Burnt Sugar Cake with Custard Cream
For the filling:
  • 4 yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ + ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
For the cake:
  • 1¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, soften
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
For the frosting:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 pound (3¾ cup) confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons strong brewed coffee
  • 3 tablespoons milk
For the filling:
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the yolks, egg, cornstarch, and ¼ cup of sugar. Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the milk, remaining ¼ cup sugar, and salt over medium heat. Stir occasionally and take it off the heat as soon as it starts to boil.
  3. Slowly add ⅓ of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture, whisking quickly to temper the eggs. Return the tempered egg mixture to the remaining milk mixture in the saucepan and cook, stirring continuously until it reaches a boil. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, then stir in the vanilla extract and butter.
  4. Press a layer of cling wrap directly on top of the custard, and refrigerate until cold and firm, at least 2 hours.
  5. Whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar together until it forms firm peaks. Gently fold together the pastry cream and whipped cream together. Press a layer of cling wrap directly on top of the custard cream, and refrigerate until you're ready to use it.
For the cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Grease two 8'' round baking pans with butter then dust with flour. Line the bottom of baking pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a nonstick skillet, heat ¾ cup sugar over medium-high heat until the sugar melts and turns dark brown, about 6-8 minutes. Stir occasionally with a whisk. When the sugar is dark brown, whisk in 6 tablespoons hot water until incorporated, then take it off the heat.
  3. With an electric mixer, mix the butter and remaining 1 cup sugar on medium speed until completely smooth, about 3-4 minutes. Reduce the speed to low, then add the eggs, one at a time. Add the buttermilk, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt, then mix on medium speed until incorporated.
  4. In medium mixing bowl, whisk the cornstarch and flour together. Slowly add the flour mixture and the burnt sugar mixture to the wet mixture on medium-low speed. Mix until just incorporated (careful not over mix).
  5. Evenly distribute the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 34 to 36 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to rest in their pans on a wired rack for 30 minutes. Take them out of the pans and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
For the frosting & assembly:
  1. With an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugar together, on medium-low speed until the sugar is mostly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high, and mix for 5 minutes, until smooth and fluffy. Slowly add the vanilla extract, milk and coffee, then mix for another 3 minutes. Stop once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  2. Place ⅓ of the frosting in a piping bag or gallon-size Ziploc bag. Pipe a thick ring (about ¾ inch thick) of frosting around the circumference of one of the cooled cakes. Fill in the ring with the custard cream (do not overfill), and level with a spatula or butter knife. Place the second layer on top.
  3. Cover the entire cake with a thin layer of frosting to create a crumb layer, then stick the cake in the freezer for 30 minutes - this will prevent crumbs from coming off when frosting the entire cake. Once the crumb layer is set, frost the entire cake with the remaining buttercream frosting with an angled spatula.
Recipe by Sprig and Flours at http://www.sprigandflours.com/burnt-sugar-cake-with-custard-cream/