Monday, January 28, 2008

A Winter High

I love my Maryann cake pan. It is a foolproof way to make an elegant cake. There's a depression in the top of the pan that you can fill with ganache, lemon curd, pastry cream, whipped cream, caramel or whatever your heart desires. I use this pan for a great pumpkin cake. This time, I upped the ante by letting sweet potato take the lead. Add caramel and watch out!

The base for this recipe is Gourmet Magazine's caramel cake, which was also featured on Smitten Kitchen. I used AP flour, completely by accident. The next modification was sweet potato. (You can't have a sweet potato cake without sweet potato.)

Next up? Pumpkin butter. This, along with butternut squash, is the joy of fall (and winter if you stock up at Trader Joe's). Add both the sweet potato and pumpkin butter after you've creamed the flour and sugar and before you add the flour.

Spray the pan with Baker's Joy or any other spray with flour. Make sure the batter is evenly distributed in the pan and you'll have a pretty cake!

After the cake has cooled, get to work on your caramel. The recipe called for heavy cream, brown sugar and corn syrup. Unless you are an expert caramel maker, don't skip the corn syrup!
Hindsight being 20/20, I should have let the caramel cook longer, but I thought I followed the recipe correctly. This thinner caramel isn't the traditional caramel in caramel cakes I'm used to, but it worked for the Maryann cake. (I'm still on a quest for the perfect caramel cake recipe. Here in Chicago, people talk about boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk in the can on the stove or baking a can of sweet milk in a water bath.)

Spoon the caramel down the sides of the cake and spread it over the center.
While you allow that to cool, get started on the whipped cream. I think I used a cup of heavy cream. Sweeten powdered sugar and use bourbon for flavoring. After the cream is whipped, scoop some sacrificial cream into a separate bowl. Add a generous amount of pumpkin butter.
Stir and blend well. Now, fold the plain whipped cream into the pumpkin butter whipped cream. I'm sure you should probably stabilize the whipped cream. I'm just too lazy.

Grab a large offset spatula and get to spreading.
Add some toasted pecan halves.This is why a Maryann cake pan rocks!
Sweet potato cake with caramel and bourbon-scented whipped cream!

Tools of the trade:

1 comment:

Randi said...

Looks great. I just bought a maryann pan( mine has fruit indentations on top). I was looking for a recipe thats how I found your blog.