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Tuesdays With Dorie: Caramel-Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake

October 7, 2008

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This week’s TWD recipe was Caramel-Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake. Husband’s birthday was last Thursday, and so this was a perfect ending to our Friday dinner.

I was on my own for this one, and I didn’t start till mid-afternoon. The cake came together pretty quickly, which was nice, and it was out of the oven an hour after I started.

The topping came a couple of hours later, just before dinner, and it too was fairly simple. I’ve had issues with caramel before, but this came together nice, exactly as described in the book.

And when I brought it to the table, it was beautiful. Mouthwateringly beautiful.

Unfortunately, it just didn’t live up to the promise of its name and beauty. It was fine, but not brilliant. It reminded me of a restaurant dessert, one of those that sound incredible when you read the description on the menu but are ultimately disappointing.

From the name, I thought the cake would be more of a giant brownie, but it was actually a cake, and the caramel was a bit bland.

We had vanilla ice cream with it; I think that’s absolutely necessary. It balanced the sweetness and richness of the chocolate and caramel.

Family reviews:

Husband: It was more cakey than I thought it would be, not as chocolatey. It worked as a whole package, when the ice cream was added in.

#1 Son: Not a lot of depth of flavor, and the texture was disappointing. But the caramel and the peanuts were good.

#2 Son: The cake was not the texture of either brownie or cake, kind of in between. Still really good — I like the bittersweet chocolate. The peanuts were good — they added that little bit of salt — and the caramel was awesome. Great with vanilla ice cream!

The next day, two of us liked it more (richer flavor), and two of us liked it less (drier cake).

This recipe was chosen by Tammy over at Wee Treats by Tammy. She’ll have the recipe over there if you want to try it for yourself, or you could go buy Dorie’s book, Baking: From My Home to Yours. And if you want to see what tons of other bloggers thought of it, check out the blogroll at Tuesdays With Dorie.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. October 7, 2008 11:44 am

    You know what? You hit the nail on the head for me. It was good, but not as good as I expected it to be. Exactly what you said about the restaurant dessert description!

  2. October 7, 2008 12:27 pm

    Your cake looks beautiful! I love how your family gave you such great feedback, and I fully agree, I wasn’t crazy about this cake at all.

  3. October 7, 2008 2:17 pm

    That’s some detailed feedback – I normally just get “this is good” and “thanks” from guys in the plant when I bring goodies in 😛 Maybe try again, with a brownie base and darker caramel?

  4. pinkstripes permalink
    October 7, 2008 4:45 pm

    Ha! I like the reviews. My husband (predictably) like the mini-cupcakes I made with out peanuts and hated the ones with the peanuts.

  5. October 7, 2008 6:46 pm

    Oh, I’m sorry you didnt like it as much as you had hoped. Thanks for making my pick!

  6. October 8, 2008 1:57 pm

    your cake looks great!! i think ice cream would have been ideal with this cake… it was just a little too cakey for me, too!

  7. October 9, 2008 3:46 pm

    Your restaurant dessert comparison was perfect! It sounded better in the book than it tasted in my house. I’m looking forward to next week’s recipe – I have high hopes!

  8. October 10, 2008 9:12 am

    Too bad you didn’t like it, but it sure looks mouthwateringly good!

  9. October 13, 2008 1:45 am

    I was disappointed in the cake, too. Loved the caramel topping, though (I made it with salted pecans). Yeah, the picture was better than the real thing…at least this time!

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