Thursday, April 9, 2009

#135 Butterscotch Cake

I was a little bored on Tuesday evening so I thought I’d bake a nice cake for Cake Wednesday at work. I knew there had been no takers this week with it being close to Easter. Plus I’ve not made a normal cake for ages. This one is a variation on the pound cake – I’ve made them before (here is the blog entry) so I won’t go through it. The only difference is that caster sugar is substituted for soft dark brown sugar which gives it a richer, denser molasses flavour. The exciting thing being the butterscotch icing – I’d bought a sugar thermometer recently and not used it yet. I went a bit wrong with icing. Because I was in a rush, I heated it too rapidly before the sugar dissolved properly. Plus I accidentally heated it to the firm ball rather than the soft ball stage, which meant it went a bit too stiff. Hey-ho. If you try it, remember that slow and steady wins the race here. A little practise is required I feel. Any hints and tips are happily accepted!

For the icing (do as I say, not as I do…):

Slowly heat 6 ounces of soft dark brown sugar, an ounce of butter and two tablespoons of double cream until everything had dissolved. Now raise the heat and boil until the sugar reaches the soft ball stage using a sugar thermometer (turn the heat off as it approaches the temperature, as it keeps on a-rising!). Allow to cool until ‘tepid’ and beat. I’m not sure what it’s meant to turn into, but mine was a very stiff blob of sugar. I managed to spread it over the cake top with a wet palette knife and everything looked okay.

FYI: In case you were thinking that butterscotch doesn’t sound very English, but rather Scottish, you would be a fool (as I was). Scotch is a ye olde English word for score as proper butterscotch is hard and needs to be scored before it is broken.

#135 Butterscotch Cake – 6.5/10. I liked the cake as it was piled with dark brown sugar, so it could not be bad, but it was a little dry. I have a feeling that it was overcooked though – I still haven’t got to grips with the old fan oven and sponge cakes. I remember getting a handy hint from Anthea (a sometimes commenter on the blog) that you should put a some boiling water in a roasting tin and place it in the bottom of the oven to stop it drying the cake out. Needless to say, I forgot to. Oh well. The butterscotch topping was very sweet and very tasty, even though it didn’t quite turn out as expected…

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