Easy Banana and Chocolate Chip Cake

Easy Banana and Chocolate Cake (using cups, not scales!)

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Banana and Dark Chocolate Cake

I’ve been in Yangon for a week now, and feeling settled enough to start baking cakes. (Inspired by the bunch of extremely ripe bananas bought from the market yesterday morning) As I couldn’t carry all my kitchen equipment with me, I decided to make do with measuring cups. I usually use scales to weigh ingredients but all those recipes that use cups must be working, otherwise who would carry on using them?

Before I left the UK, I spent some time researching some basic recipes using few ingredients that I could play around with. I have access to a small electric oven that sits on a counter top. It’s temperature dial has faded away, so its a guess on how hot it is! I figured that most ovens go up to 250 degrees C so somewhere near the top would be fine!

Since arriving in Myanmar, I’ve been experiencing frequest power cuts. Mainly when there is a thunderstorm. The first day I arrived there was no electric from 7-11pm and it was sweltering without aircon in this tropical climate. Today it happened ten minutes after the cake went into the oven! 😱

What a disaster, the poor cake! Sitting there and waiting for the power to come was murder… Luckily it was only out for 15 minutes! The cake survived, if a little flatter than it should have been…

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Ingredients

Ingredients:
2 mashed bananas
3/4 cup sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
1 beaten egg
1.5 cups all purpose flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 cup melted butter/oil
Handful of chocolate chips

Method:
Mix all wet ingredients together
Mix all dry ingredients together
Mix it all up into a cake batter then bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 200 degrees C
Cool on a rack and eat!

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Banana and Chocolate Chip Cake

So it didn’t turn out too bad in the end. The next challenge is how to bake a cake in a rice cooker… These are much more common than ovens in Myanmar so I’m hoping to test out some recipes to make baking cakes accessible to more people! If you have any tried and tested recipes for rice cooker cake, please comment with the link! Cheers! 😁

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Black Forest Cake: A CCC post

Black Forest Cake: Childhood Sweethearts

Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake

This post comes a couple of months late, but by heck have I been busy! Another post will explain all…

For my most recent Clandestine Cake Club meet up the theme was ‘Childhood Sweethearts’ which made me instantly think- “Blackforest Gateaux!”

I think I’ve said this on previous posts but basically my favourite cake is ‘Blackforest’ as it is the cake I always remember from childhood birthday parties. Back then it was the Sara-Lee frozen kind and more recently, home baked creations by my mum. It’s something about the way the sour cherries cut through the sweetness of the cake and the whipped cream balances out the bitterness of the dark chocolate… or am I over-thinking this? 😀

It’s not the first time I’ve made this recipe, in fact I made mini versions for a Christmas afternoon tea (not Christmas themed, but it took place on Boxing Day!). Despite making up the recipe as I went along at Christmas, the turned out quite well. This time, it wasn’t so! After a couple of attempts at the chocolate sponge, I ended up with something passable but not my best baking to date. What can I say? For me, baking under pressure does not result in a tasty cake!

Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake

Ingredients:

  • 200g good quality dark chocolate
  • 200g butter
  • 85g self-raising flour
  • 85g plain flour
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g light muscovado sugar
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 75ml milk
  • grated chocolate to decorate
  • 1 can or jar of cherries (use fresh pitted cherries if in season), saving some for decorating
  • 3 tbs sour cherry jam
  • 1 tbs cornflour
  • 750ml double cream
  • 1 tbs icing sugar

Method:

  • Butter a 20cm round cake tin and line the base. Preheat the oven to fan 140C/conventional 160C/ gas 3.
  • Break 200g good quality dark chocolate in pieces into a medium, heavy-based pan. Cut 200g butter into pieces and tip in with the chocolate, then mix 1 tbsp instant coffee granules into 125ml cold water and pour into the pan. Warm through over a low heat just until everything is melted – don’t overheat.
  • While the chocolate is melting, mix 85g self-raising flour, 85g plain flour, ¼ bicarbonate of soda, 200g light muscovado sugar, 200g golden caster sugar and 25g cocoa powder in a big bowl, mixing with your hands to get rid of any lumps. Beat 3 medium eggs in a bowl and stir in 75ml milk
  • Pour the melted chocolate mixture and the egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until everything is well blended and you have a smooth, quite runny consistency. Pour this into the tin and bake for 1 hour 25- 1 hour 30 minutes – if you push a skewer in the centre it should come out clean and the top should feel firm. Leave to cool in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • While the cake is baking, warm through 3 tbs cherry jam in a saucepan and add the whole cherries. Stir in 1 tbs cornflour to help thicken the mixture, ensuring there are no lumps of flour remaining. Set aside to cool completely.
  • Whip the double cream with 1tbs icing sugar until soft peaks form.

