It’s been a while since I put my ‘cake creation cap’ on. But when I was tasked with supplying dessert at a recent family dinner, well I figured it was well and truly time to dust off the ol’ cap and get to work. Particularly when it was to be a birthday and “bon voyage” cake all in one.
I’ve seen lots of layer “drip” cakes doing the rounds, and decided to give one a try. I think my ganache was a little runny (resulting in rather drippy drips that were far from their picturesque pinterest cousins), but the flavour was still there. And I even went so far as to try my hand at Italian meringue buttercream in place of the usually sickly sweet American buttercream – and boy I’m glad that I did. For it worked just beautifully at mellowing out the otherwise rich caramel mudcake hidden inside – and meant that we reserved our sugar overload for the other goodies piled high on the cake – twix bars, jersey caramels, chocolate stars, malteasers and butterscotch popcorn.
Yes, I think this was very appropriately dubbed a celebration cake – for it had a little of everything! Caramel chocolate celebration cake
For the caramel mud cakes:
- 400g butter, cubed
- 400g white chocolate, chopped
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1.5 cups hot water
- 2 tbs golden syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups plain flour, sifted
- 2 cups self raising flour, sifted
- Preheat oven to 160C. Grease and line 2 x 22cm cake tins.
- Place the butter, sugar, water, golden syrup and vanilla in a saucepan. Stir over low heat, stirring, until the butter and chocolate melt and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and cool for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Place the cooled chocolate mixture into a mixing bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add the sifted flours and stir until combined.
- Divide the mixture between the two prepared pans, and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the caramel Italian meringue buttercream:
- 1 sugar + 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 6 egg whites
- 500g butter, softened
- 1/2 cup caramel sauce (or more to taste)
- Place the water and 1 cup of sugar in a small saucepan, and stir to combine. Heat over a low to medium heat. Clip on a candy thermometer.
- Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add a pinch of cream of tartar if you like. Start the mixer on medium-low to begin frothing the whites
- When the sugar begins to boil, increase the speed of the mixer to medium-high. When the whites are at soft peaks, gradually add the 1/4 cup of reserved sugar. Continue beating until they become stiff peaks, then change to the beater attachment.
- When the sugar reaches 120C, turn off the heat. With the mixer running on a low speed, slowly pour the hot sugar in a fine stream down the side of the bowl with the egg whites
- When all the sugar is added, increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture has almost cooled (this takes a good 5–10 mins).
- When the meringue has cooled, start adding the butter, a tablespoon at a time, while the mixer is running on medium.
- When all the butter has been added, increase the mixer to high to beat until the buttercream forms and is smooth. Change to the whisk attachment, add the caramel sauce, and whisk for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
- 200ml double cream
- 200g good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
- Heat the double cream in a saucepan over medium heat. As soon as it begins to bubble, remove it from the heat and stir in the dark chocolate. Continue to stir until the mixture is thick and smooth, without any remaining lumps of chocolate. Place in the fridge until the desired “drip” consistency is reached.
- Prepared buttercream icing and ganache
- Leftover caramel sauce
- butterscotch or caramel popcorn
- chocolate stars
- jersey caramels, halved
- twix bars, halved
- Trim the tops off the cakes, so that they are even.
- Put a small dot of the buttercream on your serving plate, then place one of the cakes on top. Spread with a good amount of the buttercream, a little caramel sauce, then place the other cake on top.
- Using a palette knife, cover the cakes completely in the buttercream, starting with a crumb layer then a smooth outer layer. Place in the fridge for one hour to chill.
- Remove the cake from the fridge and pour the ganache over. You can do this using a disposable piping bag , or by gently spooning the ganache onto the centre of the cake and encouraging drips to fall down the sides.
- Top the cake with the various edible decorations, and place back in the fridge.
- Remove the cake from the fridge about half an hour before serving.