Sweet and Salty Cake

Today is my birthday so of course I made my own cake, actually I wouldn’t have it any other way, I do love to bake. Anyway as you read this I will be on holiday somewhere (a surprise for my birthday) having a welcome break from baking and writing. I handed in the final, final manuscript for my book this week so in about three months time, on the 8th september the book will finally be out! So did I bake a recipe from the book? Unfortunately as I’m not allowed to share any recipes from it yet, it isn’t from. Instead I took the opportunity to bake a recipe I’ve had bookmarked for years. The Sweet and Salty cake is from the Baked book, one of my favourites from the past few years. and oh my god this cake is good. It is delicious with moist chocolate cake, salted caramel, and caramel chocolate frosting well worth a bake.

Sweet and Salty Cake

3/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/4 cups / 295ml hot water

2/3 cup / 155ml sour cream

2 2/3 cups / 375g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup / 1 1/2 sticks / 170g unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup / 115g vegetable shorteneing (trex)

1 1/2 cups / 300g granulated sugar

1 cup firmly packed / 240g dark brown sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325F / 160C. Butter three 8 inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper and butter this too. Dust with flour knocking out any excess. Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine the cocoa, hot water and sour cream. Whisk together and set aside to cool. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

Add the butter and shortening to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle and beat on medium until light, fluffy and ribbonlike, around 5 minutes. Add the sugars and beat for about another 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. Give the sides of the bowl a scrape and give one last mix for 30 seconds.

Add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the cocoa mixture, starting and ending with the flour. Divide equally amongst the three pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 35 to 4o minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans on a wire rack for 20 minutes before inverting out to cool completely.

Salted Caramel Filling

1/2 cup / 120ml double cream

1 tsp fleur de sel (sea salt)

1 cup / 200g granulated sugar

2 tbsp light corn syrup

1/4 cup / 60ml sour cream

Place the cream and fleur de sel in a small saucepan set over medium heat and bring to a simmer, to dissolve the salt. Meanwhile add the sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup / 60 ml water into a medium pan set over high heat, stirring gently to combine. Cook until the caramel reaches 350F on a candy thermometer, should take about 6-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a minute before adding the cream mixture followed by the sour cream. Allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to an airtight container and refrigerating until needed.

Whipped Caramel Ganache Frosting

450g dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa content) chopped

1 1/2 cups / 350ml double cream

1 cup / 200g caster sugar

2 tblsp light corn syrup

2 cups / 450g unsalted butter, soft but cool cut into pieces

Place the chocolate into a large heatproof bowl and set aside. In a small saucepan bring the cream to a simmer over low heat. In a medium saucepan set over high heat combine the sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup / 60ml water and cook until the caramel reaches 350F on a candy thermometer, about 6-8 minutes. allow to cool for a minute before adding the cream, stirring to combine. Stir the caramel slowly for two minutes before pouring over the chocolate. Allow to sit for a minute before stirring slowly to form the caramel ganache. Let the mixture cool then transfer to the bowl of an electric stand mixer, and mix on low speed until the bowl is cool to the touch. Increase the speed to medium high and gradually incorporate the butter, beating until fully combined. Scrape the bowl down and beat on high speed until the mixture is fluffy.

To assemble place one cake layer on a serving plate or cardboard cake round. Spread about 1/4 cup / 60ml of the salted caramel across the layer and top with about 1 cupful of the frosting. Repeat with a second layer of cake then top with the final layer of cake. Frost the top and sides with the remaining frosting. Garnish with extra fleur de sel or as I did a bit of edible gold powder.

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31 Responses to Sweet and Salty Cake

  1. Annie says:

    This looks incredible, I saw the pictures on Twitter and really hoped you would post the recipe, will be making it very soon…!

  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And what a great cake to celebrate- it looks utterly perfect chocolate delight!

  3. Claire says:

    wow this cake looks delicious! It was my birthday last monday and although I am now 23, I still insisted that my mum made me a cake like she always did when I was young. I love to bake but its lovely when you have somebody else to make you a cake! However…I can see that in the future I am likely to have to bake my own cake as its the best thing about birthdays (especially when you get older)! Definetly will have a go at this recipe- love the sweet and salty idea :)

  4. Christina says:

    Happy Birthday! The cake looks amazing. The swirls on top and the edible gold dust really adds a lot of character.

    I always get strange looks when I say I want to bake my own birthday cake. I do it anyway, though.

  5. Kate says:

    This looks sooo yummy but where can I buy corn syrup?

  6. Alex Paton says:

    I love the combination of salt & chocolate, what a beautiful cake. I hope you have a great Birthday!

  7. Tracy says:

    I just want to reach into that picture…YUM!!! Have a Wonderful Birthday!

