I love this cake.
No, I hate this cake.
Well, I love this cake.
Wait. I really hate this cake.
That was what was going through my mind as I made this cake. Three times. In three days. You see, the first time I tried this recipe, the cake fell. Badly. But I assumed that it was my fault because I had to move the cake to a lower oven rack midway through the baking. So I made the cake again, but this time, I didn’t touch the cake while it was baking. It fell again. Badly.
I was perturbed.
Mind you, the cake still tasted fantastic. In fact, Bryan and I managed eat most of the first cake in a day. The second cake didn’t last much longer, although we did give some away. So, on my third attempt, I modified the recipe a bit. I cut down the butter and increased the oven temperature. This cake (this is the cake I took pictures of) didn’t fall. It was beautiful. But it didn’t taste as good as the first two.
I am still perturbed.
The cake gets its name because you make a very dark, almost burnt, caramel sauce. This sauce is the liquid for the cake as well as a major part of the optional frosting. Flour, leavening, vanilla, eggs, 2 1/2 cups of butter and two cups of sugar make up the rest of the batter. Because there is so much sugar and butter in the batter, the cake gets really dark, and the outside caramelizes and gets crusty and sugary and crunchy. It was my favorite part of the cake.
The inside of the cake is dense and moist with a very light caramel flavor. Because of all the butter, though, I thought the cake was slightly greasy. On the first day, I didn’t care much for that. But as the cake aged, it stayed moist and continued to develop that caramelly flavor.
Unfortunately, my third cake didn’t age as well. By day two, it was beginning to dry out. It also didn’t have the depth of flavor that the first two cakes had. I’m determined to get this one right, as it just may be my most favorite cake. Ever.
This recipe is all over the internet,, but you can find it here.
If you make this recipe, here are a couple of tips. Caramelize the sugar as deeply as you can. The darker your sugar, the more flavorful the cake will be. I cooked my sugar until it started to smell burnt. It wasn’t black, but it was close.
The frosting looks good, but I don’t think this cake needs it. I simply dusted mine with powdered sugar.