To build the final cake:

  • When the cake is cold, cut it horizontally into two or three layers depending on how much it has risen and how confident you are that it won’t fall apart!
  • Using just under a third of the whipped cream, evenly cover the bottom layer of sponge then add a third of the cherry jam filling
  • Top this layer with another layer of cake and repeat the previous step. Do this again if you have a three layer cake, ensuring you have enough cream and cherry filling for each layer.
  • Decorate the top with piped cream and grated chocolate. Decorate the cake with the saved cherries as you see fit. I took inspiration from Sara-Lee’s classic frozen Black-forest Gateau for mine!
Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake

Banana Loaf: 3 varieties in one week!

Banana and Chocolate Loaf

Banana and Chocolate Loaf

Banana and Walnut Loaf

Banana and Walnut Loaf

Banana Loaf with Chocolate Drizzle

Banana Loaf with Chocolate Drizzle

 

 

 

 

It’s been a busy week of banana loaf baking! As with most households, the delicious banana loaf starts off with a couple of overripe banana… I didn’t have that many to make three cakes, so ended up buying bananas specifically!

Banana and Chocolate Loaf

Banana and Chocolate Loaf

To start off with there is the Chocolate and Banana Loaf finished off with a sprinkle of flaked almonds. The recipe originates from the BBC Chocolate and Banana Cake but I didn’t have all the ingredients and simplified the method a little to make it quicker and easier to bake on a week night.

Ingredients:

  • 100ml sunflower oil
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • half tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 50ml milk
  • Extra chocolate chips/chunks (I used blobs of left over chocolate ganache)

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 160 degrees C, line and prepare a 2 lb loaf tin
  • Dry ingredients: mix the sugar, flour, bicarb, and cocoa in a large bowl
  • Wet ingredients: mash the bananas and whisk the eggs, then add the oil and milk and mix it all up
  • Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined then add the extra chocolate
  • Pour into prepared loaf tin, level off the top and sprinkle over the flaked almonds
  • Bake for up to 1 hour, checking after 45 minutes. (the original recipe says up to 1 hour and 15 minutes so you need to judge for yourself, and it depends on your own oven!)

 

Banana and Walnut Loaf

Banana and Walnut Loaf

A few days later came the banana and walnut cake, taken to a meeting for the Bumba Foundation of which I am a trustee. The Bumba Foundation is a UK based charity set up to build schools for children in Uganda, aiming to inspire and develop young people and communities to take positive action. The trustees have been working hard recently to raise funds to furnish new classroom blocks before the new academic year starts. What else could I do but bring along a snack to help keep the creative juices flowing? 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 100g softened butter
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 225g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 85g chopped walnuts
  • 50ml milk

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 160 degrees C, line and prepare a 2 lb loaf tin.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together, add the milk and eggs then mix until well combined.
  • Mash the bananas and add to the butter mixture.
  • Fold the flour and baking powder into the wet ingredients then sprinkle over the walnuts.
  • Pour into prepared loaf tin, level off the top and top with a few whole walnuts for decoration.
  • Bake for up to 1 hour, checking after 45 minutes.
Banana Loaf with Chocolate Drizzle

Banana Loaf with Chocolate Drizzle

And finally, there is the plain banana loaf baked for a charity bake sale. The British Red Cross have an incredible Fire and Emergency Support Service that desperately needs a new vehicle to respond to emergencies such as house fires. We held a bake sale in the office and I baked this banana cake and some chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes (recipe to follow!) to help with eh fundraising.

Ingredients:

  • 125g butter
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 190g self raising flour
  • 50ml milk
  • melted chocolate and icing sugar (for decoration)

Method:

  • Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin. Melt butter and sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat.
  • Remove from heat and add the mashed bananas, mix well.
  • Add the egg, mix well.
  • Stir in the flour and the milk.
  • Pour into the prepared tin and bake at 160 degrees C for 45 minutes
  • Once cooled, drizzle melted chocolate and dust with icing sugar

As you can see, all three banana loaves used slightly different methods. All had slightly different flavors and turned out pretty good! Banana cakes are loved by all and can be adapted for more of a decadent flavour. Whether for a charity bake sale, a treat for a meeting or to cheer up a friend, it  is a firm favourite for everyone… 😀

