Baking Cake Recipes wedding

Salted caramel and vanilla cake

Salted caramel cake

I absolutely lost my baking powers this weekend. And what little cooking skills disappeared too! What happened to them I do not know, will they even return at all?! What will become of me? A sad shadow of my former self, only capable of preparing a Pot Noodle and dreaming of my past cake creations…. The picture you see attached to this post took so many attempts to get right, I normally do a cake like this standing on my head and blindfolded. My first attempt at baking the sponges went so very wrong through a simple mistake, opening the oven door too soon. I know, I know, a schoolgirl error! I really should know better, obvs. The sponges sank to become flat eggy pancakes, sad face. So, round two I got cocky and attempted three layers of sponge in one oven. Duh! What possessed me do this I don’t even know. I ended up with one burnt layer, a wonky half risen layer and an undercooked layer. Fail. By round three I had learnt my lesson and out came two beautiful even sponges. Thank goodness as by this point I had spent a small fortune having made 3 separate trips to Tesco at the end of the road for supplies (Any more visits would see me with enough Clubcard points to fund a trip to Pizza Express). I really should have taken a break by this point, had a cuppa and read the paper. Instead I went straight to the next part of preparing the caramel. Anyone who has boiled sugar substances will know how you have to carefully boil the mixture, with loving patience and care. I had no patience by now, blasted the heat on full power and halfheartedly stirring, paying more attention to singing along to Tony Blackburns Pick Of The Pops. It wasn’t long before there were black bits floating around and the strong wiff of burning wafted round the kitchen. The pan is still soaking in the sink after three days…

I also had several other kitchen catastrophes this weekend. I wasted a lot of money. I screamed at my Kitchenaid (I have since apologised). I have written previously about learning lessons in baking, how getting better comes from going wrong. This week learn is not to bake unless you are willing to give your full care, love and attention. An unloved cake is never going to work out. Take your time, immerse yourself in the baking experience, pay attention and don’t get cocky.

Salted caramel and vanilla cake

This weeks cake was SO worth the time and wasted sponges. The brown sugar in the sponge adds a richer, more toffee taste. The caramel itself is oh so so SO good, you could easily eat this stuff on its own with a spoon as I did (It was a tough day, OK??). Be careful when boiling the caramel as it will be hotter than the sun. You don’t have to add the salt but I thoroughly recommend you do, it contrasts so well against the sweetness. Beat the vanilla butter cream for as long as possible, it will become lighter and easier to pipe.

Salted caramel and vanilla cake

  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 200g light brown sugar
  • 4 free range eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or good quality vanilla extract)
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp full fat or semi skimmed milk

Vanilla buttercream

  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or good quality vanilla extract)
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp milk

Caramel

  • 397g tin condensed milk
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g butter
  • 2 tsp salt

Note: Make sure you remove all your ingredients from the fridge an hour before starting to ensure they are at room temperature. Your butter should be soft.

  1. Pre heat the oven to 170 degrees. Grease and line two 8 inch cake tins.
  2. Cream together your butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add your eggs one at a time and beat thoroughly after each addition adding the vanilla in with the last egg.
  4. Sift in your flour and baking powder along with the milk and gently fold in to your mixture until just combined.
  5. Divide equally into the cake tins and pop in the oven for around 20-25 minutes, checking after 20. A skewer should come out clean and they should be lightly browned. Leave to cool on a cooling rack.
  6. Make the butter cream by beating your butter with vanilla until smooth, gradually sifting in icing sugar and adding the milk until the desired sweetness is achieved. You may require a little less or a little more icing sugar.
  7. For the caramel, add all ingredients to a pan on a low heat. Stir gently until everything has melted, then slowly bring to the boil, keep stirring. Once boiling, it will need 5-6 minutes until it thickens and becomes golden brown in colour. Once you have done this, take it off the heat and transfer to a clean bowl, stir in 2 teaspoons of salt. Leave to cool.
  8. On the bottom layer of cooled sponge, use a piping bag to makes small peaks all over, start by going around the edge and work your way inwards.
  9. The caramel needs to be slightly warm as when it cools completely, it sets. So spread some still warm caramel on the base of the top layer and leave to cool. Once cool, put the caramel side down onto the butter cream top. Decorate the top as you wish, once the caramel has cooled you could swirl it through the butter cream creating a marbled effect before decorating the top of the cake. Or pipe round the edges as I have done and fill with remaining caramel, top with seasonal fruit!

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