Thursday, 13 October 2011

Sea salt and caramel chocolate cake

What is it about licking a bowl clean? It does not matter if you are 3, 13 or 43 years old, it is such a pleasure to lick the sticky cakey goodness from your finger.
The recipe for this lovely cake comes from a Jamie Oliver's Monster Bake Sale booklet which was produced for the Comic Relief.

You will need
225g butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
225 g caster sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
4 large eggs
220 g self-raising flour, sifted
1tsp baking powder
200g caramel sauce
1 tsp sea salt
200 ml double cream
1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways and seeds scraped out
300 ml double cream

For the peanut brittle
450 g caster sugar
200 g unsalted peanut
A knob of butter, for greasing

Now looking at the photo of my cake you might ask, where is the peanut brittle?
And the answer will be - on the floor. Yes, I did manage to drop the tray of still burning caramel on the floor, splashing my leg in the process, and now have a few burns to prove it. Don't think I will be making peanut brittle any time soon. The cake is decorated with less dangerous substances.

What you have to do?
Preheat your oven to 180C/gas 4 and line a 20cm spring form cake tin. In a clean bowl beat rhe butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cocoa, eggs, flour and baking powder and mix well.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in the hot oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Check on it after 40 minutes, and insert a skewer into the centre of the cake, if it comes clean, it is done. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then carefully turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the brittle. Put the sugar and 200 ml water into a pan on a medium heat for about 10 minutes until the sugar dissolved. Turn the heat up and after 10 to 15 minutes the sugar will begin to caramelize. Add your peanuts. Don't touch or taste the caramel, as it can burn badly, and do not be tempted to stir the mixture, just gently swirl the pan every now and then. When it turns a beautiful caramel colour, pour it on to a greased non-stick tray and use a palette knife to push it out to about 1/2 cm thick. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then bash it up as you like.
My note: the photo in the booklet shows a very modest amount of brittle sprinkled on top of the cake. If you use the amount of sugar and peanuts specified, it will be a big lot of brittle, way too much to decorate the cake. Or clean from the floor tiles for that matter. Lol
Once the cake is cool, run a long knife around the middle, scoring and turning as you go, until the two lines join up. Carefully turn and cut into your cake, going deeper each time until you end up with two round halves.
Or do like I do, after scoring the cake in the mid-section, take a thick thread and tie it around the scored line, then carefully pull the ends together, then the thread will cut the cake into two neat halves. Jamie Oliver, eat your heart out.
To make your filling, mix the caramel with the sea salt, then spread over the cut side of the bottom half of your cake. Whisk the cream with vanilla seeds until it forms soft peaks, then spoon on top of the salted caramel. Carefully place the top half of the cake on top then dust with cocoa powder and the crushed peanut brittle.

I am a bit confused here, as to why there are two amounts of double cream. One is mixed with vanilla, what about the other part, does it go in the caramel sauce? I left it untouched.
I decorated my cake with the melted Lindt sea salt chocolate to go with the theme of the sea salty pleasure. Then added a few coffee beans in chocolate and a sprinkle of Lindt white chocolate.

As my good friend Anne celebrated her 85th anniversary on Wednesday, this cake is baked for her visit.
Home baked blog is running a competition to bake a cake to celebrate its author's 30th birthday. This cake will be my entry.


  1. Ooh your cake looks fantastic - that gooey caramel is just my sort of thing!
    Happy birthday to your friend Anne and thanks for entering :o)

  2. Its looks gorgeous and the caramel wonderful.

  3. Now this I like the sound of, I love the whole taste of the caramel/salty thing