Chocolate Caramel Cake

This started out life as a Mint Chocolate Cake from the Jamie Oliver magazine. I had such a lot of complements for my version of that cake, that I wanted to adapt it for my friend’s birthday cake, by trying a different flavour combination.

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Cake

175ml vegetable oil
425g caster sugar
3 large free range eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
375g plain flour
100g cocoa powder
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
500ml milk

Icing

300g caramel sauce from a jar or tin
250g butter, softened
500g icing sugar
At least 1 tbsp milk

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a line three 20cm round cake tins.

2. Mix together the oil and sugar using an electric mixer. Mix for at least one minute, until smooth.

3. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk for a further 3 minutes until the mixture is pale.

4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and Bicarbonate of soda. Mix the dry ingredients into the oil and sugar, along with the milk. Be careful as the mixture is quite sloppy – I’ve found it has a tendency to slosh out of the bowl!

5. Once the mixture is well combined, divide between the 3 cake tins. Bake in the oven for 40 – 45 minutes. Test to see if 5he Cake is ready by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cake. If the skewer comes out clean, then it’s cooked. Allow the cakes to cool.

6. To make the icing, in an electric mixer thoroughly mix 200g caramel sauce and the butter until completely smooth. Add a splash of milk and half the icing sugar and mix together for 3 minutes. Continue to add the icing sugar as needed until you get the right spreadable consistency. If you add too much icing sugar, you can add a splash more milk.

7. Construct the cake by sandwiching the layers of cake together using a dollop of the remaining caramel and a generous amount of the icing. Use the remaining icing to cover the top and sides in your desired style. I also added some Caramac, cake crumbs and some crushed Werther’s Originals as extra decoration.

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Here’s a picture of the mint chocolate version.

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Passion Fruit and Lime Drizzle Cake

Not the most seasonal bake when we’re in the depths of winter, but it tastes amazing! The inspiration for this one came from Baking Fanatic but I’ve adjusted the quantities of some ingredients after making it a few times, largely because the supermarket always seems to sell passion fruits in packs of three! Check out the other recipes on this blog too – you won’t regret it.

Passion fruit and lime drizzle cake

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350g caster sugar
4 free range eggs, at room temperature
100ml milk
200g self-raising flour
75g melted unsalted butter
A pinch of salt
3 limes
3 passion fruit

1. Line a 2lb loaf tin and preheat the oven to 180°C.

2. Mix together 250g of the caster sugar, the eggs, flour, butter, milk, salt and the finely grated zest from the 3 limes until well combined into a thick batter. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for about 50 minutes before checking, it may need a bit longer.

3. Cut the passion fruits in half and squeeze the juice and seeds out into a sieve balanced over a bowl. You’ll want the juice and some of the seeds for the drizzle.

4. To make the drizzle, combine the remaining 100g sugar with the juice of the 3 limes and the passion fruit juice. Leave the seeds out at this stage. Mix together well. It’s fine if the sugar isn’t dissolved in the liquid.

5. While the cake is still warm, use a skewer to prick the cake and then pour the drizzle over the top. Sprinkle some (or all) of the seeds over the top. Allow the cake to cool completely before attempting to slice.

Blackberry Crumble Cake

I’m definitely not a gardener, but we do have some fruit bushes growing in our garden and this recipe is a great way of using up blackberries.

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Blackberry Crumble Cake

225g butter (50g for the top and 175g for the cake)
75g plain flour
2 heaped tbsp Demerara sugar
175g caster sugar
175g self-raising flour
3 large free range eggs
100g blackberries

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a loaf tin with baking paper.

2. Make the Crumble topping by dicing 50g butter and rubbing it into the plain flour and demerara sugar, until the texture is sandy.

3. In a separate bowl or mixer, combine the remaining butter with the caster sugar, self-raising flour and the eggs. When the mixture is well combined, gently stir in the blackberries. Tip the mixture into the cake tin. Top with the Crumble topping.

