Anyone else already hungry? I know I am, and I’ve eaten at least two slices of this beauty already! Sometimes you just need cake, and with a cocktail party on the cards for the Bank Holiday weekend it was the perfect excuse to try a new recipe.
This chocolate layer cake with vanilla frosting and salted caramel drizzle is a decadent dream, and inspired by two of my new cake blogging crushes. Firstly, Tessa Huff of Sweet Style CA and Rosie of Rosie’s Dessert Spot – both make insanely beautiful cakes and are definitely worth a follow right now! Go!
This was my first attempt at a drip cake, and even though I’ve watched like a bajillion videos and read SO many blog posts on them, I think some more practise will be in order! Getting the right consistency of ‘drip’ and ensuring you add the right amount is trickier than I imagined it would be.
An excuse to practise by making another cake is hardly a trial though right? I’ve become a little (read ALOT) obsessed with layer cakes at the moment, and can’t stop watching videos of frosting being perfectly smeared onto stacks of cake. So apologies if it gets a little cake heavy round thee parts soon! Though, is an apology for more cake really needed??
If you make any element of this bake though, go for the salted caramel drizzle. Its the PERFECT recipe, and makes more than you need which came in really handy for our household when my sister brought over brownies!
This chocolate layer cake recipe is SUPER moist! Its one of those bakes that needs to be left in the pans for a good 10-15 minutes after taking them out the oven. The sponges are also super bouncy, meaning you have to be delicate in transferring them to your cake stand. But once they’re cooled and encased in light fluffy buttercream they are so delicious – and even better the day after baking!
This buttercream is so light and fluffy – but you have to be prepared to whip that butter for a good 5 minutes or so to ensure it! You need to whip the butter to the point where it looks like frosting, which is confusing for the mind when you decide to taste it!
So have I convinced you that you need to try this yet?
Chocolate Layer Cake with Vanilla Frosting and Salted Caramel Drizzle
312g plain flour
82g cocoa powder
2&1/2tsp baking powder
3/4tsp bicarbonate of soda
155ml vegetable oil
400g caster sugar
2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
2tsp vanilla extract
1/2tsp almond extract
340ml whole milk
227ml hot strong-brewed coffee
500g unsalted butter
1kg icing sugar
1tbsp vanilla extract
2tbsp whole milk
Salted Caramel Drizzle
150g caster sugar
2tbsp golden syrup
113ml double cream
2tbsp unsalted butter
flaked sea salt to taste
1tsp vanilla extract
For the Cake:
Firstly, pre-heat the oven to 180C and grease and line three 8" baking pans.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarb and salt. Then set aside until needed.
Using a hand mixer beat together the oil and sugar for about two minutes. With the mixer still running, add the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla and almond extract ensuring you scrape down the sides to incorporate all the mixture.
On a low speed, add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Again, ensure you scrape down the sides to incorporate all the mixture.
Remaining on a low speed, stream in the coffee until just combined.
Evenly divide the batter between the three prepared pans. Bake in the oven for 23-25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean and the sponges bounce back.
Let them cool on a wire rack in the pans for at least 10-15 minutes, before removing them from the pans to completely cool.
For the salted caramel:
While the cakes are cooling begin making the salted caramel drizzle by placing the sugar, golden syrup and water in a heavy-bottomed pan and stir to combine.
Heat over a high heat, occasionally swirling the pan, until it turns a medium gold amber colour - this will take about 10 minutes. Once the caramel starts to deepen in colour, remove the pan from the heat. Slowly and carefully whisk in the cream, the mixture will bubble up so stand clear and keep stirring.
Add the butter, whilst continuing to stir until melted. Then add the salt and vanilla to combine, I added around 4 large pinches.
Pour into a heat-safe container (a pyrex bowl, jug or a jam jar will do) and set aside to cool and thicken.
For the frosting:
Put the unsalted butter into a large bowl and using a hand mixer beat for a good 6 minutes, until it is super creamy. Then slowly add the icing sugar in batches, beating continually with the hand mixer until all incorporated.
Add the milk and vanilla extract, and continue beating with the hand mixer until it is super light and fluffy.
For the assembly, place one sponge onto your cake stand and using a palette knife spread a layer of frosting on top. Repeat this with the next two layers.
