Sunday, 14 October 2012

Cornish Sea Salted Caramel Birthday Cake

On Friday, we celebrated Cornwall Clandestine Cake Club's 1st birthday.  With this momentous event in mind, we were tasked with making something rather special, a "birthday cake", not I hasten to add that the CCC cakes aren't always special. I'd seen a few caramel cakes on the internet recently and had also just tried Green & Black's new sea salted milk chocolate which I rather fell for. These combined to give me salted caramel on the brain, so I decided to indulge my new found obsession and make a salted caramel chocolate cake. I couldn't find anything in my cookery books or on the net that appealed, so I adapted the chocolate caramel cupcakes I made a couple of years ago to fit my vision.

This is what I did:
  • Dissolved 225g caster sugar in a large pan on gentle heat with 100ml water.
  • Brought to the boil and left for a few minutes to bubble away. Then "watched like a hawk" for it to turn to a nice reddish brown caramel colour, but to ensure it didn't burn.
  • Poured in 200ml double cream.  It all went very lumpy at this point, but I stirred and stirred and eventually it became more or less smooth.
  • Stirred in 1/2 tsp Cornish sea salt and 1 tsp vanilla extract.
  • Creamed 250g unsalted butter with 200g dark brown sugar.
  • Beat in about 1/3 of the caramel.
  • Broke in three duck eggs (large hens eggs are fine) and beat well.
  • Sifted in 200g flour (1/2 spelt, 1/2 white), 40g of cocoa and 1 rounded tsp baking powder.
  • Spooned into two 21 cm cake moulds and baked at 180C for 20 minutes.
  • Left to cool for ten minutes then turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Creamed 80g salted butter with 120g icing sugar until my arm was sore and the mixture was very light and fluffy.
  • Beat in another 1/2 of the remaining caramel.
  • Spread on top of one of the cooled cakes and placed the other on top.
  • Licked the bowl clean - reckoned it was the best buttercream I've yet made.
  • Spread the remaining caramel over the top of the cake.
  • Sprinkled various milk, dark and white chocolate bits over the top and dusted very lightly with two types of edible gold glitter.
Modesty be hanged, this cake proved to be very popular with the other cake club members and I only got to try a tiny slice. It was rich and chocolatey and offered the discerning punter three separate hits of salted caramel of differing intensities in the various layers. This just proves to me that salted caramel has not yet had its day!

I'd had visions of the caramel dripping down the sides of the cake, but by the time I got to apply it, it had set. This must mean that I am fated to make it again.

I shall be posting about the splendiferous fare that appeared at the first birthday celebrations of Cornwall Clandestine Cake Club in a few days time.

58 comments:

  1. Wow, that looks utterly fabulous. I'm not surprised it was popular at CCC - at least you got to try a small slice. I must try the whole salted chocolate/caramel thing, it seems to have passed me by.

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    1. Thanks C. I guess it's not so very different from peanut butter used in baking - sweet and salt in that combination seems to be very popular.

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  2. Oh Good Lord Choc that cake looks amazing! It sounds absolutely heavenly, oh to live in Cornwall....

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    1. Thank goodness I live in Cornwall Kath, it's the cake & beautiful empty spaces that keep me going.

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  3. Oh C it is a thing of beauty!... I am still in love with the whole salted caramel thing and this, with it's quite fudgy looking icing really must hit the spot!... I didn't know about the Green and Blacks new flavour so I MUST pop out and get this soon... beautiful cake, wish I'd been there to try a slice.

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    1. Thanks Dom - me too, not living in the oh most fashionable London, I've still in love with it too. Would have loved you to have been there and to have tried a slice. It would be fun to have a cake club with a crowd of us bloggers.

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  4. That sounds absolutely fantastic! I've been getting my fill of the salted caramel mocha that they have in Starbucks at the moment, I haven't had a chance to get hold of the new G&B salted caramel chocolate though.

    Will have to try this, thank you :O)

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    1. Thanks Ryan. Don't want to get your hopes up, G&B don't have salted caramel yet, not as far as I know anyway. There new bar is sea salted milk chocolate.

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  5. What a beauty! That is one classy cake :)

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  6. It looks gorgeous! I would be honoured to have that as my birthday cake. I also rather like the way the caramel has stayed on top, it gives nice extra height.

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    1. Ah, thank you. The height was a bit of an issue, the cakes didn't rise as well as I'd hoped, but actually the taste and texture were fine.

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  7. On Friday we celebated a bithday too, my daughter's (12 yrs)...
    This cake looks delicius, we made chocolate cupcakes!!

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    1. Manu, many happy returns to your daughter. I expect your cupcakes were lovely. I'll come and take a look.

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  8. What a beautiful looking cake! It sounds delicious too - I love the combination of salted caramel and chocolate!

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    1. Thank you Katherine, it's one of my favourite combinations and it proved to be popular with everyone else too.

