As many of you know I am a member of the Winchester branch of Clandestine Cake Club and our theme for this month was Showstoppers as nod to the final of Bake Off. I wanted a cake that was a different flavour from one I would usually bake and that also had the “wow” factor in terms of how it looked. I scoured my (many!) recipe books and settled on the Sea Salted Caramel Cake from the new CCC book. If you read my Borough Market blog you will know that I am a big fan of salted caramel doughnuts and I have also tried it as a dessert and in a chocolate bar but I had never thought of it in a cake.
The first step is to make the caramel sauce. At first the mix looked awful because the butter separated and the sugar congealed into soft lumps but do persevere with it and once it is simmering stir it a couple of times and it will come together. When I added the chocolate and cream I added the chocolate first and stirred until this was melted before adding the cream as I didn’t want to risk the cream cooling the mixture down too much so that the chocolate didn’t melt.
I came unstuck a bit here (that’s what you get for not reading ahead!) and got on with the cake mixture whilst I left the sauce to cool. It turns out that the cooled sauce is in the cake mixture and so there is no point starting the cake mixture until the sauce is cool. To speed things up I measured out the 60g required for the cake mix and put this in a separate bowl to cool.
I found the cake mixture a bit stiff and so I added a little milk to loosen it. I imagine that I could have also added a bit more of the caramel sauce to loosen it as well and I will probably try that next time.
Once the cakes were cooled it was time to start the decorating process (exciting!). When filling the cake make sure the caramel sauce doesn’t go right to the edge otherwise it will get mixed in with the buttercream when you ice the outside of the cake.
As suggested by the recipe, the crumb coat is a good idea as it helps with the final look of the cake. The recipe says to crumb coat the sides but if I made this cake again I would also crumb coat the edge of the top of the cake where you intend to pipe as this would have made the finish neater. When you are doing the crumb coat you will get crumbs on your palette knife so make sure these don’t get mixed in with the rest of the icing as you don’t want crumbs in the icing you’ll be using to pipe the rosettes.
This cake did take a bit of effort and patience but in my opinion it was well worth it! And judging by the small slice left at the end of cake club so did everyone else!
Happy baking 🙂