 

 

 

Churros and Strawberries with Caramel Chocolate Sauce

Churros with Caramel Chocolate Sauce

Churros and Strawberries with Caramel Chocolate Sauce

Churros and Strawberries with Caramel Chocolate Sauce

I tried these Churros for the first time as a bit of an experimental dessert when having a ‘Mexican’ themed dinner party. I was a little apprehensive about making them since I’d never eaten a Churro before and didn’t really know what I was aiming for! Also, it all needs to be made just before serving, so this meant a pressure whilst the guests waited for their sweets…

This recipe is based on a highly rated ‘Allrecipe‘ one but with a few adjustments based on comments and recommendations made by reviewers. Since I made a few tweaks, I’ve decided it’s best to post the recipe I went with. It makes 8 servings…

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 tbs white sugar
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • Oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

Method: (Taken directly from website)

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine water, 2 tablespoons sugar, salt and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in flour until mixture forms a ball.
  • Heat oil for frying in deep-fryer or deep skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Pipe strips of dough into hot oil using a pastry bag. Fry until golden; drain on paper towels.
  • Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon. Roll drained churros in cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Churros and Chocolate covered Strawberries with Caramel Chocolate Sauce

Churros and Chocolate covered Strawberries with Caramel Chocolate Sauce

I started off piping the batter through a star nozzle in a silicone piping bag. I read a tip that it’s easier to pipe the churros onto a piece of cling film first as it is difficult to pipe them straight into the oil. This was a great tip as the dough was very stiff! So stiff in fact that the nozzle came out of my piping bag and I ended up with plain round ones.

I’d definitely recommend piping them with the star nozzle as the thin edges crispen up nicely and add an extra crunchy texture to the final product.

Churros and Strawberries with Caramel Chocolate Sauce

Churros and Strawberries with Caramel Chocolate Sauce

Caramel Chocolate Sauce

Churros are usually served with a chocolate dipping sauce, and I wanted to try a them with a thick caramel chocolate so played around with the recipe a little…

Ingredients:

  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 100ml double cream
  • large pinch of sea salt flakes

Method:

  • In a medium pan make a caramel by heating the sugar until it turns into liquid and then a dark caramel colour
  • Add the salt, cream and chocolate
  • Reduce the heat and stir until all the chocolate has melted
  • Pour into the serving bowls and allow to cool to room temperature

On cooling this chocolate dipping sauce will thicken a lot! If refrigerated it will harden and any leftovers can be used to make truffles. This chocolate sauce was a little bitter, adding more cream would lighten it up a little more.

I decided to make chocolate dipped strawberries too so dipped the strawberries into the chocolate sauce and put them in the fridge to harden. 😀

 

 

 

Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins

Dark Chocolate Muffins

Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins

Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins

Wow, it’s been such a long time since I’ve written a post! It’s scary how life just runs away with you… I’ve had a lot less time to experiment with my cooking, but have a lots of little posts to write up. This is the first of many!

I work in the charity sector and we have amazing young people who volunteer their time to support those you are less fortunate than themselves. They travel to the UK from other countries; Germany, Armenia and Sweden, to volunteer for a year before they start their university degrees. During this time, they are full time volunteers and we get to know them very well. It’s always sad to see them go!

These muffins were made as part of their leaving celebrations. As I have been very busy at work, I hadn’t prepared in advance by shopping for the ingredients for some fancier cakes. I had a root around the cupboards and found some dark chocolate, so decided to make some chocolate ‘chip’ muffins.

Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins

Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins

It’s been such a while since I made them, I have forgotten the exact recipe I used… but it went a little something like this:

Ingredients

  • 250g plain flour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 175ml milk
  • 75ml vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 125g dark chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.
  2. In a bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, chocolate chips and salt.
  3. In a jug combine milk, oil and egg, add to the dry ingredients all at once and stir until just combined.
  4. Fill cases 2/3 full  and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until skewer inserted in centre comes out clean.
Chocolate Chip Muffins

Chocolate Chip Muffins

I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of this recipe, although it may be because I used dark chocolate and there isn’t much sugar in the batter do I found it all quite bitter. I’m also not a fan of dark chocolate! 🙂

Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins

Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins

However the muffin was light and it’s quite a straight forward and simple recipe to follow. I’ll have to try them again with come milk chocolate next time! 😀

 

 

 

 

 

Honeycomb Brownies: Charity Bake Sale

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It’s been a while since I’ve shared some new baking with you all, not because I’ve not been busy in the kitchen but because I’ve been too busy write it up! This is the first of a series of uploads I’m aiming for this weekend…

These brownies were made for a charity bake sale for the British Red Cross. It was Red Cross Week (5th-11th May) and we were trying to raise £1 Million in a week up and down the UK. Most years I bake some goodies to sell in the office to raise a few pennies towards that massive target. This year I decided to make brownies, a straight forward recipe to follow after a long day at work and enjoyed by most people!