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  9. I wouldn't have thought it possible but you have totally outdone yourself with this bombshell of a cake. What a gem. Salted caramel with chocolate and in a cake form is surely unbeatable.

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    1. Thanks Chele, I've been dreaming this one up for quite some time ;-)

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  10. Love how you've decorated this - looks so classy

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    1. Thanks CC - cake decorating is a bit hit and miss I find, but I got it right this time :D

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  11. That cakes looks totally gorgeous. I have to bookmark this definitely.I don't know what everyone is doing to me at the moment, or maybe I'm just in the mood or attracted by all these cakes and sweet recips.

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    1. It's the cold, wet and dark weather, it makes us all crave comfort food Chris :)

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  12. I'm obsessed by salted caramel ( not craftsmen, as my phone suggests...) at the moment. This sounds wonderful :-)

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    1. Well there are worse things than craftsmen ;-) Salted caramel is a particularly fine taste :)

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  13. But is wonderful....slurp! Ciao from Roma! :)

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  14. Sounds and looks absolutely lovely. Salted caramel is a lovely thing, no doubt about it.

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    1. Thanks Phil, I'm very happy for this particular flavour to stick around a while longer.

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  15. What a lovely looking cake and very original with salted caramel. Delicious.

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  16. What a stunner! I haven't tried this G&B flavour yet. I do like Lindt's dark choc with a hint of sea salt but think this could even be better. This is certainly a cake I will be making for a special occasion, probably my hub's birthday which is in December. Flavours both he & I adore :-) xx

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    1. Thank you Laura, It's certainly a birthday cake I would appreciate. I didn't know about the Lindt, so will have to look out for that. But as I generally prefer a good milk chocolate, I suspect I might prefer the G&B,

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  17. What a cake. It sounds immense! Wish I could have been at the party for a slice!

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    1. Would have loved you to have been there too :)

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  18. I commented on this yesterday but it seems not to have appeared - I think blogger hates me!

    Anyway, what I said yesterday was something along the lines of AMAZING cake, but disappointed that I could only manage a tiny slice at Cake Club and the slice I brought home mysteriously disappeared...

    And what I was coming back to say today is have you tried the Kernow Chocolate salted milk chocolate? Would be interesting to know how it compares to G&B's...

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    1. Oh sorry Nat. I suspect it's to do with the wretched capcha, which bugs me no end. I wonder how many other comments I'm losing.

      Thanks for your endorsement, there were a lot of very tasty cakes, including yours. I think I might have tried the Kernow choc at the Cornwall Food Fest, but would need to do a compare and contrast directly. I like G&B because of the higher cocoa content AND it's organic and fair trade, but I do like to support local too - a dilemma!

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  19. This sounds delicious - I can see why there was barely any left for you! I'll bookmark this for baking asap as I've wanted to try making salted caramel for a while.

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    1. Would love it if you tested it out for me Janine ;-)

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  20. Wow, this looks delicious! I use cooked condensed milk a lot instead of caramel, I wonder if it would work here.

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    1. I should think that would work really well. You could try it and let me know :)

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  21. That looks amazing, Choc! It would be a huge hit here - my boys are big caramel fans!

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    1. You're boys have very good taste Celia :)

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  22. quite simply a stunning cake, with some delicious ingredients. I do love chocolate and caramel and this cake with its fudgy salted caramel filling and topping works for me ! Nazima (Franglais Kitchen) x

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    1. Thank you Nazima, I was quietly pleased with this one :)

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  23. Just reading this recipe is making me slaver. How delicious. I love salted caramel/toffee

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    1. Ooh, now I've not had a salted caramel toffee before - I'm missing out!

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  24. Oh my oh my-that sounds a fantastic cake!!

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  25. This cake is epic, Choclette! And I love that you didn't ice the entire cake, but instead left the sides bare - the contrast between the layers and center filling is gorgeous. And I'm sure this tasted just as wonderful as it looks... I'm featuring this post in today's Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution as always). Thanks for continuing to inspire me with your creations...

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    1. Hey, good to see you recovered JW and very pleased this has made it into your Food Fetish Friday. Thanks also for your lovely complement :)

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  26. This looks absolutely amazing and I'm sure tasted even better! I LOVE salted caramel! I think it just might be my favourite thing in the whole wide world!

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    1. Thanks Vicki - I sort of feel the same way ;-)

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  27. I've just tried that new Green and Blacks chocolate too. It's lovely, I know sea salted stuff has been around for a while, but I only just discovered it really. Your cake looks amazing, and just the sort of thing I would try. Thanks for posting.

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    1. Thanks Fleur. It's ridiculous, I've always tried to keep salt to a minimum and now I want it in all my chocolate!

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  28. I can't wait to try out this recipe!!! It's just what my taste buds have been waiting for!!! Salted caramel AND chocolate!!! What a great combo!!! x x x

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    1. This is one I shall be returning to again for sure, chocolate and sea salted caramel is my favourite thing at the moment. Do let me know how you get on.

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