I made this special cake as a treat for Pete’s 23rd birthday. A lover of chocolate and caramel I decided to make a rich chocolatey sponge that was coated with a layer of sweet buttercream and a decorative coating of salted caramel sauce, which I dribbled down the sides of the cake for a bit of artistic flair!
Adventurous and experimental, I guessed a lot of the quantities of ingredients as I went, but thankfully it worked so I wrote down my recipe to share with you all! As you’ll see from the photo, I also made vanilla and chocolate cake pops (with a drizzle of the caramel on top) as an extra decoration! I’ll post the recipe for these shortly…
For this recipe I used two 4-inch cake tins as I knew the cake would be quite chocolatey and rich, but if you would like to make a bigger cake, use 8-inch cake tins and simply double the quantity of each ingredient.
For the cake:
- 125g unsalted butter
- 100g caster sugar
- 40g dark chocolate chips
- 40g milk chocolate chips
- 2 medium eggs
- 1tsp vanilla essence
- 140g plain flour
- 1/2tsp baking powder
- 30g cocoa powder
- 100ml boiling water
For the salted caramel:
- 140g caster sugar
- 300ml double cream
- 30g unsalted butter
- 1/2tsp sea salt
For the buttercream frosting:
- 175g unsalted butter
- 140g icing sugar
- 1/2tsp vanilla essence
- 50g of salted caramel (see above)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C and grease the two 4-inch cake trays.
- Start by making the cake mix. Beat together the butter and sugar in a large bowl.
- Melt the two types of chocolate chips in the microwave and add the melted chocolate to the butter and sugar mixture.
- Beat together the eggs with the vanilla essence and add bit-by-bit to the cake batter. Alternate the addition of the egg mix with addition of some of the plain flour (sifted) so the eggs do not curdle.
- Sift the cocoa powder and baking powder into the cake batter, which should now be quite thick in texture.
- Add 100ml of boiling water and mix before splitting the mixture evenly between the two cake tins.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 30-35 minutes until the cakes are springy to the touch and have begun to shrink away from the edges of the tin.
- Remove your cakes from the tins and leave to thoroughly cool before cutting in half lengthways so that you now have 4 sponge layers.
- Make the salted caramel: In a saucepan heat the caster sugar until it starts to turn a light brown (straw) colour – this should take around 10 minutes. In a separate pan heat the butter and cream until the butter fully dissolves into the mixture. Once the sugar is melted, take it off the heat and mix rapidly with the cream mixture. It will bubble up initially but this is perfectly normal. Stir in the sea salt and allow to cool in the pan.
- Make the buttercream: In a large bowl beat together the butter and icing sugar then add the vanilla essence and 50g of the (cooled) salted caramel sauce until you have a workable frosting.
- Assemble the cake. Place a layer of chocolate sponge on your serving plate and use a palette knife to cover with a thin layer of buttercream. Repeat this process until you have the 4 layers stacked on top of one another. Use the remaining buttercream to cover the outside of the cake. You can use a cake smoother for this but I think the ‘rustic’ look works well for this cake.
- Finally, once your cake is assembled and frosted, drizzle the caramel sauce over the cake so it runs down the sides. You can then put any remaining salted caramel in the fridge to harden slightly before smoothing on the top of the cake. Enjoy!
I hope you enjoy making this special chocolatey treat! Look out for my cake pop recipe, coming soon…