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Using this ‘Best Ever Brownies’ recipe, I made the basic brownie mix but hadn’t really thought of what extra flavours to add. So after a rummage around the baking cupboard I found some mini ‘Smarties’ and a tub of chocolate covered honeycomb that I’d bought and forgotten about. I also found some walnuts but decided against them as a lot of people don’t eat nuts and I didn’t want to narrow down my customer base too much! 😉

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It’s a shame that the honeycomb kind of disappeared as it melted but it added a little texture and additional flavour.

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The brownies were sold for £1 each and sold out within a few hours, so obviously very popular! 😀

No Bake Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Inspiration for this recipe came from Anna over at Anna’s Kitchen Table after she reposted this amazing recipe for ‘Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bottom Cheesecake’. Peanut butter is one of my guilty pleasures in life and the photos of the finished cheesecake instantly made me giddy with the excitement of tasting it and my baking fingers began to twitch!

When the occasion finally came along to give me an excuse to make this indulgent cake, I instantly bought a jar of peanut butter and got started! However on reading the recipe I found that I didn’t actually have enough time to make the original recipe since it is a baked cheesecake and requires at least 4 hours in the fridge! So I decided to make a ‘no bake’ version which is much faster and easier! 🙂

*WARNING* this Cheesecake contains a whole jar of peanut butter! 😀

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So the recipe I used wasn’t really written down anywhere, I tried to use two recipes and merge them together. However I have to admit that the ‘brownie’ bottom didn’t quite work out and I ended up with more of a ‘cake’ base instead…

 

Ingredients for the base

  • 1/4 jar of smooth peanut butter
  • 100g melted milk chocolate
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 100g flour (this is where I went wrong as this is far too much flour!)
  • two handfuls of salted peanuts

Method

  • Mix all ingredients together until just combined and bake in a spring form cake tin until just cooked- I think I baked it at 180 degrees C for 10 minutes- but this was too long…

 

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Cakey Peanuty Base

Once the base is taken out of the oven, add mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups on top so they start to melt slightly…

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Ingredients for the filling

  • 2 tubs of full fat cream cheese
  • 3/4 tub of smooth peanut butter
  • 150ml milk
  • 100g icing sugar

Method

  • Put everything in a bowl and whisk it all together until blended well. Taste to see if it needs more sugar.
  • Once the base is cooled, spread the filling onto the base and level off
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Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Filling

 

The topping!

I used chocolate ganache, extra peanut butter cups and Maltesers…Go wild with your imagination! 🙂

 

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Apologies for another poor quality photo of the finished product! I served it this decadent dessert after a Mexican Night with friends.

The base of the cheesecake was slightly too thick, but not too heavy. The filling was very creamy and the peanut butter came through extremely well! I think I could have been a little more adventurous with the toppings, however I was bleeding quite heavily from cutting my thumb whilst trying to chop a Malteser in half, so finished off quickly so I could!

Overall, the cheesecake was very tasty if you love peanut butter, but I think it’s best reserved for special occasions! 🙂

I’ll be trying out Anna’s recipe next time…

Raspberry and Double Chocolate Muffins and Loaf Cake

Raspberry and Chocolate Muffin

Raspberry and Chocolate Muffin

You know it’s been a long time since you’ve made cake when work colleagues start asking for them! Around the same time last year (just after Christmas when everyone was trying to shift a few pounds!) it was the opposite, we were all sick of the sight of cakes and biscuits in the office…

So I dusted off the muffin tin and rummaged for the muffin cases to try out this Raspberry and Chocolate Muffin recipe. This recipe current has 239 positive reviews so I chose to go with this one without even bothering to look at others, why would I ignore such a highly recommended recipe?!

Raspberry and Chocolate Muffin

Raspberry and Chocolate Muffin

First thing to note is that the recipe uses ‘cups’ rather than weighing out each ingredient making it very simple to throw together. I usually have some frozen berries in the freezer for emergency baking or fruity sauce making (yes there are instances of such urgent issues in my life). I also have quite a few blocks of chocolate left over from Christmas baking. I’m not a huge fan of eating chocolate on its own so they have gone untouched in case of other dessert making adventures.

