Salted Caramel Cake from My Beverly Hills Kitchen by Alex Hitz

Listen to the interview.

The tag line of Alex Hitz’ new book My Beverly Hills Kitchen is “Classic Southern Cooking with a French Twist”.  The classic Southern Cooking comes from 5 generations of Southern hospitality. The French Twist comes from his degree from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. The result is good old comfort food with an elegant French aesthetic.

Alex says successful hosts and hostesses do these 3 things:
Give the people what they want: they love to indulge and they love comfort food
Relax- it’s dinner not childbirth
Timing- make a schedule and stick to it

If you want to entertain well, Alex says to avoid these 3 things:
Themes
Too much table setting
Putting food on the table before the guest sits down

Alex shared his recipe for Salted Caramel Cake from his book. “Caramel Cake exists nowhere else that I know except the American South. It is the go-to Special Occasion cake: birthdays, christenings, and funerals. So few people bake cakes anymore that it is not as prevalent as it once was, and what a shame that is. In every sense of the word, this cake is truly a treat, and well worth the effort. This recipe is so good, I think you could probably sell it.” ~ Alex Hitz

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 325° F. Butter and flour three 9-inch cake pans.

Butter and flour three nine inch cake pans, and put a parchment round in the bottom of
the pans, andbutter and flour the rounds.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on
medium-high speed,beat the cold butter until very light, approximately 5 minutes.

Scrape the bowl down several times during the beating, and gradually add the sugar.

While continuing to beat, add the vanilla, and beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla for 5 more minutes,
scraping the bowl down again. The mixture will be very coarse and grainy.

Turn the speed to low and add the melted butter, the egg yolks, and then the whole eggs, until they
are fully combined. Turn off the mixer.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the salt, flour, and baking powder.

In another medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and cream, and then turn on the
mixer again, the very lowest speed. Add half of the flour, and then half of the buttermilk and cream
mixture, and then the remaining flour, and then the remaining buttermilk and cream mixture. Scrape
down the bowl as necessary, but make sure not to over mix the batter or the cake will be tough.

Pour the batter into the three prepared pans, dividing it equally, and bang each pan on a sturdy surface
to release the air bubbles if there are any. Put the pans in the oven and bake them for 25-30 minutes
until they are brown on top and a toothpick or knife comes out clean.

Cool the cakes for ten minutes, then run the dull edge of a knife around the perimeter and invert them
onto a cold baking sheet or rack. Note: These cakes may be frozen for up to 3 months at this point.

When you are ready to ice the cake, slice each layer horizontally in half so that you will have 6 layers.  Make sure all the layers are cold before you ice them.

Caramel Icing

In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. When the butter is fully melted, add the half and half, and then the brown sugar.

Turn the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 8 minutes, until the sugar is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.

Remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. I actually stick it in the freezer to cool for about 30 to 40 minutes because otherwise it could take all day.

When it’s cool, transfer the caramel mixture to the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and, on medium speed, beat in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt.

Ice the cakes with about 1cup of icing per layer. You may have a small bit of leftover icing, but this can easily be added to the top and sides.


Yield: Yield: 3 layers, or one six-layer, 9-inch cake, approximately 16 servings

What's Needed:

 

Salted Caramel Cake
9 tablespoons salted butter, cold
3 ¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons plus ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
12 tablespoons salted butter, melted
8 egg yolks
4 whole eggs
3 3/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ cup buttermilk
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
Additional butter and flour for the cake pans

Caramel Icing
4½ sticks (36 tablespoons) salted butter
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons half-­and-­half
4 ½ cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 ¼ cups powdered sugar, firmly packed
4 tablespoons vanilla extract
2¼ teaspoons salt

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