Guys! It's my birthday! 😀
Today I turn 28. And that's kinda scary. I find it so weird how when you are little you are so excited to get to your birthday, not only for the cake and presents (duh) but because you can't wait to finally be that next number. There are so many milestones when you are younger too. Starting school at 5, being double digits at 10, the teenage years at 13, being able to drive at 16, drink at 18 and technically becoming an adult at 21. But then it kind of stops. I still get equally excited about it being my birthday but I'm finding that I'm quickly getting sick of adding another number to my age! And for me, 28 is by far the scariest!
So to combat the extreme anxiety I am feeling now that I can't really hide away from the fact that I am in my late 20's (eeek) I have made the most extreme cake to date. Last year we channeled those "I'm kind of still a little kid at heart" feelings with a pink & white vanilla cake, this year we have gone classy and completely decadent with a salted caramel chocolate layer cake. Because if I'm 28, I am determined to be able to claim classy as a descriptive word about me.
And it goes without saying that I'm also completely ignoring the fact that at 28 I no longer have the metabolism of 21 year old me, but calories don't count on your birthday. True story.
This is my favourite chocolate cake recipe. It's adapted from Annabel Langbein's recipe but I added brown sugar as well as white for extra caramel goodness and used regular flour with baking powder to boost it, rather than self-raising. The butter is creamed with the sugar and the eggs and then all other ingredients are thrown into the mixer and whipped up into goodness. I split the batter into 2 tins and then once they were cool, sliced both of them in half horizontally so that you end up with 4 epic layers. You could leave them whole and just have a sandwich cake but the more layers there are, the more salted caramel frosting you can get involved in the cake, and clearly decadence is what we are after here.
The salted caramel frosting is made using my homemade salted caramel sauce (feel free to use store bought though) which is spread generously between each layer.
All that's left to do after that is whip up a quick ganache using cream and dark chocolate and pour it over the cake. Drizzle with more salted caramel sauce, sprinkle with a sea salt flakes and you have the most perfect salted caramel chocolate layer cake.
It's the perfect cake for all scary birthdays!
Salted Caramel Chocolate Layer Cake
- 200 g butter softened
- 1 ½ cups white sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 3 cups 420g flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup hot coffee
- 1 cup milk
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
Salted caramel frosting
- ¾ cup salted caramel sauce
- 50 g butter softened
- 3 cups icing sugar sifted
- 3 TBSP milk
- ½ cup cream
- ½ cup dark chocolate broken into small pieces
- Extra salted caramel sauce
- Sea salt flakes
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Line the bottom of two 23cm round cake tins with baking paper and grease the sides with butter or baking paper.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter, sugars and eggs until pale and creamy.
- Add all remaining ingredients and mix on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Split the batter between the two cake tins and bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin before removing and frosting. If not frosting immediately, wrap the cakes and either refrigerate for a few days or freeze.
Salted caramel frosting
- Add all ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy.
- In a small pot on the stove or a microwavable jug, heat the cream until almost boiling. Remove from the element, or microwave and add the chocolate. Whisk together until all chocolate is melted and whisk a little more until it thickens slightly. Allow to cool before pouring on cake.
To assemble the cake
- Slice both cakes horizontally using a large sharp knife so that you have 4 layers.
- Place one cake on a cake board or plate. Spread ⅓ of the frosting, right to the edges. Repeat with the remaining 3 cakes, leaving the top layer bare.
- Pour the ganache over the whole cake allowing it to drip down the side.
- Drizzle extra salted caramel sauce over the top of the cake and sprinkle with sea salt flakes.
- Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 5 days.