Caramel Nut Cake
A very different, delicious and impressive cake, using a strange ish method, I have taken it from the 1970’s Talking About Cakes. Making the caramel is quite tricky but OK if you take your time and follow the simple rules. But trust, me it is worth it, for this scrumptious cake.
Line a 8 in loose bottom spring form cake tin and pre heat your fan oven to 160C
⅓ of a cup of soft dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons very hot water
6 oz butter, softened
10 oz caster sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
12 oz plain flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1¼ cups milk, pref whole milk
½ cup chopped walnuts
Start off by making the caramel. Put the soft brown sugar in a small saucepan and on your lowest setting, heat gently until liquid. No need to stir but it will take 10-15 mins. Do not turn up the temp! Stir in the hot water, adding it gradually [and carefully] and when all dissolved and bubbly, set aside to cool. This sounds easier than it is. As you add the water [over the heat still] it will go lumpy. Keep stirring and it will eventually turn into a smooth, glorious thick caramel. It will cool fairly quickly, so get the creaming done before you add the water., as well as everything else assembled.
Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and then gradually beat in the cooled caramel, along with the whisked eggs. Then add the flour and BP alternatively with the milk until well mixed and finally the nuts. Tip into your prepared tin and bake for apron 1¼ hours, maybe a fraction more. If too brown turn down after an hour. Cool on a rack.
2 teacups soft light brown sugar
½ cup milk
1 oz butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
When the cake is cooled prepare the fudge icing. Place the sugar, milk and butter in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring all the time, until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and let it bubble away until a little piece, when tested will form a soft ball. [this will be about ten mins - but there is no need to stir constantly]. Add the vanilla and beat until it thickens, cool for a bit then ice the cake. Decorate with walnut halves if you wish or sprinkle with chopped walnuts, as I have done..
Just delicious and very special. Worth the effort!!