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Burnt Sugar Sour Cream Cake with
Burnt Sugar Cream Cheese Icing



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Burnt Sugar Sour Cream Cake with
Burnt Sugar Cream Cheese Icing

Gourmet November 1987

For the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned, chopped coarse
[Other nuts of your choice may be substituted.]

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup hazelnuts [or other nuts of your choice], toasted,
skinned, chopped coarse

Make the cake: Butter and flour a 9-inch tube pan (3-quart capacity)
and into a bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and
salt. In a large heavy skillet cook 3/4 cup of the sugar over moderately
high heat, stirring constantly with a fork, until it is melted completely
and a deep golden caramel, remove the skillet from the heat, and stir
the caramel to prevent further darkening. Into the side of the skillet
add 1/4 cup boiling water carefully, cook the caramel mixture, stirring,
until it is combined well, and let it cool.
In a bowl with an electric mixer cream the butter with the remaining
1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. In another bowl whisk together the
eggs and vanilla, whisk in half the caramel mixture, reserving the other
half for the icing, and beat the mixture into the butter mixture until the mixture is combined well. Add the flour mixture alternately with the
sour cream, beating the batter after each addition until it is just combined, and stir in the hazelnuts. Spoon the batter into the tube pan, smoothing
the top, and bake the cake in the middle of a preheated 350-degree F
oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Let the
cake cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, turn it out onto the rack,
and let it cool completely.

Make the icing while the cake is baking
: In a bowl with the electric
mixer beat the cream cheese and the reserved caramel mixture until the
mixture is combined well. Sift the confectioner's sugar into the bowl,
add the butter and vanilla, and beat the icing until it is smooth. Chill
the icing, covered, for 2 hours, spread it on the top and sides of the
cake, and sprinkle it with the hazelnuts [or the nuts of your choice].

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