4. Bake in the centre of the oven for 50 minutes or until a skewer entered into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

I made this as a gift, but came up with a cunning plan to make a mini loaf cake as well as the full sized one, so I could have a taster portion!

 

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Cake it to the limit 🎂

I’ve been a baking machine over the last few weeks. We had a wedding in the family, and the bride and groom asked guests to bring cakes for a ‘cake-off’ and I made this toffee apple cake.

 

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There was also an event at work  where we were asked to provide cakes. I made this lemon and almond cake, which went down a storm and tasted fabulous, but was a little crumbly when trying to cut into slices.

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My final contribution was a chocolate mint marble cake.

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Chocolate Mint Marble Cake

175g butter at room temperature
175g caster sugar
3 large eggs
175g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cocoa powder
Peppermint extract
Green food colouring

Glacé icing
100g icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa
75g chocolate mint bubble-style chocolate bar

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a deep 20cm baking tin with baking parchment.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs in one at a time.

3. Add the flour and baking powder and gently mix in. Divide the mixture into two. For the mint mixture, stir in a few drops of peppermint essence and the green food colouring. For the chocolate mixture, blend the cocoa powder with 1 tablespoon of boiling water. Stir well into a smooth paste. Thoroughly fold this into the cake mixture.

4. Add the two sets of mixture to the tin in a random fashion to make the marble effect. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Ensure the cake is cooked through and is well risen before removing from the oven. Allow to cool. Remove the baking parchment from around the cake.

5. Once the cake is completely cold, you ice the cake. To make the glacé icing, mix the icing sugar, cocoa and 1 tablespoon of hot water thoroughly to make a smooth paste. Pour over the top of the cake. Crumble the bubbly mint chocolate bar and use to decorate the top of the cake, covering the icing.

(I forgot to take a picture of the cake when sliced to show you the inside, but it’s definitely worth the effort for the fun effect.)

Sticky marzipan and cherry buns

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Stick marzipan and cherry buns (makes 12)

150g butter
150g caster sugar
2 large free range eggs
150g self raising flour
1 tsp almond extract
75g glacé cherries, washed and halved
50g marzipan, cut into 5mm cubes

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare a bun tray by lining with bun cases.

2. Cream the butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy.

3. Add the eggs, one at a time, alternating with mixing in some of the flour. Once all the flour is stirred in, add the almond extract.

4. Stir in the cherries and the marzipan pieces.

5. Divide the mixture between the bun cases. Bake for 20 mins until golden and risen.

6. If you want to ice the buns, I would suggest starting with this recipe here.  I made a wet style icing, but you can make something firmer and good for piping if you want by playing around with the volumes of ingredients.

 

Love is … Chocolate Chilli mug cake

Mug cakes cooked in the microwave were really popular last year, which I found amusing as we’ve made cakes in the microwave at our house from being children. My sister’s favourite was chocolate sponge, mine was golden syrup sponge. I thought I’d update the flavourings with something she likes as an adult; chocolate and chilli.

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Chocolate and Chilli Microwave Mug Cake (serves 1)

30g chocolate
25g butter
1 tsp chipotle Chilli powder
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 egg
5 tbsp self raising flour

1. Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave in a large mug, heating slowly and stopping to stir frequently, so the chocolate doesn’t burn.

2. Mix in the remaining ingredients, stirring well.

3. Microwave for 1.5 minutes.

Let them eat cake

I’m really proud of myself for sticking with the ‘Blog Everyday in September’ challenge so far. It’s not been easy, but I’ve enjoyed pushing myself. Today’s theme was Holiday Essentials, which is another subject that doesn’t fit easily with a cooking blog. I haven’t cooked anything exciting today to tell you about either, so I’m going to share some cake recipes I’ve enjoyed over previous months. (And of course eating cake when on holiday is on my essential list of things to do!)

Raspberry and lemon polenta cake

Amaretto cake from The Clandestine Cake Club cookbook

Spiced Sweet Potato Cake

They are all delicious and I’ll be making them all again.