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Saturday, November 29, 2008

I Licked It!

This months Daring Baker challenge was so sweet, it made me lick my camera!

We had an embarrassment of riches this month with three, count 'em, three hosts stepping into the fray. And they in turn recruited another baker to assist in the gluten free conversion. As part of an ambiglutenous (or would that be biglutenous?) family I am in their cheering section forever with this thoughtful gesture.

How can you not succeed with such a great team rooting for you?

Our hosts this month were Alex of Blondie and Brownie, Jenny of Foray into Food and Dolores of Culinary Curiosity. They twisted the arm of Natalie from Gluten-a-Go-Go as the resident gluten free expert and she certainly stepped up to the plate.

But these talented thoughtful bakers hadn't finished their recruiting drive quite yet. They contacted the chef, Shuna Fish Lydon of Eggbeater about the recipe and... and... and... she offered to answer some of the Daring Baker's questions!!!! Forget about doing the wave in a sports stadium, Daring Bakers, stand up with your spatulas held up high and wave for this team!

Whew, too much excitement....

Now on to the challenge. Our hosts choose Shuna Fish Lydon's signature Caramel Cake as published in Bay Area Bites.

There was alot of buzz on the forums about this cake and I dragged my feet until the very last minute. I was waiting for someone to share a successful gluten free cake experience, then I was waiting for someone to successfully make the caramel syrup, then I was waiting for the icing..... it went on and on.

Shuna Fisher Lydon warned us in the most explicit and heinous terms, about the danger of cooking caramel. When we stopped the caramelisation by adding cold water, the caramel would sputter and burn a hideous path toward us if we weren't careful. It scared me into waiting a little longer.

But we have some geniuses in this group (if the geniuses are reading this, stand up and take credit because I couldn't find the posts again) who pointed out that pouring the water through a screen mesh would dampen the sputter but a piece of tinfoil with a small hole in the middle would solve the problem completely.

Armed with that information and the backing of a solid team, I finally went to work the day before the challenge due date.

Taadaa!

Gluten free baking requires a little more science and attention. Since many Bakers posted that the cake was dense, I knew a gluten free cake would have an extra hurdle to remain light. So I beat the butter and sugar until it practically floated out of the bowl it was so light. I triple sifted the dry ingredients to incorporate even more air. Instead of a cake, I choose cupcakes to provide more structure to the sides.

Lo and behold, the Caramel Cake was light with a tender amazing texture. I really felt like this was the first gluten free Daring Baker challenge that I licked.

I nailed it, completely, to the wall.

Little wave for me.

I jostled the cupcakes around and split my icing bag trying to squeeze the viscous icing onto the tops. Somehow the caramel on my fingers got onto the camera and I absentmindedly licked it. That's right, I licked my camera! Good grief. Guess it was pretty successful if I licked the camera.

Lessons Learned

1) For a light cake, beat the butter and sugar for a very long time.
2) Sift the dry ingredients to incorporate more air.
3) Wash your hands before you pick up the camera.
4) Success is built on the shoulders of many bakers.
5) Cameras taste better in caramel.

36 comments:

Dolores said...

Go team gluten free cupcakes!

We should use "success is built on the shoulders of many bakers" as our motto.

Glad you enjoyed the challenge; thanks for baking with us this month!

rainbowbrown said...

Fantastic cupcakes! Well done.

Baking Soda said...

I wish I wish...
that I made cupcakes,
my cake came out so light as yours
washed hands before touching camera

haha, great job!

Shaheen @ Ambrosia said...

Your points on the lessons learned cracked me up. I made cupcakes too! It was a fun challenge.

Megan said...

Great points! Love the cupcakes, loved the challenge! :)

Renee said...

Licking the camera is always a good sign! Your cupcakes look wonderful.

Lis said...

HAR!!

I swear not many crack me up like you do!!

So glad your lil glute-free babies turned out so well! They look simply divine!

