Anyone fancy a decadent, chocolate cake laced with whiskey? This does sound quite rich for this time of the year but if you were offered a slice of this, I'm sure you wouldn't say no, right? I have been meaning to add this cake to the blog and it has been on my "to do" list" for a couple of months. I finally found the time to bake it and share it. I first made this cake for Mark for his big birthday back in April, and it was so well received that I wanted to share it.
I combined chocolate with whiskey because Mark has a weakness for both. You can leave the whiskey out entirely, if you wish. I made a much bigger version for his birthday and it was only when I presented the cake did I realise how enormous it was. It was only right that we shared it around the pub, as there was no way we could finish the entire cake. This version is smaller version but can easily feed a party of around 15 people.
If you're a keen foodie, you have probably heard of Life & Thyme, which I am a huge fan of. I enjoy reading their foodie stories and I have been following them for some time, which is why I am so excited and honoured that they published this story I wrote on Newtown & Pott - a modern day preserver creating hand made artisanal preserves in London. I'm supportive of independent makers and have been lucky to meet so many inspiring and creative people already. I'll be sharing more of the exciting brands I have met in the coming months.
I'm also heading to Sweden next week, which I am really excited about. I planned this trip 5 months ago and I can't wait to spend the start of my summer in Stockholm and Bohuslän coast. You can follow my journey on instagram.
In the meantime, I have a cake to finish.
FOR THE CAKE
225g unsalted butter
2 cups plain flour sifted
150g dark chocolate
¼ cup instant coffee
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ cup boiling water
1 cup whiskey
¼ tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 ½ cups caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla essence
FOR THE SALTED CARAMEL
1 cup caster sugar
1 1/4 cup double cream
60g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp sea salt
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
350g unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
2 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp whiskey (optional)
1 tsp vanilla essence
¼ cup salted caramel (see above)
Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line 2 x 18cm round cake tins.
Melt the dark chocolate and set aside to cool. Dissolve the coffee & cocoa powder in a bowl with the boiling water. Set aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, whip the butter until light and creamy. Add the eggs, sugar and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add the melted chocolate and continue to beat. Mix in the whiskey with the coffee/cocoa powder mixture and add it to the batter along with the sifted flour and baking powder. Continue to beat until well combined. Divide the batter evenly into the 2 pans. Bake for 40 mins or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the salted caramel, heat the sugar in a large pan over medium heat for about 10 mins until the sugar dissolves and turns a dark amber colour. Do not stir the pan but swirl the sugar in the pan to ensure it all dissolves. In a separate pan, heat the cream and butter on medium-low heat until the butter melts and is combined with the cream. Once the sugar is completely melted, turn off the heat and quickly whisk in the warm cream/butter mixture. If you get solidified sugar bits, you can re-heat it on the pan. Stir in the salt.
To make the butteream. Whip the butter until light and creamy then add the salted caramel. Slowly add in the icing sugar. If the buttercream is too soft, add more icing sugar until you achieve a thick but workable frosting.
Once the cakes have cooled completely, slice each cake lengthways into 2 layers so you have 4 layers in total. Add buttercream to one layer, and a thin layer – about ¼ of the remainder salted caramel on top of the buttercream. Place the next cake layer on top and repeat this process for the next 2 layers. Buttercream the top and sides of the cake. Finally, drizzle the remainder of the salted caramel on top. Garnish with brittle or nuts.