Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday dear me, Happy Birthday to me! That’s right, on top of all the wedding celebrations going on around here today is my 27th Birthday. Ugh, writing 27 I still can’t believe that’s what goes in the box next to my age but it’s true. 27 is going to be a very happy and excitement-filled year and despite my slight cringe at the thought of being the big 2-7 I can’t wait!
Every year, since I moved into my own place I’ve had a little tradition of making a Birthday cake, chocolate of course, just for me. My excuse is that I have to share a Birthday cake with all my lovely blog readers (any excuse for cake!). Last year I made a flourless chocolate lime cake but this year, after seeing Delicieux’s Birthday ‘cake’ last week I had to combine chocolate and salted caramel.
I’m always on the look out for new chocolate cake recipes and this one intrigued me. Everything is mixed together in the one bowl making it super simple to whip up and it uses brown sugar which, lets face it, just makes everything taste even better. I did change it up a bit but the end result was a delectable balance of sweet and salty and the perfect chocolate cake to welcome my 28th year. So grab a slice and help me celebrate!
I like my chocolate cakes to have real chocolate in them, not just cocoa so instead of the 1/2 a cup of butter the recipe calls for, I used half butter and half chocolate. Melt them up together and then pour them, along with the brown sugar into a large bowl. Mix them all together. The batter will be pretty thick at this stage and seem like it won’t come together but it will.
Add the eggs and vanilla to the batter and stir them through too. Again it seems pretty thick but they’ll get in there if you stir them well.
In a separate bowl, whisk all the dry cake ingredients together and then tip them into the big bowl with the rest of the batter. This is where it will seem really thick but mix it in as well as you can. I’d advise you use a deeper bowl than mine if you don’t want to end up with a coating of flour all over you.
Then it’s time for the final ingredient. I like my rich chocolate cakes to have a little bit of coffee. I’m not a coffee drinker but it seems to add an extra special element to chocolate cake and you can’t taste it in the end result. I just added a little teaspoon full of instant coffee and dissolved it in the water before adding it to the batter.
Stir it all together until it’s nice and smooth.
Divide the batter between the two prepared tins and then into the oven they go. Bake them at 160C fan-forced for 25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
If you don’t have two small round cake tins you could use one larger one and cut the finished cake in half to put in the filling. One bigger cake will take about 35-45 minutes to bake but be sure to check on it.
When the cakes are ready, leave them to rest in the tins for 10 minutes.
Run a knife around the inside of the tin to loosen the cakes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cakes are cooling make the icing.
I used left over salted caramel from my salted caramel tarts. It turns out it freezes rather well.
Start by beating the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until it’s nice and smooth and then add two tablespoons of the salted caramel. Keep beating until the two are mixed together then add the icing sugar and cocoa a little at a time. Add a bit of milk to get it to the right thickness and beat it until it’s nice and fluffy. Try not to eat it all before you ice the cake. It’s pretty tasty.
When the cakes are cool it’s time to make the magic happen.
Place one of the cakes top side down onto a serving platter and spread it with the rest of the salted caramel almost to the edges.
Put the other cake on top the right way up and press it down a bit to secure it and spread the salted caramel to the edges.
Spoon the icing on top of the cake. Yes I could have just spooned it straight into my mouth at that stage but I held off somehow.
Spread the icing over the cake so it reaches right to the edges.
Try not to pick it up with your hands and eat it like a sandwich. Enjoy!
What about you? Do you have a Birthday tradition that you do for yourself?
- 1 cup plain AP flour
- ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp cocoa
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp table salt
- 65g (1/4 cup) butter
- 60g (1/3 cup) dark chocolate
- 1-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup hot water mixed with 1 tsp instant coffee
- 2 tbsp butter
- 6 tbsp icing sugar
- 2 tbsp cocoa
- 6 tbsp salted caramel
- a little bit of milk to get it to the right consistency
- Pre-heat the oven to 160C(320F) fan-forced and grease and line the bases of two 18cm round cake tins.
- In a heat-proof bowl or jug, combine the chocolate and butter and melt it in the microwave until smooth.
- Pour it, together with the brown sugar into a large bowl and mix them together.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and stir until they are mixed in.
- Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and then add them to the bowl with the sugar etc.
- Stir in the dry ingredients as well as you can and then add the water/coffee and stir it together until smooth.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two baking dishes.
- Bake the cakes for about 25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Leave the baked cakes to rest in the tins for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the icing, beat the butter until smooth then slowly beat in 2 tablespoons of the salted caramel until it is all even.
- Add the icing sugar and cocoa a little at a time and beat until it is well combined. Add a little bit of milk to get it to the right consistency.
- Place one of the cakes on a serving platter topside-down and spread it with the remaining salted caramel. You may have to heat it a little so that it is easier to spread.
- Place the other cake right side-up on top of the caramel filling and spread it with the icing.
- Serve it as soon as it's ready or store in an air-tight container. It was pretty good if not better the day after.