Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Salted Caramel Layer Cake

If you follow blogging challenges you may well know that Tea Time Treats hosted by Karen at Lavender and Lovage and Kate at What Kate Baked is celebrating it's first birthday this month. So what else could our challenge be but...CAKE! I therefore decided to make this Caramel Layer Cake to help them celebrate.
This cake really is delicious and the flavour matures so it's even tastier the next day.
There are three layers of sponge and they are sandwiched together with a lovely caramel filling with one of the layers also having a chocolate caramel filling. The sponge contains buttermilk which made it lovely and moist. The whole thing was then covered in more of the caramel and then the cake is finished by piping a spiral of chocolate on the top and feathering it with a cocktail stick.
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.
When covering the cake each layer of sponge was sandwiched together first and then left to cool so the whole thing didn't slide about. Then using a palette knife the top and then the sides were covered in the caramel before feathering the top with the melted chocolate. If you do decide to make this cake you need to work quickly to cover it as the caramel sets quickly...and don't do what I did and try and go over bits you've already done as it ruins the nice smooth surface. You also need to be quick with the feathering.
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.
 
Sponge
 
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
 
Filling
 
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


19 comments:

  1. Lovely cake Laura, and much better than my sad attempt last month! I loved the flavour combinations but sadly the texture didn't work for me. Your feathering worked brilliantly, too! :)

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  2. What a beautiful cake! I love chocolate icing over a vanilla sponge! and the addition of salted caramel sounds divine!

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  3. Oooh this is beautiful. I still haven't brought the latest GBBO recipe so thanks for sharing the recipe. Loving the spider web effects too x

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  4. wowzers momma!... this is one hell of a cake... I love it's triple layered salty chocolatey caramel fabulousness... a beautiful celebration cake... now do send me a slice wont you?

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  5. Ooh yes, this would please me no end. Love salted caramel and your sponge looks beautifully light. This is really quite spectacular with the different colour contrasts and it ticks the chocolate box too ;-)

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  6. No doubt that this cake is a sure winner! This looks wonderful.

    I see that you have using all the best ingredients to bake this cake. Like you, I'm fan of muscovado sugar too.

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  7. The salted caramel looks amazing on cake... I have never made that before, and I would sure love to try it sometime...

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  8. Laura this looks absolutely perfect, a really beautiful cake.

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  9. I agree that the cake tastes amazing - everyone loved it when I made it even though I made a mistake with my frosting and didn't quite manage a proper feather effect. Yours looks amazing - great job!

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  10. Absolutely stunning! I could do serious damage to a slice of that cake! : )

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  11. Looks lovely - I've had my eye on this one since I bought the book!

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  12. So good! It really looks special!

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  13. Ooh that looks so decadent and tasty! Love the decoration on top!

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  14. I Love salted caramel on cakes; This cake looks & sounds really yummy! :)

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  15. Oh my word how those photos have me salivating!

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  16. STUNNING Laura, just BEAUTIFUL! Thanks so much for this lovely cake for Tea Time Treats first birthday! Karen

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  17. Wow what a showstopper! and perfect flavours for this time of year! love how tall it turned out!

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  18. Ooh, that looks lovely. I always think three layer cakes have a certain elegance and impressiveness about them that a two layer just can't achieve!

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Your comments are greatly appreciated!