I love any excuse to celebrate, whether it be a birthday, Valentines or any other special occasion, a new job, promotion or something else significant in the world of work, kids doing something to make me especially proud… or even something as simple as a lovely sunny day after weeks of rain. When a few of these happy things coincided last week, I really felt like celebrating.
3G’s girlfriend gave me a jar of Ladurée salted caramel for Christmas and I had been looking for something to do with it, apart from my first instinct to just take a spoon and dig in! The obvious answer was cake, because… well, isn’t cake the answer to most questions? So a celebration cake was born.
I found this recipe for caramel mud cake, adapt it by caramelizing the white chocolate and topped it with a salted caramel buttercream frosting. Of course, you could use homemade caramel in the frosting, or switch it out for more caramelized white chocolate. This is just a tiny bit fluffier than a traditional mud cake, but that was my preference. It’s dense and moist and carves beautifully, but you could reduce the baking powder to 1 1/4 teaspoons for a denser cake, if you like.
Have you got something to celebrate this week? I’d highly recommend cake 🙂
Caramelized white chocolate
As it loses a bit of moisture during the caramelisation process, the chocolate will reduce in weight a little. I started with 250g (about 8 3/4oz) white chocolate and weighed out 200g (7oz) for the recipe. There was about 30g (about 1oz) left over.
Remember, the higher the cocoa butter content, the better the result.
Also, everything must be dry.
Preheat oven to 120°C (250°F).
Chop the chocolate roughly and spread evenly in a shallow baking dish.
Cook it in the oven for 40 minutes to an hour or so, stirring with a spatula every ten minutes. Mine took one hour, but it will depend on the chocolate.
It’s ready when it’s a deep, caramel colour.
Set aside to cool a little before starting the cake.
Caramel mud cake
200g (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, diced
200g (7oz) caramelized white chocolate
200g (1 cup, firmly packed) dark brown sugar
180ml (3/4 cup) hot water
1 tbsp golden syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
300g (2 2/5 cups) all-purpose (plain) flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F). Grease a round 24cm (10″) springform cake pan and line base and side with baking paper.
Place butter, chocolate, sugar, water, golden syrup and vanilla extract in a medium, heavy-based saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes, until the butter has melted, the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth (it will be the consistency of syrup). Pour into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and set aside to cool for about 30 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, then sprinkle over wet ingredients and whisk to combine.
Pour mixture into pan and bake in centre of oven for about 55 – 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out damp but with no more than a crumb or two.
Cool cake in pan cake for 20 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Salted caramel buttercream frosting
115g (1 stick or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
70g (1/4 cup) salted caramel, room temperature (spoonable)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
90g (3/4 cup unsifted) powdered (confectioners) sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add caramel and vanilla and beat to combine well, about 2 minutes.
Add powdered sugar and salt and mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated, then beat on high until smooth, another 2 to 3 minutes.
Spread over top of cooled cake.