Today is my sister’s birthday. She is turning 17 and, to celebrate the whole family is coming to London to see Wicked (and me!) I have been put in charge of the cake, so needed to come up with something suitable wicked and, of course, delicious. My sister is a difficult one to crack-especially when it comes to food. If she doesn’t like something, she’s not afraid to say so! So this was going to have to be good. Really good.
On the eve of her birthday she requested ‘chocolate and undercooked.’
Which is lucky. Because chocolate and undercooked is my specialty.
My sister (like me) has quite a sweet tooth, so I decided to jazz up a normal chocolate cake with caramel buttercream, caramel being one of her favourite flavours (and serving as a nice accompaniment to the caramel flavoured coffee syrup I bought her as a gift.)
This was my first experience making caramel- its tricky! But, somehow, it seemed to turn out okay (well, half of it solidified into a big lump, but I did have some delicious, runny goo, so I was happy.)
I also faced some difficulty in transporting the cake- cakes are heavy! Also, note to self, triple layer cakes are too tall for your average cake tin! All the icing, the beautiful chocolate and caramel marble swirly frosting top- got stuck to the lid. Ruined! Once I carried to meet my sister, to the theatre, stashed it under my seat for the show, then back home, it was looking a little worse for wear. But it tasted SO GOOD. So really, that’s all that matters. (I hope!)
Ps eating cake out of the tin accompanied by theatre ice cream really is an experience worth trying! Next time you go to a show- take a cake!
For the caramel
sugar (I didn’t measure- I just covered the bottom of the saucepan with a thick layer of sugar)
double cream (I also didn’t measure this, I just poured in enough cream to combine with all the sugar, turning it into a nice light brown, beige-y colour)
Prepare a small bowl by rubbing it with butter, so that the caramel will not stick to it.
Melt the sugar in a saucepan until it is a golden amber colour, remove from heat and pour in the cream. Stir it gently until it is combined and no longer bubbling.
Put this aside to use for the icing and caramel cake.
For the cake
8 oz of butter
8 oz of sugar
4 large eggs
8 oz of self raising flour
2 oz of cocoa powder
150g of chocolate- melted
a tablespoon of cream
Begin by creaming together the butter and sugar. Add eggs. Sift in flour and cocoa powder.
Divide the mixture into thirds- keep two thirds together in a big bowl. To this, add the melted chocolate. To the remaining third, add some of the caramel.
Bake in a 180 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes. (Remember- the smaller cake will take less time than the big one!)
For the icing
Cream together butter and icing sugar, add the remaining caramel. It should be smooth and soft, but not too runny! Icing is often a case of trial and error- be prepared to have to add more icing sugar to thicken it or maybe a little water to thin it as you work!)