The recipe itself calls for white chocolate but I didn’t have enough so I ended up using both white and milk chocolates, hence the ‘double chocolate’ element of the muffin. As with most cake recipes, I reduced the amount of sugar from 1 cup to 2/3 cup. I figured that with all that chocolate in it, it would be sweet enough. On taste testing the muffins (I had to have 2 just to be sure) I would even go for half a cup of sugar depending on how sweet your chocolate is!

Raspberry and Chocolate Muffins and Loaf

Raspberry and Chocolate Muffins and Loaf

I was quite surprised that there is only 50g of butter and 1 egg in this recipe. Relatively low in fat compared to other muffin recipes, an excuse to eat double the amount maybe?

Due to the expanding number of people working in my office I made two batches. The first batch went into a loaf tin and the second batch in 12 muffin cases. I have to say that sticking the the muffins is much quicker. They took 20 minutes but the loaf tin took a good 45 minutes to bake. However, having a cake to cut up is always more enjoyable when with a group of friends with a round of tea and coffee… There are pros and cons to both, but pretty much any cake is always a good thing!

So you can imagine that after baking such lovely cake and muffins for my work mates, I was looking forward to seeing their reactions when they took the initial bite and tasted the tart raspberries with the sweet chocolatey nuggets of goodness. Well something terrible happened, and not for the first time! I FORGOT to take the cakes with me in the morning! Can you imagine the horror when I realised half way into my one hour commute to work? I just dreaded having to tell them all that the cakes I had made especially for them were abandoned on my coffee table 30 miles away… The worst of it was that I wasn’t even due in the office the next day so couldn’t even give them slightly stale cake. Oh well, more for me! 🙂

Their wish has been left unfulfilled…

Dark Chocolate and Salted Caramel Truffle Celebration Cake

Salted Caramel and Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Truffles

Salted Caramel and Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Truffles

This celebration cake was baked in honour of a friend and colleague who is moving on to a new challenging role with another equally deserving charity. We had planned a surprise party for her in the office and as always a centre piece cake would be there. We have another colleague who is always asked to make the special celebration cakes as she is wonderful at sugar craft and can model the most amazing figures, making the most jaw dropping cakes that are tailored to the lucky person it is intended for. Unfortunately she wasn’t able to help out this time so I was asked to make the cake instead. What a daunting task! I like to bake but only as a hobby and I’ve found baking under pressure to be so stressful!

I thought for days about what kind of cake to make. I wasn’t even going to attempt any kind of sugar craft as I have never done anything like it before and I wasn’t about to start now! I was also putting extra pressure on myself because I really want this cake to look delicious and inviting, maybe even a little glamorous?! No pressure! 🙂

The Cake

After a lot of too-ing and fro-ing I settled on a basic chocolate fudge cake recipe that I had scribbled down off a friend’s mum. She had made their wedding cake using this recipe and it was absolutely delicious! I remember going back for a second slice because it was the tastiest wedding cake I had ever had and it was home made! The original recipe uses fresh cream and black cherry jam for the filling, so being a ‘black forest’ cake fan it was obviously going to be a winner for me!

This is the basic recipe for two thin 20 cm round cakes:

Ingredients

  • 175 grams Self Raising Flour
  • 2 tbs Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 150 grams Caster Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 150ml Sunflower Oil
  • 150ml Milk
  • 2 tbs Golden Syrup

Method

  • Beat all ingredients together
  • Bake in two sandwich tins at 170 degrees C for 25 minutes

You can’t get much simpler than that right!

The challenge I had was to up-size the recipe for a 30 cm cake tin and have two layers. So I figured that I would double the recipe and see how it turns out. Luckily the recipe worked well all baked in 1 cake tin but I needed to bake it for about 40 minutes in total. I decided that the cake didn’t rise enough to make a two layer cake, so decided to do another batch. I decided upon cutting both cakes in half but only using 3 tiers as 4 was just too high! So with the additional layer I cut it up using a round mould and have put them in the freezer for future mini cake adventures…

Salted Caramel Truffle Cake

Salted Caramel Truffle Cake

The Frosting

As I am going through a stage of experimentation with salted caramel, I decided that this grown-ups party would be the right time to use salted caramel to the max! So I found a few salted caramel butter cream recipes and settled on this Banana Cake with Salted Caramel recipe for inspiration. Mainly because the cake in the picture looked similar to what I wanted to achieve so I figured that I could stick to the proportions of ingredients and have enough to frost the whole cake. It is also a fairly easy recipe to follow.

