Minnys Caramel Cake – The Help

The Help

Ok, so I finished the book for the 5thtime around!!

When people hear that I’ve read this book so many times they tell me that I should maybe read another story. But I can’t help it….every time I pick it up a few words turns into a few pages, a few pages turns into a chapter, and a couple chapters later I’m suddenly back in Jackson, Mississippi going to league meetings and polishing silver.

Kathryn Stockett has clearly struck a cord with me and many others and in her telling of each of  the characters stories you have a sense of the struggle that each one is going through and you truly feel for each one individually.

My favorite character in the book is Minny Jackson.  She’s short tempered and strong but clearly has a soft spot in her heart, but she’ll never let you know that.  But aside from that she is known as probably on the best cooks in Jackson, Mississipi and she uses her cooking as sort of an escape from her reality.  A woman after my own heart.

She is best known for her “special” chocolate pie that she serves to Hilly Holbrook.  The “terrible awful” as it’s known is probably one of the best stories in the book and one of the best scenes in the movie.

However the movie doesn’t mention Minnys caramel cake at all.  It’s mentioned several times throughout the book and so it’s something that stuck with me and I had a notion to try my hand at it.  After researching and testing recipes I finally landed on something sweet, heavy and delicious.  Something I hope Minny Jackson would be proud of.

Buttermilk Cake

1.5 sticks butter

1.5 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

1 T. vanilla extract

1.5 cups cake flour

2.5 t. baking powder

½ t. salt

1 cup buttermilk

 

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, whisk together and set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time making sure to mix well after each addition.
  4. Add the vanilla to the buttermilk.
  5. Start adding the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three additions. Adding the buttermilk in between each addition.
  6. Finish the cake batter with a plastic scraper so as not to over mix the batter.
  7. Prepare two 9” cake pans with non-stick cooking spray and parchment rounds.
  8. Divide the batter between the two pans and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
  9. Let cook completely before frosting.

Caramel Icing

¾ cup granulated sugar

3 ¾ cup granulated sugar

1.5 T. flour

¾ t. salt

1.5 cups evaporated milk

2 stick + 1 T. butter

1.5 T . vanilla extract

 

  1. In a heavy pot caramelize the ¾ cup sugar until melted and becomes a nice amber color.
  2. In a larger pot add the remaing sugar, flour, salt, evaporated milk and butter and mix.
  3. Boil this mixture until the butter is just melted add the reserved caramel.
  4. Put a candy thermometer in the mixture and cook until it reaches 232 degrees or soft ball stage.
  5. Add the hot caramel to the bowl of a stand mixer and add the vanilla.
  6. Beat the hot caramel with a paddle until it has cooled and is a thick and spreadable consistency.
  7. Frost cooled cakes with caramel icing and enjoy!

 

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