Posted by nigeleats at Friday, May 24, 2013
Try eating a chocolate bar or basically any chocolates in a packet in this sunny, butt scorching island of Singapore and you'll know how frustrating it is to do so. It's melted, gooey and just a sweet pool of mess. That's why I stash my chocolates in the fridge - or rather, freezer - because I love that clean snap that comes when breaking a piece of chocolate, it's oh so sweet.
Chocolates are part of what I call happy foods. Who needs happiness when we have chocolate? Okay, I kid. But chocolate makes me happy, that I won't deny. And when chocolate meet baking, something amazing happens - chocolate cakes are born. Now we have the sweet component, let's bring it up a notch with a salty element and what's more exciting than salted caramel?
Chocolate And Salted Caramel Cake
(Adapted from Fold In The Flour)
Ingredients (makes one 6 inch / 15 cm cake)
200g self raising flour
1/2 tspn baking powder
4 tbspns cocoa powder
4 medium eggs
225g softened unsalted butter
225g soft light brown sugar
1 tbspn milk
125g caster sugar
80ml double cream
1/2 tspn salt
1 tspn vanilla extract
For the Buttercream
salted caramel sauce
160g softened unsalted butter
350g icing sugar
a little milk to slacken if necessary
Preheat the oven to 160 Fan / 180 Conventional / 350 F / Gas 4. Grease and baseline three 6 inch (15cm) cake pans.
First make the salted caramel. Put the sugar into a saucepan along with the sugar and place over a medium heat. Be very careful during this process, as boiling sugar is extremely hot. Swirl the pan to mix if necessary rather than stir, as stirring may make the sugar clump together in crystals again and ruin the caramel. Bring to a boil, and then allow to bubble until the caramel turns a lovely amber colour. Remove from the heat and carefully add the cream, stirring it into the caramel. The mixture will bubble up and spit, so again, be careful. When you have a smooth sauce, add in the salt and the vanilla. Continue to stir until smooth, then leave to cool.
To make the cake, in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. This will take a good few minutes as you are looking for the sugar to have completely mixed in so it's not grainy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until incorporated. Add the milk and mix in. Add the flour, cocoa and baking powder and mix until just combined. Divide equally between the three tins, smooth the top of the mix so it's as level as possible, and then bake in the centre of the oven. They should take 20-25 minutes (mine took 23), so check them towards the end of the cooking time. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean.
Place the tins on a wire rack to cool. Once they are just warm to the touch, run a palette knife around the edges of the cake to loosen, and then turn out onto the rack to finish cooling.
Once the caramel is cool, you can make the buttercream. Place the butter in the bowl of a mixer and using the paddle attachment give it a little whizz so that it smooths out. Add about half the icing sugar and blend in. You may need to scrape the bowl at this point to ensure the butter is fully mixed in. Add the caramel and mix in. See what the consistency is like, but you should be able to add some more icing sugar at this point. Beat for a few minutes so that it is really smooth. Pipe, decorate and serve with love.