This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Tammy of Wee Treats by Tammy. She chose Dorie’s Caramel-Peanut Topped Brownie Cake which is located on pages 264-265 of Baking: From My Home to Yours. If you go by Tammy’s site you can pick up a copy of the recipe, or you could go out and get Dorie’s book. You will not be disappointed with it at all.
Because this cake is made in an 8-inch springform pan I knew that it would be too big for me to ever finish eating. I decided that I would half the entire recipe and bake the cake portion in two 4.5-inch round springform pans for 30 minutes. The cake turned out great. It did sink in a little after baking, but that was perfectly fine since you get to cover the entire top of the cake in peanuts and caramel sauce.
I actually had no problems at all with the cake or the caramel sauce. I saw that a lot of people were having problems with the caramel sauce because Dorie says to wait until it turns a deep amber, which if you are not careful it can burn right after that. I have caramelized sugar many times without water so I knew the drill because I have also burned the sugar. David Lebovitz has an entry on his blog about the Ten Tips For Making Caramel. Everyone should read it because it might be helpful for next time. He also has an entry on How to Make The Perfect Caramel.
I made the cakes a day ahead of time and made the caramel before serving. Since I halved the recipe I did not think that 1/2 cup of unsalted peanuts would be enough so I actually used the full 1 cup. I also used all of the sauce on top of both cakes. The only problem with them was that I had to warm them up in the microwave for 30 seconds so that I was able to slice through the caramel. It was really sticky. The cake turned out great and I loved it. It wasnt as fudgy as a brownie but all the flavors were there and it was nice and not dry at all. The topping was great too. It reminds me of something but I can’t exactly put my finger on it right now. Maybe it is the caramel peanut combination of a Snickers bar :)