Chocolate and Caramel Ombre Extravaganza

Chocolate and Caramel Ombre Cake

Truth be told I’ve always been indifferent to caramel, it’s a nice flavour but not one that has ever particularly excited me and therefore I have never been inspired to incorporate it into my baking. As a result, when I discovered last week’s theme for the Sunday Baking Club was caramel, I wasn’t feeling overly enthused. That was until I discovered a recipe for a chocolate and caramel ombre cake! Any recipe that includes chocolate is a winner in my books and eager to use the Wilton’s Easy Layer Cake Pan Set I got for Christmas this was the perfect opportunity to test it out.

This would be a great cake to make for a celebration as ombre cakes look so impressive and are fairly simple to make. I had to alter the recipe slightly from the one I found on the BBC Good Food website as the Wilton layer cake tins are much smaller than a standard cake tin so if you wanted to make this using a larger tin the recipe would have to be doubled and the cakes would need to be cooked for around 20-25 minutes. The cake is really easy to make, the batter is made in two batches, a vanilla batter and a caramel batter, each of these are then separated and cocoa powder is added to half creating the chocolate and caramel chocolate layers. The moist, spongy layers of cake are then sandwiched together with a creamy salted caramel frosting and the entire cake is covered with rich, fudgy, chocolate ganache. Unfortunately I am detoxing before my holiday to Florida next week so will not allow myself to have any, however my boyfriend/chief taster/washer upper (who claims he doesn’t like cake!) was very impressed with the overall result and has assured me that it tastes even better than it looks.

Chocolate and Caramel Ombre Cake

Ingredients

For the chocolate and vanilla layers

115g butter at room temperature
115g caster sugar
115 self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 medium eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
1tbsp cocoa powder

For the caramel and caramel-chocolate layers

115g butter at room temperature
65g caster sugar
50g soft brown sugar
115g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
2 medium eggs
1 tbsp caramel flavouring
1 tsp cocoa powder

For the salted caramel frosting

125g icing sugar
40g butter at room temperature
1 tbsp whole milk
A couple of drops of salted caramel flavouring

For the chocolate ganache

100g milk chocolate, finely chopped
100g dark chocolate, finely chopped
200ml double cream

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas mark 4 and grease your cake tins.
  2. For the chocolate and vanilla layers combine all ingredients, apart from the cocoa powder, in a large bowl. Mix together using an electric mixer on a medium speed until all the ingredients have combined to form a smooth batter. Scrape half of the batter into one of the tins. Then add the cocoa powder to the remaining batter, mix until fully incorporated and then scrape into another cake tin.
  3. For the caramel and caramel-chocolate layers repeat step two, again leaving the cocoa power out, halving the batter and mixing the cocoa powder into one half. Place all of the tins into the oven and bake for around 18 minutes or until a skewer poked into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  4. Whilst the cakes are in the oven make the chocolate ganache. Place the chopped chocolate in a large heat proof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over a medium heat until it is simmering, do not let it boil. Remove the pan from the heat and pour over the chopped chocolate, leave for about 5 minutes for the chocolate to soften. After 5 minutes start mixing the chocolate and cream together and stir until all the chocolate has melted. Chill the ganache in the fridge so it firms up.
  5. Once the cakes have finished cooking place onto a cooling rack.
  6. Next make the salted caramel frosting. Using an electric mixer beat the icing sugar and butter together on a medium speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Then add the milk and salted caramel flavouring mixing on a high speed. Continue mixing for about 5 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  7. Once the sponges are cool spread a third of the frosting over the chocolate sponge and top with the caramel chocolate sponge. Spread over another third of the frosting and top with the Caramel sponge, then the final third of frosting and top with the vanilla sponge. Finally, cover the cake with the chocolate ganache.
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