The bunny’s back and it’s not even Easter yet. This wily little rabbit is at it again, baking cake and spreading Easter cheer. This time he’s even filled the cake with spring time jelly beans, what a good bunny! Why has he come early? Because Julia of A Slice of Cherry Pie is hosting her first event, an Easter Cake Bake. Well, you know the bunny loves a good cake bake as much as the next person, so he was eager to join in, or maybe it was me who was eager, no matter. I wanted to submit my monkey cake, just cause it was cool, but I couldn’t quite figure out how monkeys tied into Easter. I tried to think of a link, but the best I could come up with was: monkeys like bananas, bananas are yellow, yellow is a bright colour, bright colours are associated with spring, spring is when Easter is… Uh, right. No dice.
But as luck would have it, one of the women who had a piece of the monkey cake liked it so much that she asked me to make her the exact same cake, except in the shape of an Easter egg nest with jelly beans in the middle. Short of making a bunny cake, you can’t get much more Easter than that. Hurrah, problem solved, sort of. She wanted the flavours to be exactly the same cake as the monkey cake, (banana cake with peanut butter cream cheese icing) but if you’ll recall, the middle of that cake was filled with a layer of caramel that was leftover from my failed attempt at making salted butter chocolate caramels. This twist in the plot meant that I would have to recreate failure. Failing on purpose is not a concept I’m familiar with. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I had a brand new candy thermometer and was itching to try the caramels again, the proper way, cooking them all the way to 245F. But if I did things the way I wanted to, the caramel would be much too thick to layer in the cake. It seemed like I was doomed either way. Or was I? I like to have my cake and eat it too. I undercooked half of my caramel, then poured it into a pan that I had divided in two with parchment paper, then returned the pan to the stove to allow the rest of the caramel to reach the full temperature. Could it really be this easy? Yes, yes it could.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have conquered caramel! I will no longer live in fear of hot sugar. My dreams won’t be haunted by the ghosts of caramels that could have been. If a recipe calls for caramel, I will make it with gusto! I think this calls for a song…