MERRY CHRISTMAS! I hope everyone is having a wonderful christmas, surrounded with people they love, and good food as well. Unfortunately this cake was no made at my new house, as we’re still in the middle of a moving nightmare, but this was the last thing I ever baked in our old oven, so I thought it might be nice to put it up here. I actually have a few old baking exploits sitting around here as draft posts, but because I wanted to post up the recipes I made for christmas, and things had been steadily getting more and more frantic in the lead up to my gradation and our moving house, those posts got left behind – at least temporarily. So if you’ll bear with me, I’ll regale you all with the tale of this cake, and then for a few posts after that, catch up on all the goodies I never got a chance to put up, but certainly enjoyed at the time! Also, MERRY CHRISTMAS! I know I’ve said it once before, but I’m so happy that this time has come! I love christmas, I love the smiles and the laughter, the food, the people, and of course – the presents. But best of all I love being with my family on this special day.
So, I honestly thought I would never be able to cook a cake in the old house’s oven. I thought all my attempts to make a cake there would end like my previous ones have, with burnt outsides, and soup-y insides. But on that particular day everything was going right, and I was feeling confidant. I had my results, I knew I was going to graduate, and then a good friend, Miss N, texted me. I’d been trying to catch up with her for awhile as the uni chaos settled down, and all of a sudden both of us were free! We went out, ate delicious sushi at a sushi bar I’ve not been to before, and then got delicious – but sinful, chocolate drinks to go so we could get groceries for making a cake!
This cake is a layer cake. I often find these cakes daunting, as I rarely – if ever, cook them. I’m more of the traditional thick, one-layer cake type gal. But I saw this recipe, and saw how Miss N. liked the look of it, and I was determined to do it no matter what. Our reason for making this cake in the first place was that Miss N wanted to learn how to make a birthday cake, a belated gift for her boyfriend. So we went through some of my food magazines and found one that looked good. She did a marvellous job at handling the batter, learning about greasing and dusting cake tins, and even did well at icing the cake, and in writing messages and decorating it! I had a lot of fun teaching her too, and we have plans to get together to make spring rolls next! But all in all, this has been one amazing day, and this was one amazing cake.
However, because we used slightly bigger than suggested spring-form tins, our layers were too thin to make it a four layer cake. That, or it might be ours didn’t rise as evenly as needed. This meant that Miss N. could go ahead and pick bits off the top to eat, which you can see she’s done in the top left-most photo. I also had to shave quite a lot from the tops of the cakes to make them flat, as per instructions. So, what I’ll do is leave the original instructions to cut the cakes in half in the methods section, as people might have more luck with their layers than we did. But if you also find your layers are too thin to cut, then do like we did, and make a delicious two-layer, rather than four-layer, cake!
Super Food Ideas Magazine’s
Layered Chocolate and Salted Caramel Cake
Serves: Up to 10, Prep: 1-2 hrs, depending on speed of ingredient prep, Cook: 40-45 mins
- 1.5 cups self-raising flour, sifted
- 2 cups plain flour, sifted
- 2 cups caster sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 tsp bi-carb soda, sifted
- 4 eggs
- 1.5 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
- 1 cup cold water
- Sea salt flakes, to decorate
Salted Caramel Filling
- 395g can caramel top ‘n’ fill
- Up to 1 tsp sea salt flakes, or to taste
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
- 250g unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
- 400g dark chocolate, melted, cooled
- 1/4 cup warm water
- preheat your oven to 180C, and grease and line/dust two 6cm deep 20cm (base) round springform cake pans.
- Sift the flours, cocoa, bi-carb and the salt into a large bowl, and whisk to combine.
- Add the eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and water, and beat until the mixture is smooth.
- Divide the batter between the two pans, and bake for 40-45 mins, or until a skewer inserted into their centres comes out clean.
- Stand cakes in pans for five mins, before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool.
- For Icing: Whisk the cocoa powder and warm water in a bowl or cup until the cocoa had dissolved, and put this aside.Then cream the butter and icing sugar until pale and fluffy, and beat in the melted chocolate. Add in the cocoa mixture and beat until combined.
- For Filling: In another bowl, combine the caramel and sea-salt.
- To Assemble: Use a serrated knife to trim the tops of the cakes to ensure they’re flat, then cut each cake in half horizontally.
- Transfer the base of one cake to a plate, and spread a third of the caramel mixture on top. Repeat this with another two layers of cake. Then top the cake with the last layer, and cover the top and sides of the cake with the chocolate icing.
- Sprinkle the cake with sea salt flakes, and serve.