Damn.. I'm craving this cake now.. looks like another breakfast of champions for me! *slurp*

Love & hugs! hugs! hugs!
xoxoxox

glamah16 said...

You know I like your version. Perfect. The cupcakes with just a dab of frosting. Not overkill.

Lesley said...

reallly pretty c upcakes!! Just the right amount of frosting i'll bet...

Anjanette said...

Your cakes look gorgeous. And I love the writing. Good job!

marye said...

those are beautiful..delicious!
and I know what you mean about the camera!

madcapcupcake said...

WOW - what an awesome example of GF baking, hat's off!! Your cupcakes look gorgeous :)

Lauren said...

Beautiful GF Cupcakes! I'm glad you liked them!

Candice said...

Your gluten free cupcakes look great! And I hope you actually ate some instead of just licking your camera. Haha! ;)

Angela said...

Gorgeous photos---your cupcakes look utterly delicious. Great job on the challenge!

Diana said...

Your cupcakes look so delicious! I'm really impressed they're gluten free. I didn't post about the tin foil, but my husband suggested I do it. I didn't have to worry one bit about splattering.

The Cherub's Craft Blog said...

Wow, they look fabulous. I hope the camera survived the licking lol!!

Bumblebutton said...

Congratulations! You wound up with some super darling cupcakes--glad your camera didn't suck up ALL the caramel!

Amy said...

A brilliant way to use up that caramel syrup and eliminate some of the sweetness from the frosting - a little goes a long way! Great job.

Ellemay said...

I didn't beat my butter and sugar as much as you nor did I triple sift my flour and the texture was more like a mud cake.

Nice to know this can also double as a mud cake too!


Go Gluten Free Cakes!

Linda said...

Mmmmmm. The close-up of the cupcake is wonderful. I can see the caramel syrup oozing its way down the side. Oh, and the pecan!!! Wonderful.

Leslie said...

Love love love your photos! Licking the camera= great success!!!!

Ruth said...

Your cupcakes are beautiful. I am glad you loved it so much you licked the camera its hilarious

Gretchen Noelle said...

You certainly nailed this one... these cupcakes look absolutely incredible! Great, great job!

kellypea said...

Gorgeous cupcakes! Love the dollop of frosting. Perfect. I hadn't read about the hole in the foil technique to avoid splattering but dribbling down the side of the pan works well...

jillian said...

Great photos! My cupcakes werent gluten free, but I also beat the heck out my butter and sugar :)

Calm In The Kitchen said...

Great photos! I ended up beating the sugar and butter forever, not because I was thinking it would help, but because I got distracted by a 3 year old that had to go to the bathroom! However, it was a happy result, the cake was so great!

Licking the camera is always a good sign of a success, I agree!

;)amy

marion said...

we weren't supposed to dip ou cameras in the caramel ???? ;)
your "minimalistic frosting" is a great idea, thos cake was as rich as delicious :)

CookiePie said...

Your cupcakes came out so pretty! And extra points to you for making it gluten free as well. Congrats!

maybelle's mom said...

OH, I burst my icing bag too on frosting too--though I didn't get lucky enough to get a lickable camera.

Jenny said...

Haha that's good, I wouldn't have thought of licking my camera. :-)

And the cupcakes look great!

Elle said...

All those hints and tips really were a help, but YOU nailed the recipe! Great cupcakes. Think I'll pass on licking the camera :)

Natalie... said...

Ooh wow yours look great, so pretty! Hehe yes i agree cameras should definately come in a "caramel flavour" hmm..

Natalie... said...

Oh and yes the fudge was delicious...just a bit of a pain to get out of the pan...

Esther said...

Looks fantastic, I made cupcakes too and will definitely be doing them again, worked really well gluten free for me to.

Claire said...

Those look WONDERFUL! I had to laugh at your camera comment...I am forever forgetting to wash my hands before taking a picture and my camera shows it. Oh, well!