- 225 g (scant 2 cups) undeniable flour
- 350 g (1 + 3/four cups) caster (superfine) sugar
- 85 g (2/three cup + 1 tsp) cocoa powder
- 1 half of tsp baking powder
- 1 half tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 2 eggs
- 250 ml (1 cup + 2tsp) buttermilk
- one hundred twenty five ml (half cup + 1tsp) vegetable or sunflower oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 250 ml (1 cup + 2tsp) particularly warm coffee or boiling water
- 300 g (1 1/2 cups) caster (superfine) sugar
- 60 ml (1/four cup) water
- 280 ml (1 cup + 3tbsp) double cream
- 30 g (2 tbsp) unsalted butter
- half tsp – 1 tbsp sea salt flakes
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 200 g (1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
- 4 massive egg whites
- 250 g (1 cup + 1 tbsp) softened unsalted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 tbsp (or extra to taste) salted caramel
- Whipped Ganache
- two hundred g (7 oz.) dark chocolate
- two hundred ml (three/four cup + 1tbsp + 1tsp) double cream
- Bake the cake the day before you want to ice it. Preheat the oven to a hundred and eighty°C/350°F/Gas mark four. Grease and line 20cm/8in round tins.
- Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarb of soda together right into a large bowl, stir within the sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla extract, pour into the dry elements and beat properly until easy and blended. Add the hot coffee, a bit at a time, till it’s miles all mixed, the aggregate could be very liquid, do not panic! Divide the batter among the tins and area in the centre of the oven, test after 35 mins – a skewer inserted into the centre need to pop out easy or with some wet crumbs, however no wet batter. They could take up to an hour to bake though, mine took 55 mins, simply test each five-10 minutes after the 35 minute mark.
- Once baked, put off to a cord rack, nevertheless in their tins, and go away to cool completely. Once cold, wrap the cakes of their tins in clingfilm and place within the refrigerator overnight, or for at the least an hour. It is far less complicated to slice a chilly cake in half neatly.
Make the salted caramel:
- Place the sugar and water right into a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan, carry to the boil and prepare dinner, swirling the pan, NOT stirring, till the sugar dissolves and the color adjustments to amber. Remove from the warmth and pour the cream – be cautious because the caramel will bubble ferociously and rise up in the pan. When the effervescent stops, add the butter and whisk till combined, it could no longer be completely easy at this factor.
- Return the pan to a medium warmness and cook dinner at a gentle simmer, whisking the entire time, for a few minutes until the caramel is clean and freed from lumps. Whisk inside the salt, a bit at a time, tasting as you pass (CAREFULLY – the caramel could be very warm!), until it’s on the right level of saltiness for you. Make positive that the salt is truely fully mixed, and now not simply sinking to the bottom, earlier than including greater. Leave the caramel to chill absolutely, it can be made the day ahead and saved inside the refrigerator for up to a week.
To make the salted caramel
- swiss meringue buttercream, positioned the egg whites and sugar in a very easy heatproof bowl (use the bowl of your stand mixer if you have one). Place over a pan of simmering (now not boiling) water (do now not permit the base of the bowl touch the water) and whisk with a hand whisk (no longer electric powered) till the sugar has dissolved absolutely and the mixture is heat to the touch, in case you rub some of the aggregate between your hands it should be smooth and also you shouldn’t be capable of experience any graininess, this will take about five mins. If you want to get technical about it the mixture should attain 60°C/a hundred and forty°F on a thermometer.
- Remove the bowl from the warmth and fasten it for your stand mixer with the whisk attachment or use an electric powered hand whisk, whisk the egg whites till it paperwork a thick, smooth, bright white meringue and is absolutely cool, the bottom of the bowl ought to experience cool to the touch, this can take approximately 10 minutes.
- Once the meringue is cold, transfer the mixer to a low pace and start to feature the butter, a tablespoon at a time, make certain that each addition is absolutely integrated earlier than including the next; the meringue will deflate a bit and might begin to appearance curdled, don’t panic! This is normal, just maintain including the butter regularly and whipping away and it’ll come returned collectively. If, once all of the butter has been added, your aggregate is runny, the butter may additionally were too smooth or the meringue nevertheless warm, just put the bowl within the fridge for 15 mins or so then keep on whipping.
- If, even after a respectable quantity of whipping, it nonetheless looks curdled, place about 4 tablespoons worth of the aggregate in a small bowl and microwave for 10-15 seconds, it must become runny, pour this lower back into the bowl of buttercream, down the side of the bowl at the same time as whisking, continue to whisk for a few minutes and it ought to come back together. Once the buttercream is completely clean and silky and all of the butter has been integrated, whisk within the vanilla extract and salted caramel.
- Remove the desserts from the refrigerator and carefully, the usage of an extended, sharp serrated knife (like a bread knife) slice each one in half so that you have 4 layers. Place one layer on a serving plate or cake stand and spread over simply over 1 / 4 of the buttercream, then drizzle over a tablespoon or two of the salted caramel (you may skinny it with a touch extra cream or heat it VERY barely until it becomes pourable if wished – I’m speaking no greater than 10 seconds within the microwave, do not allow it become warm or it’s going to soften the buttercream). Top with another layer of cake and repeat until you have 3 layers of buttercream; vicinity the very last layer of cake on pinnacle – use one of the bottom halves, upside-down, so that you have a flat top.
- Spread the remaining scant region of buttercream thinly all around the cake, it does not want to be neat and you’ll be capable of see cake via the buttercream but try to get it fairly easy and cowl the cake flippantly; this is your crumb coat – it will stop cake crumbs from stepping into your ganache. Place the cake within the fridge for at least fifteen mins even as you’re making the ganache.
To make the ganache,
- chop the chocolate and region in a heatproof bowl. Put the cream in a small pan and heat until simply simmering, pour it over the chocolate, making sure that it’s far all blanketed; go away to stand for five-10 mins then stir till smooth. Leave the ganache until it has cooled to room temperature – it ought to have thickened however still be spoonable, like pudding (you can pop it inside the fridge to speed this up). Whisk with an electric whisk until it has lightened in coloration and has the feel of thick whipped cream, do no longer overwhip or you’ll emerge as with chocolate butter…Which sounds scrumptious however isn’t always what we need here! Immediately spread the ganache all around the cake – paintings pretty fast as it would not take lengthy for it to begin to set.
- To finish, drizzle over the last salted caramel.