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!
- 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.
- Cream the sugar and the eggs until they are pale and have increased in volume.
- Sift all of the dry ingredients, except the salt, together in a clean bowl and leave to one side.
- Melt the chocolate and the salt in the 50ml of coffee and leave to cool.
- Add one third of the dry ingredients into the egg/sugar mixture. Mix until just about incorporated.
- Mix in the 250ml of buttermilk and then add another one third of the dry ingredients, mixing again, until just about incorporated.
- Add the oil, then the coffee/melted chocolate, and mix until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Fold the remaining one third of dry ingredients into the batter using a rubber spatula, being careful not to over mix.
- 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.
- You will know the cake is ready when a cake test or toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- 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.
- 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
- Add the sugar and the water into a pot over a medium heat and allow to boil.
- Cover the pot with a lid and watch the sugar turn to an amber colour.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove from the heat and whisk on a medium setting for about 5 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Put the chocolate into a heat resistant bowl.
- 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.
- Cover the bowl to trap the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Remove the lid and slowly whisk the mixture until you have a smooth glossy frosting.
- Leave to cool for about 30 minutes before using as a glaze on the cake.
Putting the cake together:
- Put your first cake layer on a cake board on the turntable.
- 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.
- With the rest of the buttercream, frost the cake. And place it back in the fridge to again, firm up.
- 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.
- 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.