Sunday, February 9, 2014

Salted Caramel & Chocolate Cake

Did you ever just need to make a cake? Like make one that has been running around in your head for ages and then just one day you've decided.. yep this is the one. The one I make this week...

Salted Caramel everything is everywhere and I was crazy to try it. 

I love it in coffee from Starbucks, when I get to the big schmoke.. we actually don't have a starbucks in our town (must be the only place on earth, right?) so I thought how hard can it be to make!

Famous last words eh...

But I persevered and 6 attempts later, I had made caramel. Salted Caramel. And it was glorious and magnificent and delicious! And I had to wait and use in the buttercream and on the cake and couldn't just eat it off the spoon like I wanted to.

But then this would have been a terrible post if I had... Can you imagine coming here and reading something like "hey guys, I made caramel and here's a tonne of pictures of me eating it off a spoon" haha! 

I am sure you fine folks would have been disappointed. And I would have hated that...

But not to disappoint... Pictured above is what I did make and below, is how you can do it too! Enjoy my friends and if you do try it... let me know!

The Cake:
  • 2 x 9 inch pans, sprayed with cake release and covered in parchment.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4
  • 525g caster sugar
  • 3 large free range eggs at room temperature.
  • 375g self-rising flour
  • 150g coco powder
  • 1.5 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 250ml buttermilk
  • 250ml vegetable oil
  • 100g dark chocolate (no less than 60%)
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of coffee granules to make 50ml strong coffee.

  1. Cream the sugar and the eggs until they are pale and have increased in volume.
  2. Sift all of the dry ingredients, except the salt, together in a clean bowl and leave to one side.
  3. Melt the chocolate and the salt in the 50ml of coffee and leave to cool.
  4. Add one third of the dry ingredients into the egg/sugar mixture. Mix until just about incorporated.
  5. Mix in the 250ml of buttermilk and then add another one third of the dry ingredients, mixing again, until just about incorporated.
  6. Add the oil, then the coffee/melted chocolate, and mix until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.
  7. Fold the remaining one third of dry ingredients into the batter using a rubber spatula, being careful not to over mix.
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared 9 inch pans and bake in the oven for about 50 minutes. Start checking the cake at 40 minutes for doneness as you don't want it to over bake and become dry.
  9. You will know the cake is ready when a cake test or toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  10. Leave the cakes in their pans to cool for about thirty minutes before turning them out on to a wire rack. Flip them over and allow them to continue to cool until they reach room temperature.
  11. When cool, using a turntable, halve the cakes so you have 4 even layers of chocolate cake.

The Salted Caramel Filling:
  • 125g granulated sugar
  • 60ml water
  • 125ml double cream
  • Heaped teaspoon sea salt

  1. Add the sugar and the water into a pot over a medium heat and allow to boil.
  2. Cover the pot with a lid and watch the sugar turn to an amber colour.
  3. Remove it from the heat and add one third of the cream, allow it to bubble and then for the bubbles to calm and stir.
  4. Combine the rest of the cream, and then the salt and transfer into a clean bowl to cool to room temperature.

***** I doubled this recipe to use half of it in the Swiss meringue buttercream. *****

The Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
  • 225g granulated sugar
  • 450g very soft unsalted butter
  • 8 large egg whites
  • Half the salted caramel filling

  1. Place the egg whites and the sugar into the bowl of the mixer and give it a good whisk. It will be thick and gloopy but will thin out as it is cooked. 
  2. Using a double boiler method, over simmering water, heat the mixture until the sugar has dissolved is hot to touch and the mixture is silky to feel.
  3. Remove from the heat and whisk on a medium setting for about 5 minutes.
  4. Move to a faster setting and whisk until think and glossy and stiff peaks form like that of meringue. This should take about 6 minutes.
  5. Reduce the speed and add the very soft butter, a spoonful at a time. It will curdle, and this is ok, but just keep mixing until it is smooth.
  6. Add in half the caramel from the recipe above and whisk until soft and smooth.

The Chocolate Ganache:
  • 250g semisweet dark chocolate (I use 52%)
  • 250ml Double Cream

  1. Put the chocolate into a heat resistant bowl.
  2. Heat the cream in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the cream begins to simmer, quickly remove from the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Swirl the bowl to ensure all the chocolate is coated in the hot cream.
  3. Cover the bowl to trap the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid and slowly whisk the mixture until you have a smooth glossy frosting.
  5. Leave to cool for about 30 minutes before using as a glaze on the cake.

