Christmas Chocolate and Caramel Cake

Good morning from Paris! Just arrived here yesterday to spend some time with my sister and catch up with some of my best friends I haven’t seen in a while, and also enjoy Paris at the Christmas season 🙂 I am not going to lie though, I am pretty excited to go back home to the country side! You know how I feel about Paris ( see my article here ) and so I am looking forward to go back to my quiet little town.

Because it is Christmas in only a few days, I thought I’ll share with you my number one go to chocolate cake that I make ALL the time! My little present to you!

It is a real crowd pleaser, and I like to play around with this cake recipe by changing the type of buttercream I make. I sometimes add some Baileys to the buttercream, or some coffee or like here, added some caramel in between the layers. Once you have nailed down a recipe, I think it is really easy then to play around with flavours. I sometimes add a dash of Baileys to my chocolate buttercream, or some extra coffee or like in this recipe, just add some caramel in between the layers. It also works well with the classic chocolate + fruits combination 🙂

Quantity: 7 inches cake

Utensils: Electric stand mixer, cake board, turn table, piping bag, cake scraper, small pallet knife and a nozzle

Difficulty:

Ingredients

Chocolate and Chestnuts mouse

  • 300g of plain flour
  • 400g of caster sugar
  • 90g of unsweet cacao powder
  • 12g of bicarbonate of soda
  • 10g of baking powder
  • 160ml of vegetable oil
  • 300ml of buttermilk
  • 100ml of cold brewed coffee
  • 3 large eggs
  • 12ml of vanilla paste

Italian chocolate buttercream

  • 300g of caster sugar
  • 90g of water
  • 100g of egg whites ( roughly 3 egg whites)
  • 300g of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 tbsp of cacao

Caramel sauce

  • 300g of caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp of water
  • 150 ml of double cream
  • 100g of salted butter
  • 2 tsp of sea salt

Decorations

  • 200g of dark chocolate
  • 50g of butter
  • Glitters: Stars are from PME and glitters from Waitrose

Method

Pre heat the oven at 180C/ Fan

1* Make the chocolate sponge: In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix the dry ingredients. Flour, sugar, cacao, bicarbonate of soda, salt and baking powder and mix using the paddle attachement. In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients. Eggs, buttermilk, oil, coffee and vanilla paste. Finally, mix the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix for about 1 min until everything is fully mixed.

2* Bake the sponges: using 3* 7 inches tins, coated with butter, bottom covered with some grease proof paper, divide the mix into 3 ( should be about 350g/400g per tin). Bake for 23-25 min. Once cooked, remove from the tins and keep on a cooling rack to fully cool.

3* Make the caramel: In a pan, mix the sugar and the water. Leave it to cook until the caramel has a good colour (5-7min) . Then, add the double cream and mix well. Finish with adding the butter and the salt. Reserve to cool (You can keep it in the fridge for about a month).

4* Make the Italian buttercream: In a pan, mix the sugar and the water, and bring the mix to 118 degrees.

In the meantime, pour the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer, and start to mix using the whisk attachment until it forms soft peaks.

When the syrup had reached 118 degrees, slowly pour it to the still mixing eggs whites ( that will cook the egg whites and your mixture should double in volume). Now time to be patient, you have to wait until the meringue has reached room temperature, probably a good 10 to 15 minutes.

5*Finish the Italian buttercream: Now the egg whites are at room temperature, change the whisk attachment to the paddle attachment. Then, slowly add the butter ( diced ) and mix until you get a soft and fluffy buttery texture ready to pipe. Finally, add the cacao.

6* Assemble the cake: Take your first cooled sponge and cut the top of the cake to give it a flat surface. Place on a cake board on the top of your turn table, then cover it with buttercream ( half a centimetre ) and pour some caramel sauce on top. Repeat with the rest of the sponges. Put the rest of the buttercream in a piping bag, and pipe all around the side of the cake. Using a cake scraper and your turn table, slowly smooth the sides of the cake.

7* Make the chocolate dripping: Melt the chocolate and the butter and leave it to cool for about 10min. Pour the mix inside a piping bag, and using your turn table and counting different numbers ( higher the number is, longer the drip is going to be – my technique ^^) pour the chocolate around the cake. Finish to decorate with the rest of the buttercream in a piping bags and some glitters.

Hope you enjoy it!

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