Salted Caramel, Fudge & White Chocolate Cake

09/18

Well, baking season is well and truly upon us! I know for some of us, myself included, baking is a year round joy but with The Great British Bake Off returning to our screens we turn our attention away from the sunny BBQ’s of summer and on to the falling leaves, cosy nights, tasty home bakes and all the joys of Autumn!

This week, I partnered with Bacofoil® to try out their Non-Stick Baking Paper.

I had never used it before but had seen it on the supermarket shelves so I was both intrigued and excited to try it. I wanted to create a recipe that included super sticky ingredients, notorious for sticking to the tin. So I went with three of my favourite flavours; fudge, salted caramel and white chocolate.

With all three ingredients included in the cake, I felt it was a good way to put this product to the test! The Non-Stick Baking Paper felt different to other baking papers I’ve used in the past. This is because it has an innovative and unique Non-Stick textured surface – the little dimples on the paper mean there is less surface area in contact with the bake so everything bakes evenly and food just slides off, making cake mess and cookie disasters a thing of the past! It’s also non-stick on both sides which makes quick baking much easier!

I’m lining my cake tin with Bacofoil® The Non-Stick Baking Paper and as it’s non-stick, there’s no need to grease the tray! This also means it saves on the washing up. Win!

For this bake, you have a choice. Depending on how adventurous you feel.

You can make your own salted caramel, which is actually really simple, the biggest worry is not letting it burn, and if you would like to I have included the ingredients and method below. Or you can use store bought salted caramel sauce. The results are the same, so it’s completely up to you!

Salted caramel ingredients –

  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 60ml water
  • 175ml double cream
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt

To make the salted caramel:

  • Mix together the water and sugar on a medium heat. Shaking the pan every so often.
  • When it starts to bubble, take it off the heat.
  • Mix in the butter, pour in the double cream and whisk well.
  • Add in the sea salt and leave to cool.

Cake ingredients –

  • 300g self raising flour
  • 140g golden caster sugar
  • 140g light brown sugar
  • 285g unsalted butter
  • 75g plain flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 50g melted white chocolate
  • 50g fudge pieces
  • 4 tablespoons salted caramel sauce

To make the cake:

  • Cream together the unsalted butter and sugar.
  • Add in the salted caramel and mix well.
  • Add in the eggs and mix again.
  • Fold in the self-raising flour and plain flour.
  • Pour in the melted white chocolate and add the fudge pieces.
  • Spoon this mixture into a 8” round tin lined with Bacofoil® The Non-Stick Baking Paper.
  • Tap on the side to get out any air bubbles.
  • Bake at 140C for 1 hour 45 minutes or until it is fully baked and a skewer/cake tester comes out clean.

Once the cake is baked, I like to turn it out from the tin soon after removing it from the oven. One of the main reasons I do this is to ensure a nice flat top. If you take the cake out of the tin and leave it to cool upside down on the side (not on a wire rack), then any bumps on the top flatten, leaving you with a lovely flat, even cake to decorate later!

Using oven gloves, as the tin will still be hot, turn out the cake onto a strip of Bacofoil® The Non-Stick Baking Paper on the side. The great thing about Bacofoil® The Non-Stick Baking Paper is that as the paper comes away from the cake so easily, bakes look perfect and nothing sticks to the paper!

Leave to cool completely. I also like to leave my cakes until the next day before cutting into and filling so once the cake has cooled, wrap it well in two layers of cling film and leave overnight.

Decorating the cake:

I’m going to be filling this cake with a salted caramel buttercream but feel free to get as adventurous as you like! A chocolate ganache would work just as well, as would a white chocolate buttercream or something else entirely!

Salted caramel buttercream –

  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salted caramel

To make the buttercream:

  • Cream the butter on its own for 5 minutes.
  • Add in the icing sugar.
  • Add in the salted caramel and mix well.

Don’t add in any liquid to the buttercream like water or milk. The salted caramel sauce is all it needs.

To split and fill the cake, I recommend to use a cake leveller. They are readily available in cake shops and online. Because I’m using a leveller as opposed to a knife, I feel more comfortable cutting the cake. For this cake, I’m going to split it twice, creating three lovely layers.

Split the cake once about a third of the way up and then again halfway between the first cut and the top of the cake. You can measure if you like but I normally do this by eye! Once cut, carefully take the top two layers off and spread your filling. Then reassemble an take off the top layer, adding more buttercream. Then reassemble and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. This firms up the buttercream and makes it easier to handle.

