Grilled Scallops from
I treated my husband to an early dinner at 131 Main last week for his birthday. We were delighted to learn all appetizers, including the grilled scallops shown above, are $5. between 5 and 7 p.m. I chose the grilled artichokes - DIVINE! My DH celebrated with a gorgeous prime rib; I stuck with the flounder and mash.
Caramel Cake with Caramel Filling
and Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
For dessert, I baked a caramel cake (DH's favorite) with caramel filling and caramel cream cheese frosting. The caramel filling, which cooked for nearly 3 hours until I said, "You're done!" was quite rich, prompting me to use just half. Our son Matthew suggested the cake would also be good with no caramel - just frosting.
A word to the wise: Use full fat cream cheese and full fat butter. I realized too late I'd used "light" butter which would not solidify. So, I added more powdered sugar and additional regular butter to make the icing firm enough to spread.
Instead of directions from Kathryn Conrad's MyRecipes, I saved time by using a Betty Crocker butter moist yellow cake mix to which I added 1/4 C. brown sugar. Bake according to directions. Let cool..
Recipes for the icing and caramel filling are from Kathryn Conrad via a Google search.
Combine 1 1/2 C. brown sugar, 1/2 C. evaporated milk and 1/4 C. butter in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cook (without stirring) until a candy thermometer registers 238 degrees, soft ball stage. Transfer to a heat-resistant bowl and beat 3 minutes or until thickened and easy to spread. Quickly spread filling over cake layer on plate. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; chill 15 minutes or until set. Spread a thin layer of Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting over filling. Top with second layer. Frost cake. Chill 20 minutes or until frosting sets, then cover and chill 4 hours or overnight. Let stand 20 minutes at room temperature before serving.
CARAMEL CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
1/4 C.. light brown sugar
10 T. butter, divided
1/3 C. heavy whipping cream
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Dash of salt
1 3/4 C. powdered sugar
Melt brown sugar and 4 T. butter is saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil over medium heat, remove from heat. Whisk in cream; blend well. Transfer to a heat-resistant bowl. Cool at room temperature, stirring occasionally.
Place remaining 6 T. butter and cream cheese in a large bowl; beat with mixer set on medium-high speed until smooth. Beat in vanilla and salt. With mixer running, slowlyt pour in cooled brown sugar mixtgure; beat until smooth. Add powdered sugar (I sifted mine) gradually, beating well afer each addition until completely smooth. Chill slightly for a firmer texture, stirring occasionally.
As previously stated, spead frosting over caramel filling on first layer, add second layer. Frost sides and then top of cake. Chill.
Notes: This is a delicious cake, but its caramel filling takes forever to cook. If you could find a faster/easier substitute, it wouldn't be quite so labor intensive. In its original form, the process took five hours. And I didn't even make the pecan praline garnish!