This cake was the November Daring Bakers’ challenge (hosted by Dolores, Alex, and Jenny). The recipe for the caramel cake and brown butter frosting was generously provided by Shuna Fish Lydon. I added ground cardamom to the cake batter, and flavored the butter with cardamom as well, by heating the butter with crushed cardamom pods. Caramel and cardamom are wonderful together! The cake promised to be sweet, very sweet. Thus, I decided to balance it with basically unsweetened strawberry gelée that I placed between the two cake layers as a filling (the cake was sliced horizontally in half). I also increased the amount of salt in both – cake and frosting. Fleur de sel would be nice in the frosting, but it could clog a piping tip, so I went with kosher salt instead. I piped the rosettes on the top of the cake and placed the little caramel cut-out flowers in the center of each rosette (the soft honey-cardamom caramels made earlier were rolled thinly between plastic wrap and used for these cut-outs). Such décor has to be chilled in the refrigerator to firm up, and placed on the cake right before serving.
How did the whole thing turn out? The flavor was marvelous! The caramel, brown butter, cardamom, and fresh strawberry flavor together made it sing, really. The cake itself was also delicious and moist. As for the frosting texture, I simply don’t favor icing sugar based frostings. I think the same flavored cream cheese frosting (to preserve the American style) would be better here. But, it’s all the matter of taste. If you, unlike me, like the icing sugar frostings, you are going to love this one.
The recipe is adapted from Shuna Fish Lydon’s.