Easter Dessert Buffet: Caramel Confections

Easter Desserts.
Perhaps develop a Caramel themed buffet.
Small plate.  Sauced.
A simple cake + savory sauce that can also sauce a souffle.
Plus other caramel sweets.
A treat for the holidays and other spring occasions.
Enjoy the Menu Shoppe ideas…
Enjoy a Happy Easter.
 Caramel Cake                                                                
Brown Sugar Caramel Souffle
Bourbon Caramel Sauce
Caramel Sorbet
Strawberries in Orange and Caramel Sauce
Although this cake incorporates a glaze…have other infused sauces on hand.
Caramel Cake
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour (not self-rising–sift before measuring)
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
2 large eggs, at room temperature 30 minutes
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Make caramel glaze:
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Make cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter an 8-inch square cake pan and line with a square of parchment paper, then butter parchment. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture may look curdled). Add flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing until each addition is blended.
Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.
Make glaze:
Bring cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Boil until glaze registers 210 to 212°F on thermometer, 12 to 14 minutes, then stir in vanilla. Put rack with cake in a shallow baking pan and pour hot glaze over top of cake, allowing it to run down sides. Cool until glaze is set, about 30 minutes.
Brown Sugar Caramel Souffle 
1 cup (packed) plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
6 large egg whites
Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter eight 3/4-cup soufflé dishes–sprinkle with brown sugar. Place on rimmed baking sheet. Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat–add 1 cup brown sugar, cream, vanilla, and salt–stir until sugar dissolves. Cool slightly. Pour 1/2 cup caramel into small bowl–reserve for sauce. Add egg yolks and flour to remaining caramel in saucepan–whisk constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Cool 15 minutes. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in large bowl until foamy, then gradually beat in 2 tablespoons brown sugar until whites are stiff but not dry. Fold 1/3 of whites into caramel mixture in saucepan. Fold caramel mixture into whites until incorporated. Divide mixture among prepared dishes. Sprinkle lightly with brown sugar. Bake until soufflés are puffed and golden brown, about 11 minutes. Serve immediately with reserved caramel sauce.
Sauce the cake and the souffle.  Make a presentation point.
Bourbon Caramel Sauce
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup bourbon
In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar, water and corn syrup to a boil over high heat. Cook until the sugar is dissolved, washing down the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Continue cooking, without stirring, until an amber caramel forms, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the cream. Let cool for 1 minute, then stir in the bourbon. Bring the mixture to a boil over moderate heat and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Let the caramel sauce cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature.
Caramel Sorbet
1 cup sugar
2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a dry heavy saucepan cook sugar, undisturbed, over moderate heat until it begins to melt and continue to cook, stirring with a fork, until it is melted completely and a deep caramel. Remove pan from heat and carefully add water down side of pan. Return pan to heat and cook caramel, stirring, until it is dissolved completely. Stir in salt and vanilla and chill until cold. Freeze sorbet in an ice-cream maker. Sorbet may be made 1 week ahead.
Another sauce for another presentation point
Strawberries in Orange and Caramel Sauce
1 lb small strawberries, trimmed (3 cups)
1 large navel orange
1/4 cup Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 cup sugar
Grate zest from orange into a small bowl, then squeeze juice into bowl. Add butter, liqueur, and a pinch of salt.
Heat sugar in a dry 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling skillet occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber. Remove from heat and immediately add orange-juice mixture. Boil, stirring, until caramel has dissolved and sauce is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Add strawberries and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 1 minute. Serve.
If it’s on the menu…the Menu Shoppe has it covered.
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