Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sweet & Salty

Sweet and salty are my thing, 
good thing is that it seems to be the latest trend in baking as well
so I'm in luck when it comes to trying out new recipes.

and had to make it.  The cake is dense, the combo of the salty caramel and sweet buttercream 
frosting balance everything out.  It felt perfect to make for the first day of autumn.

Here's the recipe:
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 12 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract (or a combo of extract, vanilla bean paste or vanilla bean)
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup salted caramel sauce*, cooled.
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cream or milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter, flour and line with parchment 2 8x8 round baking pans. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and beat on high speed for about 3 minutes, until fluffy and pale. Stir in the vanilla.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder and salt, and add to the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, starting and ended with the flour mixture. Don't over-beat the batter.
  4. Pour batter into the prepared pans evenly, smoothing tops with the back of a spoon.
  5. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
  6. For frosting:
  7. Cream butter until smooth and fluffy. Add powdered sugar a cup at a time and beat until well combined. Add 1/3 cup of the caramel sauce and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add 1-2 tablespoons of cream or milk if desired if your frosting seems a little dry.
  8. To assemble.
  9. Place the bottom layer of cake on a cake stand. Use a fork to poke some holes along the surface of the cake. Carefully spread 1/3 cup of the caramel sauce over the cake layer, letting it soak into the cake. Top with a thick layer of frosting.
  10. Add the second cake layer with the flattest side facing up. Repeat the process of poking the cake with a fork, adding the remaining caramel sauce, and topping with frosting. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt if desired.
*If you don't want to make homemade caramel, store bought is fine- just add a teaspoon of sea salt.
Vanilla cake recipe loosely adapted from: All Recipes

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Thailand & HK Instagrammed

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My computer is getting revamped with more ram and all that good stuff, which means these
instagram photo's are all I have from my trip to share
until this weekend when I get everything installed and photo's uploaded...
but I promise there will be more photos to come!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Back home!

I'm still a bit jet-lagged over here, never fun.
I woke up yesterday at 4:30 am, wide awake and ready to start my day...
not ideal when it's a Sunday and your day to sleep in.

I have so many pics and stories to share from my trip to Thailand and Hong Kong.
It was a dream trip, one I will never forget.  I was especially smitten with Thailand.
I loved the islands, the jungles, the kindness of the people.

People have asked if it was too short of a trip.
My answer, 2 weeks was just the right amount of time.
I love to travel, it's my passion, but there really 
is no place like home. It's good to leave but it's always good to come back
to familiarity.

More posts on my adventures to come soon!