Monday, 15 March 2010

Mother's Day Delights

Yesterday was Mothering Sunday here  in the UK, so I created some delights for the local coffee shop to sell on Saturday morning (they're closed on Sunday!)

The first was a Salted Caramel Cake. I have to be VERY careful with this, to get it made & delivered as soon as possible because I absolutely crave it! The combination of sweet & salty is irresistible to me....I love salted peanuts & chocolate more than most things edible. Not good for the waistline, great for the soul (in extreme moderation!)

The recipe is adapted, once again from Baked's 'Sweet & Salty Cake'. The difference is that I make my own, failsafe, gorgeous, soft dark chocolate cake instead of theirs (and if you have a favourite recipe, try doing the same here....)

then I made a salted caramel by boiling together approx 1 cup sugar with 2 tbsp cold water (remember never to stir the mixture or it will crystallise...shake the pan if necessary instead) until golden brown and smelling toffeelike. You need to wait until it's on the edge of burning to give the right taste, but only on the edge - watch it like a hawk! Remove from heat & add 1 cup heavy (double) cream. Be careful as it will spit! Then stir gently until it melts into a beautiful burnished sauce. Add about 1 tsp sea salt flakes (I always use Maldon) and leave to cool, but don't refrigerate.

I also made a whipped milk chocolate frosting a la Baked by placing 1lb (500g) good quality milk chocolate broken into pieces in a heatproof bowl....heating 1 cup heavy (double) cream with 1 tbsp light corn syrup until just boiling, then pouring the cream mixture over the chocolate. Leave for a few minutes then stir gently. The chocolate should have almost melted, and should finish by the time you stop stirring! Leave to cool, stirring occasionally. When no longer too warm, whisk in (I use a hand held electric whisk) 1 cup (250g/2 sticks) very soft unsalted butter. It will whip into a glorious, shiny, pale brown delight!

To assemble the cake, cut in the bottom layer on a serving dish or cake board....drizzle bottom layer with salty caramel....spread caramel with half the frosting...sprinkle lightly with salt flakes (trust me, it's divine!)....then top with the remaining layer and this time reverse things so you spread the frosting over first, the drizzle that with caramel....and finish with a final sprinkle of salt. You can add other decorations - I put some pastel sugar flowers around, as it was Mother's Day - but it's beautiful left alone too...

Et voila! Now get it OUT of my sight........please???

I also made some pretty little Vanilla Cupcakes, which gave me a license to sprinkle the sparkle...which I love to do!

I know that Mother's Day in the USA & Australia isn't until maybe you could try these recipes out, just to perfect them in good time, of course!