Putting the cake together:
  1. Put your first cake layer on a cake board on the turntable.
  2. Evenly spread buttercream between layers. Then do a crumb coat with a thin layer of buttercream. Place in the fridge for at least half an hour to firm up.
  3. With the rest of the buttercream, frost the cake. And place it back in the fridge to again, firm up.
  4. Slowly pour the ganache over cake. Carefully spread it around the top of the cake using an offset spatula, allowing the ganache to drip down the sides of the frosting. Use however much of the ganache you feel you want to use.
  5. Pipe swirls onto the top of the cake and drizzle the left over salted caramel sauce down on top and sides of the cake. 

Serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.


  1. I really shouldn't have looked at this post before going to bed, I am so hungry now! Everything about it is so gloriously indulgent.

    1. Oh Jo.. I do the same thing. Most of my trolling through pinterest is at night, in bed on the tablet. I am always looking at cake! Hazel x

  2. I can actually picture what this cake would taste like from your pictures! It looks that awesome! And the pure beauty of it is absolutely beautiful! I think that your perseverance paid off here big time! Because this one should be in a book! And by the way...when is that book coming friend!!??!! Happy week ahead to you!!! Nicole xoxo

    1. Oh my word Nicole.. that's the dream right? My own book... wow! Thank you as always for your very kind words! Hazel x

  3. Yum sounds so good, I have a four layered chocolate salted carmal cake in the fridge I made on the weekend.

    1. haha! Snap! Great minds think a like eh?

  4. Oh wow Hazel!! This looks SO delicious and wickedly sweet!! You are such an adventurer when it comes to cakes ... love it! How do you all feel after working through six(!!) cakes that weren't up to snuff? I think I know why you didn't lick the spoon ;) Nice notation at the bottom ... store for "up to a week" ... as if it would last even one day. Happy Baking! Wendy x

    1. only 6 attempts at caramel Wendy... my gosh If I had tried the cake six times I would have to have been incarcerated! Hazel x

  5. I am pretty sure that this cake is a crime against calories, but one that I would love to commit!! It looks wonderful and as Nicole said above, I can imagine the taste from the pictures. What I really want to know is how do you know this would last for a week - how on earth did you manage to keep any of it that long!!! You must have amazing willpower! xx

    1. Well "up to a week" Amy... lol we have no willpower. We had friends just drop by, by chance after I posted it on Facebook. By pure chance it seems and they helped us out! Begrudgingly too I am sure! Hazel x

  6. This cake looks heavenly!! Love your blog! New Follower!

    1. hello Jody! Thank you so much for popping by. Hazel x

  7. aww you put in so much effort me it looks WORTH IT..I honestly gasped when I saw the pics it looks devine! I tried salted caramel for the first time ever this weekened...i salted some carnation caramel (your homemade one probabley tasted better) and popped some in the middle of a brownie.
    PS we may have been disappointed but we would understood!! we've all been there!

    1. oh my... salted caramel brownies! Phwoar... I think I need some of those. Super idea... I've not made brownies in an age! Hazel x

  8. Wow! Look at THAT!!! Don't be surprised if, one day, you find me camping out on your doorstep, begging for some cake!!! ;-)

    1. Carly you would be more than welcome... I'll have the guest room set up! Hazel x

  9. Wowsa this looks actually beyond good! Loving the new look too,its gorge. Thanks for sharing!

    Shirley x

  10. This cake looks AMAZING Hazel!!
    I've yet to try salted caramel although I really would like to as it's a trend I've been hearing about for ages..and it sounds yummy :-)

    Sarah x

    PS I blogged about your delicious Cinnamon Apple Crumble cupcakes today....they are absolutely divine!! That recipe is definitely becoming a fav!

    1. Oh it is yummy Sarah, a bit too yummy really! Salty and sweet.. perfect! Hazel x

  11. Oh my giddy goodness Hazel, what an INCREDIBLE cake!!! You are a genius and should be selling these to royalty! I am closing my eyes and doing some virtual fantasy taste testing right now x well done on this triumph of a cake x

    1. Oh my gosh Penny! The excitement... If I figure out how to send a cake in the post. You are first on my list! Hazel x

  12. I don't see in the assembly steps what we're supposed to do with the caramel?

    1. Hiya Dorothy! Right up there in the buttercream section, you use half the caramel in the buttercream and then you use the rest in the decoration. I made double what I would usually use so I could use it as drizzle on the top. Hope this helps. Hazel x


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