Following the Yellow Brick Road: Dorothy’s Second Cake

Cake #2: Brown Butter Praline Bundt Cake with Salted Caramel Drizzle

The Brown Butter Praline Bundt Cake with Salted Caramel Drizzle was my kid, Pan’s, favorite. I found it slightly on the dry side and, if I make it again, would make more of the salted caramel drizzle, which was absolutely delicious. But caramel is my pinnacle of perfection as far as sweet flavors go, so maybe that’s just me.

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The ingredients (no, the tomatoes did not go into the cake!)

The warning in the recipe to not eat all the batter is perfectly justified—the batter is delicious. In light of the recent e coli problem with some flours, I’d recommend sticking with a brand like King Arthur (as well as using pasture eggs). I’ve been licking the bowl and eating raw cookie dough for over 50 years, with no ill effects, so, hopefully, I’m doing something right.

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The perfectly delicious batter, the majority of which I did not eat

This one also makes lovely use of the swirl. The costume crew appreciated it greatly—you can see by the photo, what a great job they did in matching the pattern of the fabric in the undertunic on this costume.

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Ben Brady as the Ducato (formerly the Mikado), photo by Vero Kherian

Brown Butter Praline Bundt Cake
with Salted Caramel Drizzle

Yield: 12–16ish servings

From the Brooklyn Homemaker

Cake:
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter (2 1/2 sticks)
2 cups chopped pecans
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

Salted Caramel Sauce:
(adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature
1/2 (heaping) teaspoon fleur de sel (or any flaky sea salt)

Make the cake:
Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a 10+ cup bundt pan and set aside. In a medium saucepan, brown butter over medium high heat until it’s golden brown and smells intensely nutty. Should take about 10 minutes or so, but watch it closely so it doesn’t burn. Set aside to cool.

On a sheet pan, arrange pecans in a single layer. Toast at 350 for about 10 minutes, or until they smell like nutty heaven.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, & salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combined cool brown butter, granulated sugar, & brown sugar. Beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix to combine. On low speed, beat in the flour mixture and buttermilk in 3 alternating batches, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix each addition until just combined, do not over-mix, and scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Finally, stir in 1 1/2 cups of toasted pecans on low speed until well distributed. Reserve remaining 1/2 cup of pecans for decorating the finished cake.

Spoon batter into prepared bundt pan and smooth the top. WARNING: At this point the batter will look and taste like butter pecan ice cream, but if you eat it all, you won’t have any left for your cake. Bake at 350 for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes before inverting the pan to release the cake onto the rack. Let cool completely before adding drizzle.

Make the caramel sauce:
Add the sugar in an even layer in a medium-sized heavy saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat, whisking regularly as it melts. The sugar will begin to clump together, and might stick to the whisk, but it’s okay. Once the sugar has melted completely, stop whisking and swirl the pan occasionally while the sugar continues to cook.

Cook to a deep amber color. It should look almost a reddish-brown, and have a slightly toasty aroma. Keep a close eye on things at this point, things can go from perfect to burnt in under a minute. If you want to use an instant-read thermometer, cook the sugar until it reaches 350° F.

As soon as the caramel reaches the right color (or 350 degrees), add all the butter. The caramel will bubble up so be careful. Whisk until the butter is completely melted. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour the cream into the caramel. Again, be careful because the mixture will bubble a lot. Whisk until everything is well incorporated and you have a smooth sauce. Add the fleur de sel and whisk to incorporate.

Let the sauce cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes and then pour into a heat proof container to let cool to room temperature. If you have any left, you can refrigerate the sauce for up to 2 weeks.

Drizzle the cooled caramel sauce over the cooled cake, and top with remaining 1/2 cup of toasted pecans. Slice. Serve. Enjoy.

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Plain cake

https://brooklynhomemaker.com/2014/10/16/brown-butter-praline-bundt-cake-with-salted-caramel-drizzle-bundtbakers/

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The lily, gilded

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