Coffee and Salted Caramel Cake

So my favourite new cake is coffee with a salted caramel buttercream which is AMAZING!

 

The cake part is easy to make, it’s the same recipe for the coffee and chestnut cake I did in my very first blog, but I’ll give it to you again just in case you weren’t listening.

 

Coffee Cake

Ingredients:

 

330g butter/margarine (stork)

330g caster sugar

330g self raising flour

6 eggs

3 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp coffee granules dissolved in 2 tbsp of water

 

Method

 

1. Pretty much chuck everything in a bowl (sans egg shells of course) and mix with a hand whisk or free standing mixer until all combined.

2. Pour into 3 prepped (greased and lined with greaseproof paper) 8″ cake tins and bake in the oven at 180C/350F/GM4 for 20 mins or so until well risen and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

3. Leave aside to cool

 

Now comes the fun and yummy part…

 

Salted Caramel Buttercream

Ingredients:

 

250g granulated sugar

190ml double cream

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

 

320g butter

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

400g icing sugar

 

Method

 

Making the caramel. Now this isn’t that difficult you just have to keep a very very VERY close eye on it because it can burn in a split second. I’m speaking from experience here. The reason we use granulated and not caster is because granulated sugar has a large surface area and therefore will dissolve quicker than caster. However it is do-able if you don’t have granulated.

1. Place the granulated sugar in a pan.

2. Boil the kettle and measure 125ml of boiling water and pour over the sugar (this will help with the initial dissolving process).

3. Place the pan over the lowest heat possible and using the end of a wooden spoon make very small circular motions in the sugar to help it dissolve. Don’t stir too much or the sugar will start to crystallise and then you will be left with an unusable pan. If you do see the sugar start to crystallise stop stiring and just heat very slowly and hope and pray it doesn’t crystallise further.

4. Now once its all dissolved and you’re left with a clear syrupy liquid (this is called a stock syrup), turn the heat right up and boil the syrup WITHOUT stiring, never, ever stir at this stage, you can swirl the pan occasionally but no stiring, ok, got that? Good. Now the syrup as it boils will start turning a nice brown colour and there will be a lovely smell of caramelised biscuits, swirl the pan to get an even distribution of colour. Have the cream all measured out at this point with the vanilla and the salt mixed in.

Once the caramel is a nice builders tea colour take it of the heat immediately and very quickly chuck in the cream and take a step back whilst giving the pan an energetic but not panicky swirl.

5. You should now be left with a lovely caramel sauce, which you can use just as a sauce. However we are making a buttercream, so whilst that cools we’re going to cream the butter.

6. Blend the butter with the sifted icing sugar, vanilla and salt until lovely and fluffy and creamy, have a quick taste, just because you can. Then if the caramel sauce is cool enough beat that into the buttercream and have another quick taste (or two, or three). Now it may be that like me you are a tad impatient and have not waited for the caramel sauce to cool down and have slightly melted the buttercream, but never fear just place it in the fridge for a bit and it will be fine.

 

 

Construction

 

1. Remove the greaseproof paper carefully from all three of your cakes. There’s nothing worse than cutting into a beautiful cake and finding paper (don’t laugh, I have done this before).

2. Pile all your buttercream into a disposable piping bag or into a fabric piping bag. Snip the bottom off the bag until you have a hole about  the size or a twenty pence piece, which is about 1.5cm, I think, I don’t know that could be a lie, I’m on a train without a ruler.

3. Place one of the cakes on the plate you’re going to serve it on and pipe a 1/3 of the filling in a swirl like a cumberland sausage, if there are gaps in the middle don’t worry but make sure the filling reaches the edges. Place the next cake on top and press down slightly, then use the next 1/3 of the buttercream and do the same. Place the final layer on top and pipe the remaning buttercream in a swirl. Then using an angled spatular or a normal one smooth over the buttercream to get it looking all pretty. And voila one amazing cake.

 

Happy eating folks!

 

Oh and beware if you happen to be a klutz (like me) and splash hot sugar syrup or caramel on yourself don’t whatever you do pour cold water on it, because it will then go solid and burn even more and you will never get it off. I speak from personal experience, sugar syrup burns are the worst.

 

 

 

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Banana, Apricot and Cranberry Tea Loaf

I know, I’m late again, my silly cat when AWOL so I was out flyering to try and find the little bugger. He came back eventually after like 5 days.

Now this next thing is yummy, doesn’t look the nicest, but tastes amazing. The best bananas to use are the squishiest, blackest ones lying in your fruit bowl, which means this is a brilliant leftover cake.

 

 

Ingredients

 

2 very ripe/over ripe bananas

175g self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

50g rolled oats

150g light soft brown sugar

50g cranberries

50g apricots

2 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

150ml oil

 

Method

 

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/GM4 and prep either 2 1lb loaf tins or 1 2lb loaf tin. Prep is easy, just oil or butter the sides and base and then cut a strip of baking parchment (not paper, parchment) and place it along the bottom, hanging over the sides…like so:

 

 

1. Roughly mash the bananas with a fork or another mashing implement.

2. Add the flour, baking powder, oats and the soft brown sugar and combine.

3. Roughly chop the cranberries and apricots and reserve a teaspoon of each before adding the rest to the banana mixture.

4. Combine the eggs, oil and vanilla and add to the banana stuff.

5. Now you can either separate the mixture between 2 1lb loaf tins or put it in one 2lb loaf tin.

6. Bake in the oven for about an hour until risen and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

7. Wait until it’s cool before mixing some sifted icing sugar with some boiled water to make a reasonably thick icing that will drizzle quite comfortably over the tea loaf. Then finely chop the reserved teaspoon of apricots and cranberries and sprinkle them over the top of the icing.

Just slice and enjoy with a nice cup of tea!

Next week I will be back to normal with a rather fetching coffee and salted caramel triple layer cake…yum.

 

 

 

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