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.
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.
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.