This next cake is something that my son will love. Lots of layers. Chocolate. Buttercream. Caramel.
So the first thing you have to do is make the caramel. This I’ve tried a couple times and gotten frustrated, but patience is the key. This is not quick. You will need to take about 20-30 minutes to monitoring this.
1. Put the sugar and water into a pot. I would recommend something bigger than this one, but it worked for me. Turn the heat on medium, and I would skip the whisk and go straight for the spatula.Give it a stir until it’s all smooth, then turn the heat up to med-high.
2. It’ll fizzle and burble and eventually go dry. You’ll think something went terribly wrong. It didn’t.
3. Let it keep cooking. It’ll start to brown and get liquidy again. You may want to turn the temperature back down to medium again.
4. Keep going…you’ll want to keep stirring gently.
5. Keep going…those sugar blobs will keep getting smaller.
6. And there it is! Sauce!
What a pretty color!
Now the next step in the directions said to remove from heat and add the cream. So I did….and guess what? It didn’t work. The caramel was still hot. The cream sizzled and the beautiful liquidy caramel hardened and locked up. I’m so mad. I looked at a video where the maker said to LET IT COOL before adding the cream. The written directions did NOT say anything about letting it cool first. I stirred it around a little bit and the cream picked up a lot of the color of the caramel, so after I baked the cake layers, I put the cream into a container and stuck it in the fridge. Hopefully I can use it for the buttercream, at least to flavor it some. Worst case scenario, I pitch it. I’m just hoping I didn’t ruin the saucepan. (PS – the saucepan is fine.)
Mix up the batter to make the cakes. It’s similar to a Genoese sponge but with self-rising flour to give it a little lift. Make 8″ circles on your parchment paper and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. They will spread a little, so be prepared for that.
When all the cakes are cool, you can trim the excess to make all the cakes the same size and shape. Mine turned out a little oblong.
Making the buttercream.
Since the recipe on the BBC web site was already going sideways, I found another web site for making the buttercream. I followed the directions, had doubts, but it turned out great!
First, crack 4 eggs into a double boiler and add powdered sugar, vanilla (it says vanilla sugar, but you can just use a dollop of vanilla extract), and a pinch of salt.
Then whisk over low heat until it thickens slightly…or until your arm falls off…about 15 minutes.
Set it aside to cool and put 200 g bittersweet chocolate on the double boiler. I added a bit more water underneath because my chocolate melter is quite a bit smaller than the other pan.
When your chocolate is melted, set aside to cool.
Slowly add the cooled chocolate into your egg and sugar mixture.
Cool the chocolate-egg mixture completely to room temperature. Then put your butter and cocoa powder into the upright mixer, and slowly add the chocolatey-egg mixture in.
When it’s done, it’ll be the lovely creamy texture you expect from frosting.
Put a couple blobs of chocolate frosting between each layer, saving enough to cover the top and sides of the cake.