Poet at the Table

In today’s LA Times’ Food section, Maya Angelou is talking about her newest publication, a cookbook.

This combined my 2 interests: Maya Angelou’s poetry, and cooking.

I can’t wait to whip this up! Perhaps I could serve this at my house after the birthday dinner out on the 13th? Hmm…

Maya Angelou’s Caramel cake
Note: Adapted from “Hallelujah! The Welcome Table,” by Maya Angelou

Caramel syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water

1. Heat the sugar in a heavy skillet over low heat. Stir constantly until it is melted to a brown liquid. When it bubbles over its entire surface, about 20 minutes, remove from the heat.

2. Slowly add the boiling water, stirring constantly. Pour into a container and cool. Use one-fourth cup for the cake; save the rest for another use.

Caramel frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon butter
3 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons heavy cream
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

1. Brown the butter in a heavy pot over medium heat — be vigilant or it will burn. Allow the butter to cool.

2. Pour the cooled butter into a large mixing bowl. Add the powdered sugar, cream, vanilla and salt and beat until smooth. If the frosting is too stiff, add a tablespoon of half-and-half or cream.

Cake and assembly

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
1/4 cup caramel syrup
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 recipe caramel frosting

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the bottoms of two 8-inch layer cake pans with greased wax paper.

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Beat in the syrup.

3. In a medium mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk.

4. In a separate medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs about 3 minutes, until foamy. Add the remaining sugar and beat until mixture resembles a fine spongy foam, another 3 minutes. Stir it into cake batter until blended.

5. Divide the batter between the cake pans. Bake for about 25 minutes. Check by gently pressing the center of a cake; it should spring back. If it doesn’t, bake for 10 more minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then on a rack before frosting with caramel frosting. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutrional information left out on purpose. Feh. Calories schamalories.

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