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.



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


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.


Here’s a picture of the mint chocolate version.


Indulgent Croissant Pudding

I love bread and butter pudding, whether in it’s most traditional form or modernised with trendy ingredients like Brioche or sour cherries. My go-to recipes are Nigella Lawson’s Caramel Crossaint Pudding or Gizzi Erskine’s Bailey’s Chocolate Croissant  Butter Pudding from Gizzi’s Kitchen Magic. Both recipes feel rather extravagant, but you can never have too much of a great thing, right?! And it was that sort of thinking that led me to combining the flavourings, so my latest effort contains Bailey’s, caramel and white chocolate the chunks.


Indulgent Croissant Pudding (serves 4)

100g caster sugar
30ml water
3 croissants
25g white chocolate, cut into small chunks
250ml milk (or double cream if you’re feeling super extravagant)
3 eggs, beaten
50ml Baileys liqueur

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Add the sugar and water to a saucepan and swirl them together. Heat over a medium heat without stirring. After 3 minutes or so of bubbling away it will darken to a golden colour.
3. While it’s bubbling away, tear the croissants up and put them in a small ovenproof dish with the chocolate chunks.
4. Whisk the milk into the caramel; be very careful as the mixture will bubble up. Add the eggs and the Baileys and whisk well to combine.
5. Pour the custard mixture over the croissants and make sure it covers it well, turning the pieces if necessary. Let it sit for 10 minutes to soak up the custard.
6. Bake for 20 minutes.
7. It is, of course, traditional to serve with more custard.

Baileys Popcorn

This is a grown up popcorn, ideal for a party or a film night with the girls.


Baileys Caramel Popcorn

125g popcorn, unpopped
Frylight cooking spray
100g caster sugar
50g liquid glucose
100g butter
120ml Baileys
2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

1. Start by popping the popcorn. I store my unpopped corn in the freezer as I read somewhere that this makes the fluffiest popcorn. It also seems to help with making sure as many kernels pop as possible. I pop my popcorn in a lidded glass bowl in the microwave. I spray Frylight over the kernels, cover with the lid and set the microwave for 2 minutes. If the popping hasn’t slowed down by the time the microwave pings, I add another 30 seconds, and keep doing this until most of the kernels look to have popped.

2. Spread out the popcorn in a single on a large baking tray or trays. I use a silicone sheet instead of baking paper or foil here to line the baking tray, like the sort you can use to line the bottom of your oven. You can then start preparing the caramel coating. In a pan, gently heat the sugar, butter and liquid glucose, stirring until it combines and the butter is melted. Once the sugar has dissolved, turn the temperature up and heat for 2 minutes. The mixture will become a caramel colour. Keep an eye on it but don’t stir it.

3. Add the Baileys, watch out in case it spits when you tip it in. Mix thoroughly to combine, it may take awhile for the caramel and Baileys to combine to a smooth consisteny, and keep on the heat for 2 more minutes.

4. Remove from the heat. Add the Bicarbonate of Soda. The mixture will fizz up, give it a good stir to mix it thoroughly. Tip it over the popcorn and mix the popcorn around with a spoon to make sure it is all coated. This will take a few minutes to get an even coverage.


5. Preheat the oven to 100°C. Bake the popcorn for 20 minutes until the caramel has just started to crisp up. It will take on a deeper brown colour on baking. Allow to cool before serving.

Popcorn Pie

This is a ridiculously sugary dessert, but it’s lots of fun for a special treat.  Be warned – it’s VERY chewy!

Popcorn pie

Popcorn Pie (Makes one pie)

One ready-made sweet pastry case
200g plain popped popcorn
200g caster sugar
50ml double cream
5 tbsp butter at room temperature

1. For the caramel, place the sugar and water in a pan and swirl to combine.  Bring the mixture to the boil.

2. When the mixture is a golden brown caramel colour, remove from the heat and carefully stir in the cream. It will bubble up but just keep stirring.  When the cream is mixed in, stir in the butter.  Set aside and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.

3. Pour the popcorn into the caramel and mix well. Pour this mixture into the pastry case and spread out evenly. Allow the caramel to set before carefully cutting onto portions to serve.  Serve with cream.