After watching the sugar syrup boil for ages, I figured that the recipe could be adapted a little to have less water so this stage need not take so long, but would this then affect the quantity of caramel? I decided that this is something to experiment with another time… As I only had unsalted butter, I added a teaspoon of sea salt to the caramel along with the cream to give it the signature taste.

I struggled a little with this recipe as it tells you to ‘Beat the cooled caramel cream using an electric beater until fluffy’, warning that ‘his step takes a while, so be patient’. So I kept the mixer beating the caramel and nothing happened… 15 minutes later I gave up and just started adding the butter. The frosting was actually very runny so I decided to add another half block of butter to the bowl and some icing sugar too the thicken it up and it seemed to work. I also put the frosting into the fridge to harden a little as it was still fairly runny.

This frosting is ideal for people who like buttercream but find it a little too sweet. The caramel flavour is very strong and is a great choice for grown-ups. I also like the natural caramel colour of the frosting as a lot of buttercream recipes require artificial colourings to make them a look nice, so all in all this recipe is another keeper!

 

Salted Caramel Chocolate Truffles

Salted Caramel Chocolate Truffles

The Decoration

Looking on the world wide web for inspiration on how to decorate this cake I decided to make some Salted Caramel Truffles to go on top. For a previous cake I had made profiteroles but I wasn’t too happy with the finishing look, and making these profiteroles was only going to add to my stress levels! The Salted Caramel Truffles were ideal as I could also use the recipe for making Christmas food gifts if they turned out OK.

So after frosting the layers of the cake and decorating the top with truffles and drizzles of left over caramel sauce, the cake was complete! I am slightly disappointed that you can see some of the cake crumb in the frosting, I must have over-baked it so must keep an eye on this next time. As I’m not very good at being precise and ‘pretty’ isn’t really my style, I went for the ‘messy look’. I think I got away with it!

Salted Caramel and Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Truffles

Salted Caramel and Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Truffles

The Verdict

I’m pretty happy with the final product. I got lots of compliments and people even took extra slices home, always a good sign! From the little that was left of the cake, I could tell it was well appreciated! I’ve finally been able to get the cake to slice evenly thanks to a new kitchen gadget I picked up from a local shop but similar to this Amazon product. It only cost me £3 and gives such a perfect professional finish! The cake itself was moist and light, while the frosting wasn’t too sweet. I even had some left over truffles to enjoy too!

A winner all round… 🙂

Salted Caramel Truffles

Salted Caramel Truffles with Salted Caramel Drizzle and Sea Salt Flakes

Salted Caramel Truffles with Salted Caramel Drizzle and Sea Salt Flakes

Making this recipe was also the first time for me to make caramel from melting sugar down in a pan so I was being extra cautious in case I burnt it. However after the first try I’ve realised how easy it is an how yummy too so all my friends and family should not be surprised if everything they get from my this year contains some form of salted caramel! 🙂

Salted Caramel Chocolate Truffles

Salted Caramel Chocolate Truffles

I’m in love with salted caramel at the moment and this recipe for Salted Caramel Truffles looked too good to pass up! I was looking for inspiration on Christmas food gifts that are fairly simple to do as this year I don’t have as much time as I’d like to dedicate to gift baking. I was also looking for interesting ways to decorate a chocolate and salted caramel cake so these are perfect!I think the last time I tried to make truffles was when I was about 14 years old in a food technology class in high school. Thinking back, I can’t say I was particularly keen on baking cakes back then. I remember enjoying the class though, which is a positive because I have very sparse memories of my school years! Obviously very uneventful…

After rolling the truffles in some cocoa powder I drizzled them with some left over salted caramel sauce and then sprinkled a little sea salt flakes on top to give the idea of what flavour is inside. A bit messy, but not bad for a first attempt!

I had to put these truffles into mini cupcake cases as they were twice the size of my petite four cases, so that gives you an indication of how huge they are! However my excuse is that I need them to go on top of a pretty huge cake so little ones would just not do.

The Taste Test

Obviously one had to be tasted for quality control (and to make sure they didn’t  ruin the final cake!) and I have to say  that they are delicious! The caramel gives the truffle a slightly chewy texture so it isn’t just pure rich chocolate that melts in your mouth. The salted caramel taste comes through but only very lightly. It helps to cut through the bitter chocolate making them very moreish… This recipe is a keeper!