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.