The ‘you can never have too much caramel’ Birthday Cake

Baking is pretty much impossible without a working oven, who’d have thought? So when my landlord finally come around to replace the oven with a shiny new one (THAT ACTUALLY WORKS AND DOESN’T BURN EVERYTHING ON THE BOTTOM) I leapt at the chance to do a ‘test run’. As its mine and a few friends birthday events coming up, I started with this cake, style advice taken from Yolanda Gampp herself!

It’s a simple bake using my chocolate mayo cake (don’t judge it before you try it!) which is soaked in simple syrup (1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar, boiled and cooled) to keep it moist, and topped with a new frosting recipe: cinnamon oreo creme whipped with butter, cocoa powder, chocolate milk and icing sugar. It resulted in a slightly spiced, but light whipped chocolate icing, which I smoothed all over the cake in a crumb coat and a second one once that had set.DSC_0912I wasn’t sure how to decorate it, so I turned to my favourite method: the drizzle. Great with white chocolate ganache or caramel, which is my go-to. I buy the dulce de leche in a tin, but you could make it yourself by boiling a tin of condensed milk for a few hours too! Then I mix it to make it smooth and place it in a piping bag and pipe around the edges the drips before smoothing it across the whole top. Then top it with anything you like: something simple like sprinkles or a garnish like chopped peanut butter cups, or go crazy like I did and bake huge cookies to stick on top, alongside chocolate crispies and m&m’s.

Here are the recipes I used:

Ingredients:
For the cake (makes 1 tier, so double for two)
1 cup plain flour
1 cup caster sugar
7-8 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
pinch baking powder
1/2 cup mayonnaise/egg-free mayo/veganaise (I used full fat here)
2/3 cup room temperature water
2 tsp vanilla

For the simple syrup:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar

For the frosting:
*Optional* creme from a large pack of Oreos (mine were the American 3 row packs)
30-50g cocoa powder, to taste
75g softened butter
150g icing sugar
2 tbsp chocolate almond milk, or equivalent

For the cookies:
113g butter, melted
125g brown sugar
87g caster sugar
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1tsp vanilla extract
100g chopped chocolate
pinch salt

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 180˚C.

To make the cookies, mix your butter and sugars together. Add in the rest of the ingredients and spoon into small balls using a spoon or ice cream scoop. Freeze for at least 2-3 hours otherwise the cookies will spread too much! Bake for 8-10 minutes at 180˚C, or until golden brown. Always try to slightly undercook them so that they stay chewy in the middle!

For the cake, whisk all your dry ingredients together, then add the wet to the dry and fold gently. Quickly spoon into a greased and lined tin and bake for 20-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

With an electric whisk, whip the butter and oreo creme until light and fluffy. Sift the cocoa and half the icing sugar and whip. Add the milk and remaining icing sugar and beat until you reach the desired consistency: spreadable but can still hold its shape. Add more milk or icing sugar as necessary. I try to go for looser as it will set up in the fridge anyway and it wont drag as many crumbs off of the cake.

Once your cake is cooled, level and soak in the simple syrup: equal parts of water and sugar boiled and cooled. I like to dab it on using a pastry brush so as to not oversoak.

Fill your cake and stack your tiers before lightly covering in a layer of frosting to catch the crumbs. Refrigerate and frost once more when the first layer isn’t sticky to the touch, then chill again.

Drizzle your caramel on your cake, before adding on the decorations of choice, such as cookies, candy and chocolate sprinkles.

Serve and enjoy!

DSC_0926Feel free to get creative with how you decorate this cake, or the spices you use, cinnamon chilli (careful) or nutmeg go great with chocolate! Birthday cakes don’t have to be tricky!

Keep Baking,
Love Sian xxx

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4 thoughts on “The ‘you can never have too much caramel’ Birthday Cake

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