  8. claire says:

    Really looks good, and the frosting is done so perefectly -you clearly know your stuff! Promptly bookmarked, but there’s a sweet and salty cake in the new Hummingbird book -it’ll be so interesting to compare that recipe with this one. Of course, if it comes to a taste test, that’s opbligatory double-eating, yes? Sounds like a plan!

  9. Y says:

    Happy Birthday! The cake looks absolutely fantastic!

  10. Anne says:

    Happy belated birthday Edd. This cake looks amazing!! I’ve wanted the Baked book for some time but I’m put off a little by the cup measurements – I always seem to have a disaster with them!

    Hope you had a lovely trip away

    • Wayne says:

      I use ‘cup’ based recipes all the time – I find them really easy, so long as you don’t switch between the weight/cup measurements

  11. June Hashim says:

    Happy belated birthday and I can only say that I wish you a ball of a time. Cake looks absolutely delish and gorgeous! Yes baked is known far and wide for its salty caramel cupcakes and I bet yours was divine too!

  12. Adam says:

    I had a go at this, cake is incredible! I cheated somewhat due to poor pantry planning, and used dulce de leche with added maldon sea salt, but it was still pretty fantastic. Hope the ‘dam was good, always is in my experience. How lovely is a birthday holiday?! Your boyfriend and mine should exchange ideas, I’d love that!

  13. meemalee says:

    So pretty! I might have to drop hint for my husband make this for me :)

  14. Gillbla says:

    Hi Edd,
    I’m planning to have a go at this tomorrow. But, shock horror, I bought medium eggs instead of large (eejit – I should know most recipes use large!) I don’t suppose you know if just adding an extra egg would work? I don’t want to wreck it!


  15. kath says:

    Looks lovely, http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2008/09/chocolate_cake_with_fleur_de_sel_caramel_filling see also here I was planning to make that but yours looks a nicer cake recipe. far too much ganache in theirs too.

  16. Followed your recipe to the T and made this incredible cake over the weekend. Only thing, I used table salt instead of sea salt; didn’t seem to ruin the taste, as far as I could tell. Yumm Yumm Yumm. Thank you so much for this and a belated happy birthday.

  17. Emily says:

    Do you think the layers could be frozen for assembly later? This would be perfect for a colleague’s leaving cake but I’m madly busy around that time so if I could make all the components and then just assemble that would be much simpler!

    • Edd says:

      yes they could definitely be frozen. Allow the layers to cool completely then wrap in three layers of clingfilm and a layer of foil. Allow the cakes to thaw in the layers of clingfilm and foil so the condensation forms on them rather than the cakes

  18. Franziska says:

    This cake looks and sounds yummy. I’m always after a good new chocolate cake recipe so I will try this out over the weekend. Thanks for giving so many different measurements, I love using cups, it makes life so much easier (I grew up with European measures).

  19. Gill says:

    Like Jane, I cheated and used normal salt which seemes to work find, though as with most recipes if it wasn’t my first go I’d spend more and get the high quality ingredients.
    The recipe is great and very easy to follow. Thanks for the great pictures that make me want to take up the challenge! Here’s my results: http://bit.ly/saltedcaramelchocolate

  20. betty says:

    oh my. that just looks divine!!!

  21. Kelly-Jane says:

    That is a real wow cake!

    Both the Baked books are so good. Looking forward to your book as well.

  22. Sarah says:

    I made this to take to work for my birthday last week it was amazing was worried about the salted caramel but it was delicious. Thanks for great recipe I love reading your blog. This weekend I ‘m going to try the flapjack recipe.

  23. Ben says:

    what a gorgeous cake!! this will definitely be on my to-do list soon.

  24. Asmat says:

    Can i half the receipe as i dont have 3 round cake tins! will have the same result? Im desperate to try the receipe! lookd delicious

  25. Bee says:

    I made this to take to work for my birthday! First time using a sugar thermometer but all worked fine. Gill’s tips on her site were really useful too.
    The cake was so huge I ended up taking out one layer as I couldn’t fit it in any of my containers! It disappeared very quickly and was loved by all, although I found it a bit rich for my tastes.
    I would make it again but probably use a simpler chocolate sponge recipe – the flavour and sweetness of the caramel and the ganache don’t need such a rich sponge, and it would be cheaper with fewer ingredients!

  26. Steph says:

    Please tell me your scone recipe is online? Thank yooo :-) x

  27. Varshini says:

    Wow…Its My birthday too….Edd ..its amazing to share the birthday with you….
    Even Iam crazy about baking but just a novice …But no way compared to you…you are a pro…

    So from this year onwards i will be checking your blog on our birthday just to see what you bake for the birthday :)

    And I love love salted caramel…Crazy about Salted Caramel Macron…
    But this cake looks soo yummm…

    oops …such a long comment :) sorryyy

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