I wrote my first blog post four years ago today.
I had no idea really what would happen with it or if anyone other than my parents and in-laws would read it.
To be honest, I was a little afraid of anyone other than family reading it.
Yes, and I was even more afraid that nobody would read or care.
Back then, I had only three kids. Ages 4, 2, and 6 months.
Life has changed a bit since then.
I've had some really dry months of posting nearly nothing - because of severe morning sickness or adjusting to new babies. I've taken some really terrible photos and they're still on here, because I'm forgetful about updating stuff. And it is kind of funny to see how far I've come in my food photography, even though there is still SO much further to go.
I've discovered that I really enjoy blogging - trying new recipes, sharing them with others, "meeting" new people who share similar interests and live in places I've never been and probably never will go.
Blogging is an important part of my life, so to celebrate 4 years of it, I made a cake.
I had a hard time deciding what kind of cake to bake for the occasion. We're always huge chocolate fans, and as much as recipes like this and this were calling my name, I just kept wanting to make something with caramel.
A homemade caramel cake. Yes. That would do.
After all, my own birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks and I can always make something decadently chocolate then.
This Caramel Cake features a really nice yellow cake, which is moist and flavorful and not too crumbly, yet solid enough to hold up to a rather thick frosting. The caramel frosting is very rich and sweet - almost too much so, but since I have a ridiculously strong sweet tooth, that didn't bother me. I love the homemade caramel flavor so much, I can eat it by the spoonful.
Note 1: If you don't have dark brown sugar on hand (like I never do), you can make light brown sugar into dark just by adding molasses! Add 1 Tablespoon molasses for each cup of brown sugar. Just mash it around with a fork until well combined and not lumpy.
Note 2: If you don't keep cake flour on hand (like I never do), you can measure out your all-purpose flour as directed, then remove 2 Tablespoons of flour for each cup of flour, and replace it with 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch, then sift it all together three or four times. More if you have the time. It makes a lighter textured cake than all-purpose flour.
Recipe: (from A Well-Seasoned Life)
1 (8 oz) container sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour or cake flour (I recommend cake flour)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 T. whipping cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3-3/4 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine sour cream and milk. Set aside.
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat at medium-low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Pour batter into two greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks and let cool completely.
Melt butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Keep at a full rolling boil for 1 minute. Stir in cream and vanilla and bring back to a boil. Boil for another minute. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Cool for one hour. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
Sift powdered sugar into frosting. Beat at high speed with an electric mixer until creamy and spreading consistency.
Spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. If you want, reserve a little frosting to pipe on decorative swirls.
Garnish as desired.
Linked to Trick or Treat Tuesday.