Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Sweet and Salty Chocolate Cake

It was my brothers birthday the other day, so making a cake was mandatory of course. I decided to make this chocolate cake as it reminded me of the one in 'Matilda', a childhood classic and being a typical boy I know it would not disappoint, and it didn't. Even though I'm pretty sure that one slice is your entire calorie intake allowance for the day, it's worth it. A deep chocolate cake sandwiched with salted caramel and chocolate fudge icing, this one really isn't for the dieters of the world. 

The downside to this cake is that is does take a long time to make due to the various different steps there are, but sometimes you're just in one of those moods to bake all day, if so then this cake is ideal. You start by making the salted caramel, this stage went a little bit wrong for me as I don't think I boiled the sugar and golden syrup for long enough, so when I added the boiled cream it didn't 'bubble' up as they said it would, which resulted in the caramel not setting very well and ending up more like a caramel syrup. However this did not ruin the cake as it still had flavour and simply soaked through the sponge layers. The rest of the cake went smoothly and I was very happy with the result, now my family and I simply have to finish it. 

Also, The Great British Bake off is back next Tuesday (14th August) and I am for one, so so excited to see Mrs Berry and Mr Hollywood back on our screens with a new group of baking hopefuls. T.V highlight of the year! 

(Cake Days - The Hummingbird Bakery)

Serves 10-12

For the Sponge:
          300g (10.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
          300g (10.5oz) caster sugar

          140g (5oz) soft light brown sugar
          3 eggs
          100g (3.5oz) cocoa powder
          160ml (5.5fl oz) buttermilk
          1tsp vanilla essence
          330g (11.5oz) plain flour
          2 tsp baking powder
          1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
             1/2 tsp salt

For the Salty Caramel:
          200g (7oz) caster sugar

          2tbsp golden syrup
          120ml (4fl oz) double cream
          60ml (2fl oz) soured cream
          1 tsp fine sea salt

For the Frosting:
          200g (7oz) caster sugar
          2 tbsp golden syrup
          360ml (12.5fl oz) double cream
          450g (1lb) dark chocolate, chopped, plus extra to decorate
          Sea salt flats, for sprinkling

Three 20cm (8in) diameter loose-bottomed sandwich tins


  • First make the salty caramel. In a small saucepan bring the sugar and golden syrup to the boil with 60ml (2fl oz) of water, allowing the mixture to boil for about 10 minutes, during which time it should become quite syrupy and a rich caramel colour.
  • Put the double cream, soured cream and salt in a separate pan and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. The salt should completely dissolve in the cream.
  • When the sugar syrup is ready, remove it from the heat and carefully add the hot cream. It will bubble up as you pour in the cream, but smooth out again quickly after that, becoming a creamier golden colour. Pour the caramel into a small bowl and set it aside to cool while you make the frosting. 
  • In a small, clean saucepan, bring the caster sugar and golden syrup to the boil with 60ml (2fl oz) of water, again letting this boil for approximately 10 minutes or until it is syrupy and caramel-coloured. 
  • In a separate pan, bring the double cream to the boil. Carefully pour the hot cream into the caramel: as before, it will bubble up, but settle again shortly afterwards. Set this caramel aside to cool slightly.
  • Once it has cooled, add the chopped chocolate stirring constantly while the chocolate melts. Using a hand-held electric whisk, mix the frosting for about 10 minutes or until the bottom of the bowl feels cool.
  • Add the butter to the chocolate caramel frosting and whisk together until the mixture is light and looks slightly whipped. Place the frosting in the fridge to cool and set for 40-50 minutes while you make the sponge.
  • Preheat the oven to 170C (325F), Gas Mark 3, and line the bases of the sandwich tins with baking parchment. 
  • Using a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment, or a hand-held electric whisk, cream together the butter and both types of sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl. 
  • In a jug stir together the cocoa powder, buttermilk and vanilla essence with 60ml (2fl oz) of water to form a thick paste. Sift together the remaining sponge ingredients, then add these in stages to the creamed butter and sugar, alternating with the cocoa powder paste and mixing thoroughly on low-to-medium speed until all the ingredients are incorporated. 
  • Divide the batter between the three prepared cake tins and bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the top of each sponge feels springy to the touch. Allow the sponges to cool slightly in their tins before turning out on to a wire rack and cooling completely before assembling. 
  • Once the sponges feel cold to the touch, place one of a plate or cake card and top with approximately 2 tablespoons of the salty caramel, smoothing it over the sponge using a palette knife. Top the caramel layer with 3-4 tablespoons of the frosting and smooth it out as before. 
  • Continue this process, sandwiching together the other two sponges with the remaining salty caramel and a layer of frosting and leaving enough frosting to cover the sides and top of the cake. To finish, decorate the top with chopped chocolate and a light sprinkling of the sea salt flakes. 

Thank you for reading,

Naomi ♥


  1. Looks lovely - any cake where a slice gives you your day's calories is ok with me!

  2. This is definitely a Matilda cake! I've had this recipe bookmarked but never seem to find a suitable occasion for it (same with the maple and pecan layer cake. Still want to make that too!)

    I also may have squealed with excitement a little too much when I saw that GBBO is coming back on tv this month. Mary Berry is my baking idol.

    1. Yes it's definitely one which needs to be saved for an occasion and a greedy brothers birthday was perfect aha!
      Ahh you and me both, Tuesday evening can't come quick enough! x


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