This cake really is delicious and the flavour matures so it's even tastier the next day.
To make the caramel, butter, dark muscovado sugar and cream were melted together in a saucepan and then the mixture was left to simmer for 5 minutes to thicken. Icing sugar was then gradually whisked into the mixture (off the heat) until it was barely warm, at which stage a small amount of butter was mixed in to finish.
I'd definitely recommend having a go at this one...it's a guaranteed crowd pleaser!
Why not join in with next month's Tea Time Treats which will be hosted Kate at What Kate Baked. This month's host is Lavender and Lovage.
300g self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
300g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, very soft
4 large eggs
4 tbsp buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g unsalted butter
450g dark brown muscovado sugar
175ml double cream
300g icing sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt flakes
100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
Prepare three 20cm sandwich tins by greasing the sides and bottom and then base lining with baking paper. If you only have two tins, you can cook two cakes and then put the third one in straight afterwards.
Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/gas 4. Put the sugar, salt and sifted sugar into a bowl and then add the butter, making sure it is really soft and cut into pieces. In a seperate bowl whisk the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla together with a fork and then add to the flour mixture. Mix thoroughly on a low speed until the mixture is smooth and all the ingredients are combined. Divide the mixture between the three tins and level before baking for around 25 minutes, they should be golden and shrinking away from the edges when done. Once removed from the oven run a knife around each cake and leave to cool in the tin for 2 minutes before turning out and leaving to cool completely.
Whilst the cakes are cooling make the caramel by putting 175g of the butter along with the muscovado sugar and cream into a saucepan. Melt the butter and then bring the caramel to the boil before reducing the heat and simmering for 5 minutes whilst stirring frequently.
When ready pour the caramel into a heat proof bowl and beat in the icing bit by bit using an electric mixture. You should continue to beat the mixture until it is fluffy and almost cool. Once at this stage you can add the remaining 50g of butter and the salt and then beat until incorporated. Don't be too hasty when adding the butter, if you add it too soon it will just melt straight into the mixture.
Next melt the chocolate over a saucepan of simmering water. When it is completely melted, spoon half the chocolate into a bowl and add just under a quarter of the caramel filling mix. Warning...again do not do what I did and add it straight away...the recipe didn't mention waiting for the chocolate to cool a little but if you don't it may seize a little.
Finally to assemble the cake, put a layer of cake on the serving plate and then add around a third of the remaining caramel mix and spread over the top. Next spread the chocolate caramel on top of another of the cakes before transferring it onto the first. You can the put on the third and final layer of cake. You should then leave this to set...if you don't it will slide around when you try and cover the cake. I put mine in the fridge for 5 minutes.
To finish cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining caramel mixture. You need to make sure that the caramel is still smooth and not too firm...I put mine in the microwave for 20 seconds. It is easiest to use a mini-palette knife to apply the covering and you need to work quickly. Try not to go over areas you've already done as it will already have started to set.
If you wish to add the feathering on top, use the remaining melted chocolate and pop it in a piping bag and snip off the end. Quickly pipe a spiral on top of the cake, it doesn't matter if it's a little messy. Then again working quickly drag a cocktail stick through the spiral from inside out, repeating all the way around the cake. It can be quite difficult to make this neat...if you have enough chocolate you could always practise a spiral on the counter top first!
* Adapted from The Great British Bake Off - How to Turn Everyday Bakes into Showstoppers