An easy yet decadent dessert
Remember when some people predicted that salted caramel was just a fad? They were probably the same people who said bacon is overrated and artisan donuts were sure to be a passing fancy. Personally, I love salted caramel. I’ve put it in apple tarts, I’ve made an incredible chocolate-salted caramel-pretzel bark, and I’ve made salted caramel ice cream too. This dessert is pretty decadent and although it’s simple to make, it’s so pretty that it’s fancy enough for a dinner party. You can make and freeze the cake ahead of time; just be sure it’s well wrapped and completely thawed before adding the caramel glaze.
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs PLUS 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
Salted Caramel Glaze
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- a few drops fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature, cubed
- 3 tablespoons heavy (35%) cream
- 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt or kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- To make the cake, preheat oven to 350F and line a 9 x 5 loaf pan with parchment paper; set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Put the butter and sugar in another bowl and beat with a stand or electric mixer on high speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the vanilla and beat until blended.
- With the mixer at medium speed, add the eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat for 1 minute more.
- Turn the mixer to low speed and add one third of the flour mixture followed by half the cream; once incorporated add another third of the flour and remaining cream, beat until blended then add remaining flour and beat until it’s well incorporated.
- Spoon batter into prepared pan and smooth the top with a spoon or spatula. Bake until just a few crumbs cling to a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cake, about 55 to 65 minutes.
- Let cake cool in the pan (on a wire rack) for 15 minutes then lift cake out of pan using edges of parchment paper as handles. Remove parchment paper and place cake on a cooling rack. Gently poke holes all over the top of the cake with a toothpick or skewer so some of the glaze will seep in.
- Make the glaze by heating the sugar and water in a medium-sized saucepan with a few drops of lemon juice. Cook until the sugar turns deep amber brown, swirling the pan gently as the sugar cooks.
- Remove from heat and stir in the butter until melted, then stir in the heavy cream, salt and vanilla until smooth. Let cool until just above room temperature, still slightly warm, so it reaches a spreadable consistency. Spoon the glaze over the cake; if it has thickened too much, microwave on low power just until it’s pourable – you don’t want it too runny. (Refrigerate and reheat the sauce carefully if making more than 6 hours ahead of time.)
- Sprinkle a few grains of flaky salt over the top of the cake then slice and serve, with whipped cream if desired.
Serves 12 – 14.