Frost the cake with the remaining buttercream, and then using a cake scraper or a palette knife drag it around the cake to achieve a smooth finish, removing any excess buttercream.
Finally, pour the salted caramel over the top of the cake, coaxing it to slowly drip over the sides.
Excess Buttercream - As you scrape the cake to achieve a smooth finish, you will undoubtedly remove alot of the buttercream. Rather than wasting this, you can place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Once you're ready to use the buttercream again, place in the fridge overnight to defrost completely.
Chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting. Need I entice you more??
As I said in my Fudge Ripple Monster Bars post, I’ve gone from being a peanut butter hater to an “I want to try it in everything” kinda girl. So a few weeks ago when I really fancied baking some chocolate cupcakes (which is like everyday, am I right?) I thought what better topping than peanut butter??
Chocolate and peanut butter is a pretty classic combination anyway, but I was super chuffed with how these turned out. The chocolate cupcakes were super moist, and really chocolatey – no bland flavours here! The peanut butter frosting was the star turn though, as it was a bit salty and savoury in some ways which perfectly balanced out the cupcake.
The big news with this post however, is that I’ve decided to delve into the world of video recipes with this being my first try! I won’t lie, it’s SO much harder than it looks to film each step of the process so please be kind. I hope it helps to see the process in motion rather than just reading the recipe. Somehow I managed to lose the focus on my camera part of the way through, but thankfully the important bits are clear.
Anyway, I hope you like the new style! I’ll definitely make another video recipe soon, but for now the full recipe is below:
Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting + Video!
Yield: 12 Cupcakes
42g cocoa powder
95g plain flour
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
3/4tsp baking powder
2 large eggs, room temperature
100g caster sugar
100g light brown sugar
80ml vegetable oil
2tsp vanilla extract
75g unsalted butter, room temperature
250g creamy peanut butter
120g icing sugar
80ml double cream
1tsp vanilla extract
Firstly, preheat your oven to Gas Mark 4/180C and line 2 muffin pans with 12 muffin cases.
To make the cupcakes whisk the cocoa powder, flour, bicarb, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl until combined then set aside. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, caster sugar, brown sugar, oil and vanilla together until combined. Pour half of the wet ingredients and half of the buttermilk into your dry ingredients. Gently stir until combined. Repeat with the remaining wet ingredients and buttermilk, and stir until just combined. The batter will be thin, do not overmix.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cases, filling about 2/3 of the way full. Then bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean and they spring back when pressed.
Leave the cupcakes to completely cool on a wire cooling rack.
To make the frosting, using an electric whisk beat the butter on a high speed for about 1 minute until smooth and creamy. Add the peanut butter and mix until combined. Then add the icing sugar, double cream, vanilla extract and salt. Beat on a low speed and then slowly increase to a high speed and beat for one minute.
You can then add more icing sugar or cream to your taste, depending on whether you want to thicken or thin the frosting.
Using a piping tip of your choice, pipe rosettes onto the cooled cupcakes.
Black Forest Gateau. The classic seventies dessert is a personal favourite of Craig’s, so when his 25th Birthday rolled around I knew what was gonna be on the menu!
This is a boozy cake. There’s no getting around it, so if alcohol isn’t for you you might want to skip this one! It also makes the cake a little on the pricey side, so save it for a celebration.
Anyway, onto the actual cake! This is choc-a-block with filling, and packed with flavour! You’ve got the cherry brandy soaked sponges, kirsch plumped cherries and a lot of whipped cream. Surprisingly though its not too rich, mainly because the whipped cream cuts through it all!
So the trickiest parts to the Black Forest Gateau are as follows:
Cutting the sponges into four! The batter doesn’t yield huge cakes so cutting each into two was a little tense at times. But use a serrated knife, keep a steady but slow hand and turn the cake as you go.
Stacking the filling covered cakes! As you have to spread the cherry mixture onto the soaked sponges before stacking, when you do come to stack them its tricky! In hindsight, I definitely shouldn’t have stacked them on the opposite side of the kitchen to where they were cooling… But you live and learn!
