From the menu of … The Bulloch House Restaurant, 47 Bulloch Street, Warm Springs. 706-655-9068; www.bullochhouse.com.
Q: For years my mother and I have tried to make the Caramel Cake from the Bulloch House in Warm Springs. It is outstanding. Many Sundays we take the long drive down there, just to get a piece of that cake. Any chance they would share the recipe? — Marjorie Snipes, Carrollton
A: Peter Lampert, owner of The Bulloch House Restaurant, sent us this recipe which is published in “The Bulloch House Presents: Is My Grandma in Your Kitchen?” (Cookbooks by Morris Press, $15.95). Lampert says the cookbook has all the recipes for dishes served in the restaurant. The cookbook is only available for purchase at the restaurant and can be shipped from there to anywhere in the United States.
The restaurant also supplied the photo of their beautifully swirled caramel cake, taken in the morning when the fresh baked cakes are sliced for the day.
You’ll need to plan ahead for this recipe, baking the cake layers at least a day ahead of time so they can freeze. And you’ll need a candy thermometer to make the frosting.
Caramel icing is tricky. We tested this recipe three times to get an icing that worked. The secret seems to be heating the icing just to the soft ball stage, 240 degrees, and then cooling the icing until the temperature is just right – not too cold, not too hot. Cool it too long and suddenly it freezes up into crumbles, not spreadable at all. Don’t cool it long enough and the icing is too warm and flows off the cake. Having the cake layers cold helps achieve a good result. Good luck!
The Bulloch House Restaurant’s Caramel Cake
Hands on: 30 minutes Total time: 1 hour Serves: 16
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups granulated sugar
14 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Caramel Icing (see recipe)
At least one day before serving, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heavily grease 3 8-inch cake pans. For extra insurance that cakes will release, line cake pans with a circle of parchment paper and grease again.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat sugar and butter until well incorporated. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add half the flour mixture and half the buttermilk and beat 1 minute. Add the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk and beat 1 minute. Stir in vanilla extract. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans.
Bake 25 minutes or until cakes are cooked through. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks 5 minutes. Turn cakes out of pan, remove parchment paper if used and cool completely. Wrap each layer in plastic wrap and freeze overnight or up to 1 week ahead.
When ready to assemble cake, remove layers from freezer. Unwrap first layer and arrange on cake plate. Make icing. Working quickly, spread first layer with 1/2 cup Caramel Icing. Unwrap second layer and place on top of first. Spread with 1/2 cup Caramel Icing. Unwrap third layer and place on top. Use remainder of Caramel Icing to frost the top and sides of the cake.
Per serving, entire recipe: 439 calories (percent of calories from fat, 42), 5 grams protein, 60 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, 21 grams fat (10 grams saturated), 92 milligrams cholesterol, 362 milligrams sodium.
Per serving, cake only: 268 calories (percent of calories from fat, 39), 4 grams protein, 38 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, 12 grams fat (7 grams saturated), 81 milligrams cholesterol, 275 milligrams sodium.
The Bulloch House Restaurant’s Caramel Icing
Hands on: 15 minutes Total time: 15 minutes Serves: 16
8 tablespoons margarine
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 (12- ounce) can evaporated milk (3/4 cup)
In a large saucepan, heat margarine and butter over medium heat until almost completely melted. Add brown sugar and evaporated milk and turn heat to high. Stirring constantly, bring mixture to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn heat to medium and continue cooking until temperature reaches the soft ball stage, 240 degrees. Stir frequently to prevent scorching. Remove saucepan from heat and pour into a bowl. Allow to cool until it reaches spreading consistency, beating ocassionally and more as the iciding cools. Use immediately.
Per serving: 171 calories (percent of calories from fat, 48), 1 gram protein, 22 grams carbohydrates, no fiber, 9 grams fat (3 grams saturated), 11 milligrams cholesterol, 88 milligrams sodium.