chocolate cake with salted caramel frosting

In my advanced years, I decided now was the time to bake my own birthday cake. Any excuse to try a new chocolate cake recipe, right?

I did have some trouble getting the icing hard enough on this one, but it tasted fine being on the squishy side. Even if you’ve got your own favourite cake-base recipe, I’d recommend the frosting on this as a new twist on an old recipe – the salted caramel balances the cream cheese perfectly.

If you want/can, bake the main cake a couple of days before then add the frosting a few hours before serving. The recipe makes 3 tiers… 3 tiers didn’t fit into my cake display tin. So we ended up with two cakes, one with one tier and one with two. Yum.

2013-11-23 18.53.29

base

170g unsalted butter, at room temperature
135g granulated sugar
140g light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
125ml sour cream, at room temperature
2 tbsp strong coffee
240g plain flour
100g cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt

  1. Cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes.
  2. Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee.
  4. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
  5. On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it’s completely blended.
  6. Divide your batter between 3 6″ greased (or silicone) cake pans
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 180oC, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool for 10-15 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

caramel

200g sugar
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp golden syrup
125ml double cream
30g butter
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt

  1. Combine the sugar, water, and the corn syrup in a large saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Cover the saucepan and let it cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.
  3. After 3 minutes, remove the lid, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil.
  4. Do not stir from this point on, but instead swirl the liquid around the pan so that the caramel doesn’t burn.
  5. Continue to cook until the caramel turns an even amber color then remove from the heat and let stand for about 30 seconds.
  6. Pour the heavy cream into the mixture. The mixture will bubble up significantly and is very hot.
  7. Stir the mixture, again being careful. Add the butter, lemon juice, and salt. Stir until combined.
  8. Measure 1 cup into a Pyrex measuring cup. Stirring occasionally, allow to cool until thick like treacle and warm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Save any extra in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

frosting

230g butter
230g cream cheese
512g icing sugar
1 cup salted caramel

  1. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy.
  2. Add 250g of the icing sugar into the butter/cream cheese mixture and beat to combine.
  3. Add 125g of the salted caramel and beat to combine.
  4. Add additional powdered sugar until the frosting is the sweetness and consistency you desire.

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