Assembling! So as you can see from the slightly ‘rustic’ appearance of the gateau I didn’t exactly assemble the cake to perfection. But rustic = cute and handmade right? Tips I learnt from this was to really make sure the cherry filling is evenly spread so the cake doesn’t fall down at the sides. Otherwise the cakes like to split, just like mine did
All in all the Black Forest Gateau went down a treat, and I definitely urge you to make it next time you want to celebrate!
Firstly, preheat the oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5. Grease and line two 20cm sandwich tins.
Put the butter, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and eggs into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and thick. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake tins ensuring the batter is level. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until cakes are beginning to shrink away from the sides. Leave them to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, until turning them out onto a cooling rack.
Once the cakes are completely cool, cut each in half with a serrated knife and then place onto a board cut sides up.
For the filling, place the jam in a saucepan with the cherries and kirsch and place over a low heat. Bring the pan to a gentle simmer and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring, until the jam has melted and the cherries begin to swell. Then leave to cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
Sprinkle the cherry brandy over the chocolate sponges, then spread three of them with the cherry mixture and leave to cool. Making sure that the sponge without the cherry topping is from the top half of one of the cakes.
Then whip 300ml of the cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
Transfer one of the sponges with the cherry topping to a cake stand or plate, and dollop a third of the whipped cream gently on top of the cherry mixture. Sprinkle with a little of the grated chocolate.
Top with another cherry covered sponge, and repeat the cream and chocolate layer. Do this again wth the remaining cherry covered sponge. Place the final sponge on top, with the top surface facing upwards.
Whip the remaining 200ml of the cream until soft peaks form, then spread the cream on top of the cake. Place a few fresh cherries on top, and then cover with the remaining chocolate.
Keep the cake chilled until ready to serve. Best served on the same day it's made.
A Millionaires Shortbread is one of those classic treats that’s a definite crowd-pleaser. So when I saw the recipe for an easy peasy no-bake marbled millionaires slice in Everything Sweet, I knew I had to give it a try.
The multi-coloured chocolate top makes it really stand out, but honestly the main draw for me was the biscuit base. This isn’t any old biscuit base oh no. Its a Biscoff biscuit base. Only my favourite tea-dunking biscuit ever! The recipe calls for 300g, and the biscuits come in packs of 250g. The keen of you will realise this means there’s a whole 200g of surplus biscuits to play with! I assure you that all of mine went to a good home… 😉
The beauty of no-bake treats is really the simplicity of them! Aside from time setting inside the fridge this really can be whipped up so quickly. The biscuit base is as simple as crushing the biscuits in either a bag or food processor and mixing it with melted butter. Once its been pressed firmly and as evenly as you can into your cake tin its ready to go in the fridge and you’re free to munch on leftover biscuits!
The caramel filling is a one-pan job, and takes about 10 minutes total to come together. The thicker it is when you’re cooking it on the hob too, the quicker it will be to set in the fridge.
Finally, the chocolate layer involves melting the chocolate and marbling it any way you like! You can really go to town on the decoration and even include some nuts, fudge pieces or sprinkles if you like!
The crumbly biscuit base, smooth and gooey caramel filling topped off with the solid crack of chocolate makes this such a decadent treat, you just have to try it! I implore you. So, on with the recipe!
100g white chocolate (I used Menier White Chocolat)
pink oil-based food colouring (I used Dr.Oetker Gel colouring, but use sparingly as it can cause the chocolate to seize)
Firstly, lightly grease a 20cm square baking tin and line with baking paper.
In a food processor, or using a rolling pin and bag, crush the biscuits. Pour into a bowl with the melted butter and mix to combine. Spoon into the baking tin and press down with the back of a spoon to flatten. Cover and put in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
To make the filling, combine the condensed milk, brown sugar, golden syrup and butter in a saucepan. Stir constantly over a low heat until the mixture has thickened, about 10 minutes. Pour over the chilled base, spreading evenly and put back in the fridge to chill completely. This should take about an hour.
Finally, melt both the milk and white chocolate. Smother the milk chocolate over the chilled filling and then randomly dollop half of the melted white chocolate over the top of the milk chocolate layer. Using a few drops of the pink food colouring, colour the remaining melted white chocolate and then dollop this on top of all the chocolate layers. Finally using a small palette knife lightly swirl the colours together to create your desired marbled effect.
Cover again and chill in the fridge until the chocolate has completely set. Then cut into slices and enjoy!