How happy am I that the Great British Bake off is back on our screens? Being the terrible person I am, the show enables me to:
- Shout inanely at the bakers (the Husband says watching me watch GBBO is like watching someone watch a football match…)
- Pick out my favourites and choose the ones I dislike
- Makes me think about what I bake and try and do new things
Point 3 is exactly what I am doing in a new series of posts on the blog – things I have baked after watching each of the week’s episodes. These recipes aren’t a “what I would have done” but more of a post based around an episodes theme…
So, week 1 was cake. This cake is something I’ve in the back of my mind for a while. I love chocolate. I love salted caramel. I love cake so the combination of the three was going to have to work. Think of this as the crack of the cake world!
Three chocolate sponges, sandwiched with cream cheese salted caramel buttercream and salted caramel chocolate ganache, then covered in a layer of more buttercream and then a another layer of chocolate ganache. Oh, and then topped with home made salted caramel truffles. It was enough to set off diabetes!
The cake itself was huge. It would have served about 15 greedy people (22 normal folk) but instead I brought it to Robin Hood’s Bay to feed four of us over a bank holiday weekend. Unsurprisingly we still didn’t manage to finish it, despite having it for breakfast (yes, breakfast!) lunch and dinner.
Flavour wise it was pretty much the dirtiest cake imaginable, like the Miley Cyrus of cake, but a bit more tasteful and you would actually want to have a go! However in all seriousness, the cake was pretty darn good. Not too sweet, as the salt in the caramel took care of that, but sticky, gooey and exactly how cake should be. I’m concocting a peanut butter variant at the moment but I think I may have to work off the thousands of calories I consumed from this one first!
The cake itself does have a number of elements so I would’t advise tackling all in one day as it would probably take about four hours. The truffles and the buttercream can be made the day before and then make the cake layers and the ganache the next day.
Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake
For the chocolate sponge
Make up 1.5 times the sponge recipe from my Chocolate Raspberry Cake – split across 3x 20cm cake tins and bake for 25 mins at 180c. Once cooked, cool slighly in the tins and turn out onto a cooling rack.
For the salted caramel
150 g sugar
150 ml double cream
1 tsp coarse sea salt
Sprinkle the sugar to cover the bottom of the medium sized saucepan and cook this until it melts and turns a cola colour. Add the double cream (be careful and stand back – it can boil up!!) then add the salt and cook until it reaches 108c or it coats the back of a spoon. the into a bowl and carefully place in the fridge to cool.
For the cream cheese salted caramel buttercream
175g full fat cream cheese
500g icing sugar
1/2 of the salted caramel made above, cooled.
Mix all of the ingredients until thick and fluffy. This will take about 5-10 mins if you’re power assisted, forever if you’ve only got a wooden spoon. Cover and keep to one side until needed,
For the chocolate ganache
200g best quality dark chocolate
150g double cream
Chop up the chocolate finely and place in a heatproof bowl. Set the cream in a small saucepan and bring to just about boiling point. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until all combined and glossy. leave to cool until of a spreadable consistency.
For the salted caramel truffles
I can’t take credit for these – they’re Edd Kimber’s and the recipe can be found here. However, just make enough for the top of the cake, I used 8, and save the rest for sandwiching the cake layers.
Lay one of the cake layers onto your cake plate / board, flattest side facing up – use a few blobs of buttercream to keep it in place, then spread over a layer of the truffle mix and then a layer of the buttercream on the side facing upwards. lay your second layer cake onto this and repeat the filling layers until the top layer had a spreading of the truffle mix.
Using a palette knife, cover the rest of the cake in an even layer of buttercream and put in the freezer / fridge to chill. you want the buttercream to be firm enough for the coating of ganache to go on. this will take about 20-25 mins,
Then take the cake out and spread over the layer of ganache, again, evenly with a palette knife. Decorate the cake in its ramshackle crown of truffles and leave the whole thing to set in the fridge if you can wait. if not, tuck in, wait for the sugar rush and thank me later!