Calling something burnt could be argued to be foolish, but when you burn sugar you get caramel, and that can only mean one thing – yum!
This recipe came to me when a friend generously let me read a few of her Grandmother’s cookbooks. Deep within one of the 50-year-old tomes, I discovered a recipe for a burnt sugar cake and while I was driving home that evening, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the recipe. I tweaked it here and there, used a small tray of loaf tins rather than one large cake tin, and added a caramel sauce to give it a lick of syrupy goodness. It was on the plate and taken to the table within the hour. I think this cake gives you a terrific blend of old-school classic baking in the current era when architectural sculptures are served.
Burnt Sugar Syrup
100ml castor sugar
1 tbsp water
Place the castor sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring it to a gentle boil. Do not agitate or stir the sugar while it is melting. When the sugar has melted, turn the heat down and continue to simmer until a deep caramel colour appears. Remove it from the heat and transfer it to a small glass bowl to stop the cooking. Set it aside.
Burnt Sugar Cake
500g plain flour, sifted
300g castor sugar
140g unsalted butter
4 tbs burnt sugar syrup
3 tsp baking powder.
1 tps vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180°C and lightly grease 10 small loaf tins (approx 4x8cm)
Cream the butter and sugar together until it is light and fluffy. Add each egg one at a time, ensuring each is well combined before adding the next, followed by the vanilla extract. Add the flour, baking powder, milk and burnt sugar syrup. When the mixture is combined, spoon small amounts into each loaf tin.
Bake in the oven for 20mins or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the loaf tin and cool on a cake rack.
100g castor sugar
75g unsalted butter, diced into small cubes
In small saucepan, gently melt the sugar without stirring or agitating over a medium heat. When the sugar has tuned into a deep rich caramel colour, remove it from the heat. Leave it to sit for a minute then add the cream taking care to avoid the volcanic bubbling that will erupt. Add a cube of butter and stir until it has melted and combined with the mixture. Continue to add each cube of butter until you have a luscious caramel sauce.
Serve each cake, gently warmed with a spoon or two of the warm caramel sauce.