Once chilled, spread a layer of buttercream on the top of the cake and a thin layer around the sides, creating the ‘semi-naked’ look.

To finish the cake, melt a little white chocolate and pour onto the top, using a palette knife to push the chocolate to the edge of the cake, allowing it to drip down. Top with rosettes of buttercream (I used a 2D nozzle), white chocolate stars and more fudge pieces.

 

Leave to set and enjoy!

This cake, once baked will last 3-4 days if wrapped well.

I loved working with Bacofoil® The Non-Stick Baking Paper. It made making this cake really easy and it’s a great product I will certainly use again! It’s ideal for all kinds of baking jobs – lining, making and baking and for all types of food – savoury or sweet! The next thing I think I’ll use it for is some chocolate chip cookies!!

For more information about Bacofoil® and all of their products, check out their website www.bacofoil.co.uk

Happy baking!

Britt xo

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Bacofoil®  All views and opinions are my own.

The Importance Of Using Quality Eggs In Baking

09/18

So, a bit of a funny story in case you didn’t know. I’m a baker who is allergic to eggs. I know, I know, how on earth do I cope? Well, I have quite a specific egg allergy (because, of course I do). Sadly as of a few years ago I can no longer have tasty scrambled egg, poached egg, omelettes or quiches, even mayonnaise is out of the question for me! But I can indulge and enjoy cakes, cookies and biscuits.

This is because the type of allergy I have unfortunately developed is to uncooked egg proteins. If you get an egg and throw it in a pan for a few minutes it will very probably make me sick, but if you bake it at a high temperature for a longer period of time (as you do in baking and also known as ‘baked’ egg), the higher temperature changes the nature of the proteins enough that my body can tolerate them. Which is pretty cool.

Basically it means that eggs in my breakfast is a no (unless I just have cake for breakfast), but eggs in baking are thankfully a yes!

Laying hen farm. High Park Wall Farm. Barnard Castle. Co. Durham. United Kingdom.

Eggs play such a big role in traditional baking. The fats and proteins in eggs provide flavour, create structure and stability to cakes, add moisture, bind biscuits and cookies, help thicken and emulsify sauces and custards, act as a glue or glaze and even create delicate meringues.

But have you ever really thought about where your eggs come from and what kind you are using in your kitchen?

When I first started baking (and didn’t really know what I was doing) I was using the cheapest ingredients, and to be honest with you, this included using caged eggs. I’m not proud of it now but back then I couldn’t see a difference between the stacks of similarly shaped egg boxes in the supermarket, except for the price. I’d heard of ‘free range’ and ‘high welfare’ eggs but I didn’t really understand what that meant for me, my bakes, or for the chickens.

As my knowledge of baking and the importance of quality ingredients grew, but I learned about the truth of ‘caged eggs’.

The tiny spaces the chickens are confined to sometimes for their entire life makes living conditions uncomfortable and even physically painful. Having such a poor quality of life is not only cruel and unfair, but of course, it impacts the quality of eggs they are able to lay.

When the hens are looked after and cared for properly, given room to roam around, fresh air as well as decent food and living conditions, the eggs they lay are naturally more nutritious and tasty (based on research by Compassion in World Farming on the nutritional value of higher welfare eggs vs. battery/ caged hens. The main benefits seem to be more omega-3, antioxidants and Vitamin E). They are generally deeper in the colour of the yolk and richer with a buttery flavour which makes for a much better and more consistent bake.

But sadly, around 50% of egg laying hens in the UK are still kept in battery cages.

So how can you be sure you’re buying good quality, high welfare eggs?

There are a number of phrases and logos to look out for on packages. The Lion Mark that you see on most eggs shows you that they were laid in Britain and that they keep to food safety standards. Free-range, ‘woodland’ and barn are all phrases you will see on egg boxes, but to know that the chickens have truly been looked after, you need to look out for the RSPCA Assured logo as well.

RSPCA Assured is an ethical food label dedicated to farm animal welfare. It sends assessors and farm livestock officers out to the farms to make sure that they meet strict welfare standards, which lays out the kind of food, shelter and environment that the chickens must have access to. This includes things like plenty of space, perches and litter for dustbathing and foraging.

