Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Verdict

There were only a few specific things I wanted to do during our short holiday in the Philippines recently.  Apart from of course spending quality time with my family, I planned to buy books (they have big bookstores there unlike here!), visit a cake decorating supplies shop that I've only read about on the web, and lastly, finally taste an Estrel's caramel cake.

I had my brother order a cake in advance for my son's 19th birthday.  Our favourite family restaurant, which we booked for the celebration, was only a few blocks away from Estrel's.  

We got a 14x20 rectangular cake which turned out to be too big!
My verdict?  The cake was beautiful as expected, the chiffon really soft as it should be and the caramel icing smooth and creamy.  However, there was nothing spectacular with it at all.  I am not a fan of anything too sweet but to me, both cake and icing were very bland.  Being called a caramel cake actually seems to be a misnomer as there is very little, if at all, a caramel taste in the icing.  As you can see in the photo, the colour is rather pale, suggesting that the sugar wasn't caramelized very much. 

Would I eat it again? Probably, although it is not something I would crave for or look forward to when I go back to the Philippines in the future. Having said that though, I would still choose this cake over a fondant covered cake (even with the most impressive decorations) anytime! Being very old-fashioned, with it's smoothly poured icing and with each buttercream rose beautifully piped out, is I think, what primarily draws people to buying it again and again.

Would I say my version of the caramel cake is close? Yes, though a tad sweeter.  Is it better? Hmmm. Don't want to claim that out loud....

Anyway, I had a chance to make a caramel cake for a birthday a few days ago.  I purposedly cut some of the sugar from the icing just to see if it would become as pale as my son's cake.  It still turned out darker!



As far as the look is concerned, am I getting close? Afterall, it's been more than 2 years since I started experimenting on this cake!

12 comments:

  1. Hi Corinne,

    I hope you had a wonderful time on vacation...

    You are such a wonderful baker... so I can imagine that your expectations are high...

    it is the same with me when I go to a restaurant... most of the stuff I make it better at home...

    or sewing... I rather prefer Sweats and T-Shirts made by me...

    Your cake looks better than Estrels... I just admire what you make... for me it is unbelievable... because I am not a cake-baker-person at all... despite the fact that I love sweets...

    if I ever wit the lottery I would love to meet you in person...

    XOXO

    Andrea

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    1. Andrea, I would love to meet you someday and bake a cake for you!

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  2. Hi Corinne, I came across your blog a couple of months ago while searching for Estrel's caramel cake recipe. I haven't tried making it yet since I'm heavily pregnant, but after reading this post, I'm now more excited than ever to try your recipe. It will be the first cake I make after giving birth. :)

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  3. Dear, I have always wanted you to taste the Estrel Caramel cake (which I myself have not tried since I have never been in the Philippines), and compare it to your own recipe. There are so many wonderful reviews of Estrel Caramel Cake that I have always wondered how yours was in comparison, so I am happy to know that yours is better. I have made your recipe so many times and I LOVE LOVE it. I too wondered how "caramely tasting" Estrel was due to the light color of the icing. Looks like if you were to relocate to the Philippines and open your own bakery, you might steal all of Estrel's clientele. LOL
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful Caramel recipe. Regine

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    1. Thanks Regine. I don't claim my icing to be better. People will definitely dispute that! Estrel's has been around for a long time. I suppose it's just a matter of taste. Just glad to know that you love this version.

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  4. Corinne, I tried to make one using your recipe and it was good! It was my first caramel cake and it came out pretty good. I just had trouble with the icing.. I think i didnt whip it too much and the humidity in texas is another problem. The roses came out as carnations, petals all wrinkled. Haha. But the cake and icing was delicious. I am with you in saying that Estrels is kinda bland - I had to try it too when I went home. Thanks for your recipes!

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  5. I forgot to ask... what tip do you use to make those fine lines? When i made the cake using your swiss buttercream, i cut of the tip of a plastic bag and it came out like fetuccini noodles. hehe. Thanks Corinne!

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    1. You must have cut the tip of your bag too big. Next time just cut off a tiny bit. Or you can use a piping tip #1 or #2.

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  6. Hi Corinne,
    May I know what recipe you used for the roses. Thanks.

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    1. As always, Swiss meringue buttercream.

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  7. Hi Corinne, Finally get to buy my tips.. but are there anything i can use as a substitution for the SMBC frosting when practicing how to pipe.

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    1. If it's for practice, a DECORATOR'S BUTTERCREAM will suit you. Just google for a recipe.

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