. Set first timer for 30 minutes, rotate pan and set timer for another 15-20 minutes. Your own oven will set the pace. Bake until sides pull away from the pan and skewer inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely before icing it.
Cake will keep for three days outside of the refrigerator.

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup water (for "stopping" the caramelization process)
In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand. Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush. Turn on heat to highest flame. Cook until smoking slightly: dark amber.
When color is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water. Caramel will jump and sputter about! It is very dangerous, so have long sleeves on and be prepared to step back.
Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly and feels sticky between two fingers. {Obviously wait for it to cool on a spoon before touching it.}
Note: For safety reasons, have ready a bowl of ice water to plunge your hands into if any caramel should land on your skin.

200 Ml heavy cream
2-4 tablespoons caramel syrup
Kosher or sea salt to taste

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, whip up the cream.
Add the caramel syrup and salt, mix well

[Update: Made this cake again for Nikhil N Moms Surprise Birthday Party. This time did it with the real butter frosting..... was yummy]


Passionate About Baking said...

What a live wire your friend is, & you too for that matter Nachiketa! This post is FUN, FUN,FUN!! Well done on the looks delish!

Nikhil said...

ahhh! dat make me go down my memory lanes - once upon a time - it was my birthday (lol!) n nachi made this cake for me- yum yum ! n i was overwhelmed - n it was all over my face - my nose - my cheeks - n the 90% of it in my mouth :D .... tx nachi for recalling that sweet n delicious - yummy yummy birthday !

Dipali said...

An anniversary celebration that will remain etched in my mind for years to come... laughter,cheer,music,crazy moments all rolled into one beautiful evening, when my adorable Nachos(Nachiketa for everyone else)along with our two other buddies ,and I spent a crazy,fun filled evening in a far away cottage on the outskirts of this maddening city.Nachos the most thoughtful and caring person one can ever know.... thank you,sweetheart, for making that evening so special for me... and for those who were not a part of that evening.... yes! yes! yes!...the cake baked by this culinery expert was absolutely delicious and simply....the BESTEST ever:-).