Friday, June 20, 2014

Toffee Pecan Caramel Pound Cake

Toffee Pecan Caramel Pound Cake - made June 15, 2014 from Carlsbad Cravings
I got a new job last week and had to break the news to my coworkers that not only will I no longer be doing my day job for them but yes, the weekly desserts in our communal kitchen provided by yours truly were coming to an end. I'm not entirely sure which they were more upset about: loss of my day job support or their "involuntary dessert diet" once I leave. I don't change companies very often but since I've baked for every company I've worked in, I've come across this reaction before.
The first instinctive response varies from "congratulations!" to "nooooooo, you can't leave" (always nice to hear). Then once the news sinks in, the next click is "wait, does that mean you're not going to bake for us anymore?" Once I get them past the denial and I-reject-this-news stage, we get to the bargaining stage: "hey, any chance you can still drop off baked goods to us on your way to your new office?" Um, probably not but I did promise to step up the baking in my remaining time in my old job so I can leave them in sugar comas by my last day.
Starting with this pound cake from Carlsbad Cravings. I modified the recipe slightly to leave off incorporating pecans into the batter and instead used them as a garnish on top. I don't mind adding toffee into the cake itself but I discriminate against nuts in cakes. The nuts soften during baking and lose their crunch. In my mind, the main purpose of nuts in cakes is to provide a crunch contrast so putting them into batter and having them lose their purpose is not my baking path of choice. You can still get the flavor of the pecans but you'll also get their texture when using them as a garnish rather than incorporating them into the cake itself.
I didn't bake this cake as long as the original recipe directed. I'm horrible about timing things since I go by looks and the toothpick test so I don't know how long I baked this for but I don't think it was as long as an hour, if that. It definitely wasn't in there for 85-90 minutes. But ovens vary so I suggest checking this at least at 45 minutes and then every 5-10 minutes after that. I did have to cover the top loosely with foil towards the end to prevent the cake from getting too brown.
Let the cake cool completely before you spoon the caramel sauce over it. If you glaze it while the cake is still warm, the caramel will melt into your cake instead of remaining as a distinct covering of caramel. Or if you want to serve it warm, pour the caramel over it, sprinkle with toffee bits and pecans and serve immediately. I don't recommend garnishing it with pecans too far ahead of when the cake will be consumed because the pecans sitting on top of the caramel will absorb the moisture from the caramel and soften. Then they lose their purpose in life once again.
I really liked this cake. I held back a tiny portion of the batter to bake in a small ramekin as my taste test and ate it just slightly warm with the caramel poured over it. Yummmmm. It had the perfect pound cake texture, not too dense or too light and the brown sugar toffee flavor was delicious. I think I preferred my ramekin version instead of a normal slice from the Bundt cake but that's probably because I had the ramekin cake while it was still lukewarm. It's hard not to like a caramel-covered cake in that state.
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1 8-ounce bag toffee bits
1 cup pecans, toasted, chopped
1/2 cup to 1 cup caramel (you can make your own or use storebought)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and generously spray a 12" nonstick Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Beat the butter until creamy then add sugars, beating until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture in thirds, alternating with milk between each third. Beat until just combined. Stir in toffee bits and pecans then spoon batter into prepared pan.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean, 85-90 minutes (check it at 45-50 minutes). If your cake is browning too quickly, lightly cover with a piece of aluminum foil.
  5. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes. Loosen from pan with flexible spatula and invert onto wire cooling rack. Let cool completely before spooning caramel over cake.


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  2. Congratulations! I'm the baker at work too, so I can imagine a similar reaction if I were to leave :) Wishing you all the best in your new endeavor

    1. Thank you! Glad to hear of other bakers sharing their desserts with their coworkers :).