On Friday, we celebrated Cornwall Clandestine Cake Club’s 1st birthday. With this momentous event in mind, we were tasked with making something rather special, a “birthday cake”, not I hasten to add that the CCC cakes aren’t always special. I’d seen a few caramel cakes on the internet recently and had also just tried Green & Black’s new sea salted milk chocolate which I rather fell for. These combined to give me salted caramel on the brain, so I decided to indulge my new found obsession and make a salted caramel chocolate cake. I couldn’t find anything in my cookery books or on the net that appealed, so I adapted the chocolate caramel cupcakes I made a couple of years ago to fit my vision.
- Dissolved 225g caster sugar in a large pan on gentle heat with 100ml water.
- Brought to the boil and left for a few minutes to bubble away. Then “watched like a hawk” for it to turn to a nice reddish brown caramel colour, but to ensure it didn’t burn.
- Poured in 200ml double cream. It all went very lumpy at this point, but I stirred and stirred and eventually it became more or less smooth.
- Stirred in 1/2 tsp Cornish sea salt and 1 tsp vanilla extract.
- Creamed 250g unsalted butter with 200g dark brown sugar.
- Beat in about 1/3 of the caramel.
- Broke in three duck eggs (large hens eggs are fine) and beat well.
- Sifted in 200g flour (1/2 spelt, 1/2 white), 40g of cocoa and 1 rounded tsp baking powder.
- Spooned into two 21 cm cake moulds and baked at 180C for 20 minutes.
- Left to cool for ten minutes then turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Creamed 80g salted butter with 120g icing sugar until my arm was sore and the mixture was very light and fluffy.
- Beat in another 1/2 of the remaining caramel.
- Spread on top of one of the cooled cakes and placed the other on top.
- Licked the bowl clean – reckoned it was the best buttercream I’ve yet made.
- Spread the remaining caramel over the top of the cake.
- Sprinkled various milk, dark and white chocolate bits over the top and dusted very lightly with two types of edible gold glitter.
Modesty be hanged, this cake proved to be very popular with the other cake club members and I only got to try a tiny slice. It was rich and chocolatey and offered the discerning punter three separate hits of salted caramel of differing intensities in the various layers. This just proves to me that salted caramel has not yet had its day!
I’d had visions of the caramel dripping down the sides of the cake, but by the time I got to apply it, it had set. This must mean that I am fated to make it again.