Once the assessors are sure the farm is following these practices to give the chickens their best life, the eggs are given the special RSPCA Assured mark. This mark can be found on 90% of non-caged eggs sold in the UK, and 50% of all UK eggs, so they are very easy to get hold of. They are only just pennies per egg more than the low quality, low welfare alternatives.

L to R: Graham Atkinson (Contract Supplies Manager, Noble Foods), Stuart Richardson (farmer), Rob Howorth (Freedom Food Assessor). Laying hen farm. High Park Wall Farm. Barnard Castle. Co. Durham. United Kingdom.

I stopped buying caged eggs many years ago and I believe that my bakes have vastly improved in quality and taste since then. As someone who buys eggs regularly as a baking ingredient, it’s important to me to buy the right ones and doing so gives me a sense of doing something good. By buying higher welfare eggs and spending our money wisely, we can all show large corporations (retailers, farmers and the food industry) that happy hens are important to us as consumers.

I implore every baker out there to do their own independent research when it comes to where their ingredients come from and the ethics and welfare standards which surround them. If I could go back in time and use higher welfare eggs sooner, I would.

Happy hens lay better quality eggs, which make better quality bakes. Better for you, better for the chickens.

Happy baking!

Britt xo

Laying hen farm. High Park Wall Farm. Barnard Castle. Co. Durham. United Kingdom.

This is a sponsored post in partnership with RSPCA Assured.  All views and opinions are my own.

Happy 1st Birthday Chrome Pole Studio!

09/18

If you follow me on Instagram you may know one of my other passions is aerial fitness (check out my aerial Instargam here!). The two I love and do regularly are pole fitness and aerial hoop.  I’ve been doing it on and off for 10 years and went back properly two years ago. This week marks the first birthday of the the pole school I learn with, Chrome. We had a birthday party at the weekend and I offered to make a cake for the occasion!

It’s a 6″ round vanilla madeira cake and an 8″ round chocolate madeira cake, both made using my recipe here where you can find a link to a cake calculator to work out the mix for different size tins. The 6″ was split with a cake leveller, filled and crumb coated with vanilla buttercream before being iced with Renshaw black sugarpaste. I usually mix up my own colours but I have a few exceptions, black being one of them. Life is too damn short to colour icing that dark so for the sake of my sanity I spend a little more and buy pre-coloured. My buttercream recipe can also be found on my madeira cake recipe page here.

The 8″ round chocolate madeira was split with a cake leveller, filled and crumb coated with lovely chocolate buttercream. This was then iced white with Renshaw Extra (I really like this stuff!) smoothed with Super Sharp Edge Smoothers and left to set overnight. Once the sugarpaste had hardened, I sprayed it using a PME Silver Lustre spray. This was much easier and quicker than hand painting it.

Once that tier had dried, I measured and cut 5 wooden dowels to go into it as the 6″ would be stacked on top. I then carefully lifted this tier and stuck it to the middle of a 10″ round cake drum  which I had iced with black supermarket icing the day before. I tend to use cheaper icing to cover my boards with as it’s not going to be eaten and I don’t have to worry about the strength of the sugarpaste. It doesn’t matter what kind of icing you cover your boards with, just as long as you COVER YOUR DAMN CAKE BOARDS. I stuck the tier down with a thin spread of royal icing. The cement of the cake decorating world.

I then spread a layer of royal icing on top of the 8″ cake, making sure to cover the tops of the dowels, and carefully placed on the 6″ round. I then left this to set and dry a little before decorating.

For the decorations I cut out a lot of stars in different sizes and I made a silver and black starburst by using black flower paste and white Mexican paste which I painted silver with lustre dust and rejuvenator spirit. I also used an acrylic pole dancer topper I got from eBay.

I stuck some of the stars to the cake with royal icing and pushed a few into the sides of the cake once they had dried completely overnight.

I then used double sided tape to add a 15mm silver ribbon to the cake drum and a little tape to add a 25mm black ribbon for the base tier and silver ribbon for the top tier. I finished this off with a string of diamantes which I secured at the back of the cake with a little royal icing.

I also cut out a personalised message and name of the studio using tappit cutters and Mexican paste. I painted these silver the same way I painted the stars.

I’m really pleased with how it turned out and it looked so good at the party!

To learn more about how to stack and decorate a tiered cake, check out my wedding cake course here – currently 50% off!!

Happy baking!

Britt xo

If you want to turn your baking hobby into a career, check out my book Cakes, Bakes & Business for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!

 

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