Welcome to Week 4 of the Holiday Progressive Dinner Blog Hop! I’m so glad you’re here and can’t wait for you to see all that’s planned for you this week! The menu is extraordinary and the recipes will be some of your favorite holiday dishes. Plus, the giveaway is simply unbelievable! I want to thank PotsandPans.com for sponsoring this week of our Holiday Progressive Dinner. They have generously supplied $100 in Rachael Ray Oven-to-Table Stoneware for the giveaway prize. This week’s giveaway winner will receive both the Rachael Ray Stoneware Set of 2 Oval Bakers and a 3.5 Qt. Covered Rectangular Casserole, in the colors of their choice.
I’ve been putting this wonderful stoneware baker to good use. It’s my go-to bakeware, now, for Sunday dinner. I prepare our main dish in the covered casserole dish from Rachael Ray’s stoneware line each week, placing it in the oven as we leave the house and return to find a beautifully cooked meal, that moves straight from my oven to the serving table! I’ve used it to roast a chicken, to bake a myriad of casseroles and to heat my Special Occasion Mashed Potatoes, plus so many other tasty recipes. It’s functional, durable, attractive and easily transportable if I’m headed out to a potluck or church function. Rachael Ray stoneware is safe for use in the microwave, freezer, dishwasher and in the oven, up to 500 degrees. It’s also available in a wide array of gorgeous colors and unique shapes and sizes. There’s something to fit every kitchen need and family size.
It’s time to share some tasty holiday recipes, again! My assignment for the Progressive Dinner Blog Hop, this week is dessert and you’re going to swoon for this exquisite Butter Toffee Pound Cake with Vanilla Brandy Caramel Sauce, which was inspired by a recipe I found over at The Lady Behind the Curtain blog. Be sure to check out the full menu and collect all the recipes in this weeks Holiday line-up, too!
Holiday Progressive Dinner Week 4 Recipe Links
at Daily Dish Recipes
Garlic and Rosemary Roasted Chicken for Two
at Adventures in All Things Food
Creamy Corn Casserole
at The Gunny Sack
Vegetable Medley with Cream Sauce
at Flour on My Face
Butter Toffee Pound Cake with Vanilla Brandy Caramel Sauce
- -------For the Pound Cake------
- 1½ cups butter, softened
- 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Pure Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 (8 oz) bag of Heath toffee bits
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- -----For Vanilla Brandy Caramel Sauce-------
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1½ cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 Tablespoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Vanilla Bean Paste
- Add the butter to the bowl of an electric stand mixer and beat until it is creamy and soft.
- Mix in both the brown sugar and the granulated sugar. (I use organic Zulka Morena sugar for my granulated sugar. It is less processed and non-GMO and I can buy it at my local Walmart.)
- Add the eggs and beat hard.
- Combine the milk and vanilla and then add to your batter.
- Beat the mixture hard to incorporate the milk. At this point your batter will look rather curdled, not smooth. Don't panic. That's exactly the way it should look.
- Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until all dry ingredients are incorporated.
- Your batter will be thicker than typical cake batter. That will help to make it dense, moist and perfect.
- Stir the chopped pecans and toffee pieces into the batter.
- Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan. I used a thick coating of butter which I brushed into every little groove in my pan, with a pastry brush, to be sure it was thoroughly covered. Then I coated the entire pan in a layer of flour. Taking the time to be sure the entire pan and center post is thoroughly coated will help prevent sticking when you remove the cake from the pan.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. This is where you can learn from my mistake. Mine bundt pan isn't 12 cups and I overfilled my pan. You should have ¾ to 1 inch of space between the top of the batter and the top of your pan to prevent the cake from spilling over the top, as mine did. If you have extra batter, you can bake it up into cupcakes. Here's what an over-filled pan looks like. :)
- Bake in an oven pre-heated to 325 degrees for 75-85 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool on a rack for 30 minutes, still in the pan.
- To remove the cake from the pan, make sure the cake is not sticking anywhere around the top edge. Loosen it if you find any spots where it is stuck. Place a cake plate over the top of the baked cake and then flip everything over, pan, plate and all. Let gravity do its work. Leave the pan sitting inverted on the plate for 5 or 10 minutes. When you come back, you should be able to lift the pan right off the cake. It's not uncommon to have a few sticking places, but if your pan is buttered and floured thoroughly, it will definitely be less likely. If you do have some minor imperfections, don't panic. You can cover them with the delicious caramel sauce and when you plate the individual slices, no one will ever know.
- Combine the cream and brown sugar in a heavy duty saucepan, like my Farberware 1 qt. pan.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for one full minute.
- Remove from heat and stir in the brandy, butter and vanilla bean paste.
- You could use vanilla extract if you choose, however your caramel sauce will be slightly thinner. Vanilla bean paste is thick, rich and packed with real vanilla beans which you will see flecked throughout your caramel. There really is no comparison when it comes to taste. If you have access to vanilla bean paste, I highly recommend it.
- Your caramel sauce will thicken, even more, as it cools.You are going to have a really hard time not wanting to drink this right out of the ladle!
- But practice all the restraint you can muster and drizzle about ⅓ of it over your cooled pound cake. For this post, I only used a couple mint leaves and a pecan piece to complete the decoration of the cake. I have also made one where I pressed whole pecan halves all along the bottom edge of the cake, attaching them with caramel and I did one where I sprinkled chopped pecan over the top after I had drizzled the caramel. The cake really needs no further adornment though.
- I tend to dress it up as I serve it, laying each slice in a drizzle of caramel and then drizzling a little more over the slice. I think it makes a lovely presentation.
GIVEAWAY: Enter the giveaway by picking your favorite piece of Rachael Ray Oven-to-Table Stoneware and leaving the name of it in a comment on this post. Remember, this mandatory entry must be completed in order for any of your optional entries to be counted. Register your comment with the Rafflecopter form and you may end up the lucky winner of these beautiful stoneware pieces in your choice of colors! Good luck!
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This post is linked to From the Farm Blog Hop