Friday, March 23, 2012

Chocolate Caramel Cake

You know that day when you can't focus or concentrate and your work looms large in the foreground but cannot be attempted because you can't sit still enough to read a sentence? I had that day on Wednesday. I know from experience that the restlessness will pass and I'll recover and the work will get done but it doesn't make it any easier to have a no-concentrating day. I figured that baking a cake might help. I needed to take something in to class yesterday anyway so I thought this would be the perfect solution. How wrong I was.

I ran out of cocoa powder and had to use real chocolate instead.

The cake took ages to bake.

It had to be saved from burning with some swifty tin foil action.

I ran out of butter during the icing process and had to resort to using butter spread in the icing.

Because I ran out of butter in the icing process I improvised the icing. I'm still not sure that was a good idea.

The cake fell apart when I sliced it into thirds and had to be assembled in it's tin so that it could be supported. (And patched back together).

Phew. I mean seriously. Enough drama for one cake already.

Chocolate Cake with Caramel Frosting
Adapted from Feast and The Primrose Bakery Book
170g soft butter
200g caster sugar
2 eggs
some vanilla
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb
10g cocoa
100g chocolate, melted
150g sour cream


 Preheat the oven to 180C and line either a springform cake tin or 2 sandwich tins.
Cream together the butter and sugar until bright white and fluffy.


Mix the eggs with the vanilla and beat into the butter.
Weigh out the dry ingredients, give them a stir and then add them to the mixture followed by the sour cream and finally, the chocolate. Make sure everything is well mixed.



Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and smooth with a palette knife.


Bake for between 45 minutes and 1 hour. This depends on the tins you're using, your oven etc.

The cake will pull away from the sides and a skewer inserted will come out clean when the cake is done.
Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack and cooling completely before icing.


Caramel Icing
130g double cream
170g soft brown sugar
150g caster sugar
170g butter
360g icing sugar
1 tbsp hot water

In a saucepan put the cream, brown sugar and caster sugar.


Bring to the boil and boil for about one minute. The caramel should be reasonably dark. Whilst the caramel is still hot, add in half the icing sugar.


Beat well. Allow this to cool. The mixture will have the texture of tablet (or grainy fudge). Remove the caramel from the pan and place in a mixing bowl. Break it up gently with your hands. To this add in the butter and the rest of the icing sugar.


Beat until smooth and creamy and lighter in colour. I added in a tablespoon of hot water right at the end just to bring everything together but you may not need it.

To assemble
Slice the chocolate cake into thirds. Place the springform ring, closed, onto the plate you're going to serve the cake on. Place the base piece of cake inside. Ice, using a palette knife to smooth the icing. Repeat with the second and third layers. When icing the top layer use less icing as the cake goes into the fridge so the icing sets and then you ice a final layer. This first icing layer is known as the crumb layer.


Once your cake has been resting in the fridge for a half hour you can ice the final layer. To serve, unlatch the ring and slide it off the cake.    

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