I admit, at first you were fun and we had a nice time. You caused chaos but that was fine because it felt like Christmas always!
But now, oh no, you are cold and wet and windy and bloomin' freezing! Not enough for sledging but enough to make it feel like the Arctic! Except it's not the North Pole; it's England! I mean for god's sakes it's Spring, officially spring!
So I am hoping you understand that it's now time for you to clear off, and clear of for good! I have summer/spring clothes that want wearing! Also it's my birthday in just over a weeks time, I dont want snow on my birthday; my birthday in April!
So, bye bye, ta-ta, au revoir, good day, guten tag, despidida!
A frozen English girl xx
Anyway, rant over. As you can probably see/have heard, the snow is back! Yay, (sarcasm)! But this does have one benefit, good excuse for cake! So, whilst outside it was awfully frozen I was toasty and warm baking the most delicious cake, ever, Salted Caramel Chocolate Chiffon Cake! It's just perfect. And this is coming from someone who doesn't usually like chocolate cakes.
The recipe is from the most recent Good Food magazine and is an adaptation of John's final show-stopper bake (from the Great British Bake off 2012) the heaven or hell cake. After watching the episode (and drooling over his gorgeous cake) I was itching to bake my own one, so as you can imagine I was thrilled when Good Food released this simple-r version!
It is so good. The method isn't too difficult either, I was scared about making the caramel but that was fine! The biggest problem that I encountered was mixing the butter and the caramel to make salted caramel butter cream. I don't really know what i did wrong but it was much too runny and just would thicken, so in the end I whipped some double cream and then added the runny salted caramel butter cream to that, making a delicious butterscotch-y cream.
The bitter dark chocolate ganache on top, the light sponge and the sweet cream just make the most heavenly combination. Honestly, I could quite easily eat the entire cake (I didn't though, don't worry)!
I honestly don't think the photos do it justice because the spiked piping to decorate looks really dramatic and striking in real life; you can't really tell that well on the pictures hut you'll just have to take my word for it!
Much love Alex-Rose xxx
(For the sponge)
- 125ml Vegetable Oil
- 7 Large eggs (separated!)
- 2 Teaspoons vannilla extract/essence/paste
- 375g Golden Caster sugar
- 50g Cocoa powder
- 300g Plain Flour
- 1 Teaspoon of Bicarbonate of soda
- 250g Soft Brown Sugar (it states "light brown" but I used dark brown and it was fine so I suppose you could use either)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 300ml Double cream
- 140g Butter softened
- 250ml Double Cream
- 250 Dark chocolate (grated or super finely chopped)
Pre-heat the oven to 160c/140c fan/gas 3, grease and line a 25cm deep spring form cake tin and weigh out all your ingredients for your sponge (I really would do this as it's easy to forget something when you have a lot of things to do plus it makes it much quicker).
First in a large bowl mix the oil, egg yolks, vanilla, caster sugar and 200ml of water. Beat until well combined, then sift in the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Next sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda.
In a separate bowl (or bowl of free-standing mixer) whisk your egg whites until stiff peaks are formed then gently fold this into the cake batter until smooth. This could take some time so be gentle and patient.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and place into the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, but check it earlier as you don't want it to burn. To make sure the cake is done test it with a skewer.
While the cake is cooking prepare the filling. Heat the sugar and salt with 150ml of the cream until all the sugar is dissolved. Do not stir, just swill the pan occasionally. Bring to bubble for a minute then turn off the heat and leave to cool. Once cooled completely whip the rest of the double cream and gradually add the caramel, still whipping. Once the cream is stiff thick/stiff and spreadable leave to chill until required.
Leave the cake to cool for ten minutes in its tin then remove and leave to cool on a wire rack.
To make the ganache, heat the cream until just boiling then remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate, leave to stand so the cream melts the chocolate. Mix occasionally so that it forms a smooth sauce, then leave to cool and thicken at room temperature. It is ready when it is thick and at a pipe-able consistency.
To finish the cake, slice three-quarters of the way up (so that it's not too heavy and squishes the cream out) the spread a thick layer of cream onto the bottom piece before laying the top one over. Fill a start nozzled (Is that a word?!) piping bag with the ganache and pipe spikes of it onto the cake starting in the centre and working out.
Keeps for up to two days in a cool place, enjoy! xx