I’m reluctant to tempt fate, but it seems like summer might actually - finally - be arriving. We’ve escaped London for the long weekend and have been sunning ourselves in the countryside today, drinking and eating with friends and then drinking and eat a little more. All our boys have run around barefoot playing impromptu games of cricket and hide and seek in the flower beds and it has been idyllic!
The summer term at school is always pretty crazy and I've taken on a number of cake commissions over the next few weeks which will keep me out of mischief! It means I get to blog a little less but I will be still be baking behind the scenes. This week I was lucky enough to make this chocoholic’s dream of a wedding cake.
In the midst of this recent wedding cake project, my boys begged me to make them a cake. Now my boys LOVE custard and I’ve been wanting to whip up some recipes from this cute little book, Magic Cakes. With friends over for a BBQ, it seemed the perfect time to make the fabulous Salted Caramel Magic Cake. The beauty of magic cakes is that you make one batter which then separates into layers leaving you with a Genoise sponge cake on top, a custardy cream in the middle and a lovely moist cake base. It definitely is magic!
So we start off by making the caramel sauce and heat the sugar and lemon juice in a large saucepan until it’s all melted and turned a caramel colour. The trick with caramel is NOT to stir the sugar whilst it’s melting - the caramel will start to melt around the edges of the pan first and using a wooden spoon, I pull the melted caramel from the outside into the middle to help melt the remaining sugar. Very gently and not stirring the caramel around the pan. Just a sweeping movement from the outside edge in and then wait until some more caramel has melted on the outside. When it’s fully melted and caramel in colour, we add the warmed cream (30 seconds in the microwave will take the chill off it) but be very careful as when you add the cream to the sugar, it will bubble furiously. Stir it vigorously together and if there are any lumps of caramel remaining, just heat it on the stove until it’s smooth. Then we remove it from the heat and add the cold butter, stirring until it’s smooth. Try not to eat spoonfuls of it as this point -- I promise you, it's hard to resist!!
When the caramel’s ready, we set apart around 100g of it in a small pot and then pour the milk into the remaining caramel. It’s popped back on the stove until boiling and fully mixed together and then set aside to cool.
The batter itself is simple and quick to make. I made mine in a bowl and whisked it by hand. We first need to separate the eggs and then pop the egg yolks and melted butter together in the bowl and beat together for a couple of minutes; then the flour and salt are folded in. The caramel milk should be added little by little, stirring as you add it. You should end up with a very liquidy batter. Finally we whisk the egg whites to stiff peak and then whisk them gently into the batter little by little. This should thicken the batter but it will still be very runny and could be a little lumpy.
After we’ve baked the cake, it needs to remain its tin and when cooled, popped in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set. We remove it from the fridge just before we serve it and then drizzle the remaining salted caramel over the top.
I’m not sure I would really call this a cake. Maybe a slice of custard heaven! The texture is smooth and creamy and the caramel has a subtle warmth and deliciousness.
Caramel cakes are just magical. You definitely need some in your life :)
Salted Caramel Magic Cake
from Cristelle Huet-Gomez’s Magic Cakes
Salted Caramel Ingredients
- 300G CASTER SUGAR
- FEW DROPS OF LEMON JUICE
- 150ML SINGLE CREAM, WARMED
- 75G SALTED BUTTER, COLD & CUT INTO CUBES
- 450ML MILK
- 4 EGGS, SEPARATED
- 70G SALTED BUTTER, MELTED
- 90G PLAIN FLOUR
- First we make the caramel and start by putting the sugar and few drops of lemon into a large saucepan
- Gently heat until the sugar starts to turn an amber colour at the edges and carefully pull the melted caramel from the edge of the pan into the middle with a wooden spoon - but do not stir it!
- When the caramel’s melted, add the warmed cream taking care as it will bubble furiously
- Beat together until smooth
- Remove from the heat and add the butter, stirring until smooth
- Take 100g of the caramel and put it to one side
- Add the milk to the remaining caramel in the saucepan and put this back over the heat until boiling and fully incorporated
- Remove from the heat and put to one side to cool
- Preheat your oven to 140 degrees (fan)
- Line a 9 inch cake tin (bottom and sides)
- Beat the egg yolks with the melted butter for 2 minutes until smooth and frothy
- Fold in the flour and salt
- Add the caramel milk a little at a time, stirring constantly
- Whisk your egg whites to stiff peak
- Little by little, add the egg white to your batter and whisk it in gently
- When all the egg white has been added, pour the batter into the prepared cake tin
- Bake for around 55 minutes until golden on top but it wobbles slightly when removed from the oven
- Before removing it from its tin, place in the fridge for at least 2 hours
- When you’re ready to serve it, remove your cake from the fridge and drizzle the remaining caramel over the top
- Serve with fresh strawberries and raspberries -- you have the perfect pudding to share with friends :)