Monday, 31 August 2015

Weekend Baking: Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake

My favourite ice cream at the moment is Haagen Dazs chocolate salted caramel praline. It is deliciously chocolatey with little pockets of salted caramel that I like to dig for. Delicious.

Having made a salted caramel recently when trying out this recipe (I bought the same bundt tin, I couldn't resist), and having had a request for a cake, I decided to try out a cake version of the ice cream. It has worked very well - the cake rose like a mofo and is light and very chocolatey, but not so sweet that the caramel is too much. I also added a generous sprinkling of pecan nuts. YUM.

I'm not winning any photography prizes here - it looks a lot more spectacular in real life.

250g butter
400g caster sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
270g plain flour
130g cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
350ml buttermilk
150g dark chocolate, melted

125g butter
200g caster sugar
125ml extra thick double cream
Dash of vanilla
Pinch of salt
Packet of pecan nuts - I think mine was a big 200g packet. I love pecans though, so not all of these made it to the cake.

Cut a small piece of butter (about a half cm slice) off the end of your block, melt it and use to to grease the inside of a bundt pan - you can pour any excess into the mixing bowl with the cake mix.
Cream the rest of the butter until fluffy, then beat in the sugar for a couple of minutes until light. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and sift into the egg mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk but finishing with a flour dump and mixing between each addition. Don't overmix. Melt the chocolate and fold this in. Rummage around in the cupboard to see if you have any chocolate chips; if so, throw those in too.

Pour into the bundt pan. Bake at 180 degrees for about an hour, until coming away from the side of the pan and clean when skewered. Take this opportunity to toast your pecans, too - spread over a baking tray and place in the oven for about 5 minutes (set a timer). Chop them up once they're cool.

While the cake is baking, make the caramel. Put the sugar in a saucepan and melt over a low heat. Don't stir it - I'm sure you watch Bake Off. Swirling and gentle prodding with a wooden spoon is OK. Add the cubed butter. It will hiss and spit and you will worry but keep stirring, it will probably be OK. When the butter has combined and isn't sitting in a greasy layer on top of the sugar, stir in the vanilla, cream and salt. You should end up with something resembling melted chocolate.

When the cake is out of the oven and cool, drizzle with the caramel and sprinkle over the pecans. Wait for the compliments to roll in.

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