Yesterday I undertook quite a cake, one of my friends is up in Leeds at the moment and it’s her boyfriend’s birthday so my kitchen (and my help?) was needed to make a monster of a cake; Hummingbird Bakery’s 3 tiered Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake. Oh yes, not a cake for the feint hearted.
It took us 5 hours and 3 people, but definitely worth ALL the effort!
This cake was pretty faffy, when it says wait and cool it really does need to cool, you need at least 2 saucepans on the go at the same time, even 3 sandwich tins would be useful – though as I only have 2 we had to wait and then do another cake by itself…
This recipe has been adapted from the Hummingbird recipe which I found on The Big Fat Noodle, I have decreased the quantities of caramel and of icing, as we only made ¾ quantities and still had loads left over (my friend took the left over chocolate ganache home in a jam jar, I wonder if there is any left this morning :P), there is only so much icing you can pile onto this cake, and we really did try.
Bring 150g caster sugar, 45ml water and 1 ½ tbsp. golden syrup to the boil and simmer for 10mins until clear and golden. In another pan bring 90ml double cream, 45ml buttermilk and 1tsp salt to a gentle simmer and turn off. When your sugar syrup has boiled, take off the heat and pour cream mixture in, as the bigfatnoodle says, it will bubble up and then take on a lovely caramel colour, set aside and leave to cool.
Anyway back to the chocolate ganache icing, this recipe is a little more complex than the chocolate ganache I made the other day to go on top of the Jubilee Chocolate Cake. It starts off very similar to the caramel sauce in that you bring 150g caster sugar, 1 ½ tbsp. golden syrup and 45ml water to a gentle simmer and in other pan bring 270ml double cream to the boil and add to the syrup. Let this cool slightly while you chop 340g dark (70% +) chocolate – we used Green and Blacks (4 packets!). Then add the chopped chocolate to the caramel mixture and whisk in until melted. Carry on whisking until the bowl is completely cool. It is important that the bowl is completely cool before you whisk in 340g unsalted butter otherwise it will melt instead of whisking into a light fluffy ganache. Put this mixture in the fridge to cool for at least 40mins – while you make the cakes.
N.B: Quick note on buttermilk, as there wasn’t any available in my local supermarket I looked up alternatives and found it was really easy to make, simply take 1 cup milk and 1tbsp lemon juice mix them together and leave to stand for 20mins or so, the acid curdles the milk and turns it sour – into buttermilk. The alternatives seemed a little more intensive/close to churning your own butter, which seems very cool, but we were a little short of time yesterday. You take milk and put it in a sealed container and simply shake until the curds and whey separate.
Now cake recipes nearly always follow the standard cream wet ingredients together, sift in the dry ones and fold. But that would be faff free, and that’s not what we’re really about here, so here goes:
Cream together 300g unsalted butter, 300g caster sugar until light and fluffy, add 3 eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. In a jug mix 100g cocoa powder, 160ml buttermilk, 1 tsp vanilla essence and 60ml water to form a thick paste. In another bowl sift together 330g plain flour, 2tsp bicarb and ½ tsp of salt. Finally we’re going to alternate mixing the chocolate paste and the flour into the butter and sugar mixture. Cut and fold the mixture until everything is fully incorporated.
Divide between 3 lined sandwich tins (three – I know, bit mental) and bake for 25mins at 170°C or until a skewer comes out clean. Turn out and allow to cool completely.
Finally when everything is completely cool, or better even cold you can start to assemble the cake.
Cake – caramel – ganache icing – cake – caramel – ganache icing – cake – caramel – ganache icing. The with the left over icing, cover the sides of the cake, sprinkle chopped chocolate, sea salt flakes and caramel splatters over the top, and you will have a truly ridiculous but incredible chocolate sweet and salted caramel cake.