Hello and welcome to my first blog post! I hope you guys enjoy it 🙂
A while ago my supervisor asked me if I could make her a cake for her sister’s birthday. The brief was simple: it had to be chocolate and it had to be decadent and this cake definitely meets those criteria – a chocolate buttermilk layer cake with salted caramel buttercream, Bailey’s buttercream, dark chocolate, almonds and cacao nibs. This special order cake was aptly nicknamed the “fatty bum bum” cake.
It was so much fun making this cake! I usually make cupcakes so it was fun planning something bigger. Although, I have to be honest, it was a bit nerve-wracking at times like the day before I delivered it I had a dream that I tripped and fell onto the cake! Luckily that didn’t happen.
Let’s start with the cake…
chocolate buttermilk cake
adapted from The Paperseed
3 cups flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dark cocoa powder (if you can’t find dark cocoa the normal stuff is fine too)
1 1/3 cups canola oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups freshly brewed extra-strong coffee
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two 9-inch cake tins with butter and baking paper.
Place flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa in a large mixing bowl. Using a mixer on low, mix to combine. Keeping the mixer on low, add the oil, buttermilk, then eggs one at a time.
Slowly add the hot coffee in a thin stream, pouring down the side of the bowl. Just a warning – the cake batter gets very thin after you add the coffee so don’t panic, it’s meant to be like that. Add the vanilla and mix until the batter is smooth.
Divide the cake batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for about 40-50 min or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Allow to cool in pans for at least 20 minutes.
salted caramel buttercream
adapted from gimme some oven
250g butter, cubed and at room temperature
1 cup icing sugar
8 tbsp salted caramel sauce
In a stand mixer beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy and it becomes pale yellow in colour. Add sifted icing sugar and salted caramel and mix to combine.
(This recipe makes WAY more buttercream than needed for the cake – I aways make too much because I don’t want to run out of buttercream – so feel free to make a smaller batch.)
I love Bailey’s and tend to get a bit heavy handed with it whenever I make this buttercream. If you feel like the xxx is too much feel free to add bits at a time until it’s to your liking. Alternatively you can substitute it with another coffee liqueur such as Kahlua.
400g butter, cubed and at room temperature
2 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp instant coffee powder (if you have granules you can push it through a sive with a spoon)
2/3 cups Bailey’s
1 tsp vanilla extract
In a stand mixer beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy and it becomes pale yellow in colour. Add sifted icing sugar and instant coffee powder and mix to combine.
While mixer is on low, slowly add the Bailey’s a few tablespoons at a time and mix until incorporated between additions. When all the Bailey’s has been added beat on medium speed for a few minutes.
(Again, this makes WAY too much buttercream)
Trim the top part off the cakes. An easy way to do this by using your fingers as a measure and adding toothpicks to where the cake needs to be cut. I used four toothpicks evenly spread around the cake. Then use a sharp knife, starting at one toothpick, carefully cut the cake using a long sawing motion. At this stage you don’t have to cut all the way to the centre of the cake, just deep enough that your knife can reach the next toothpick. Continue until you have made a cut around the whole of the cake then cut the centre. Carefully remove the top part of the cake. (I always use this to do a quick taste-test with the buttercream).
Place the bottom layer onto your serving plate. Fill a piping bag with the salted caramel buttercream. Pipe along the edge of the cake then fill in the centre and smooth out with a palate knife. Alternatively you could spoon the buttercream on to the cake and use a palate knife to spread it out but I find using a piping bag to be a bit neater.
Place the top layer of your cake on top of the buttercream making sure the layers stack neatly.
To get a smooth(ish) finish to the cake fill another piping bag with the Bailey’s buttercream. Pipe vertical line on to the cake all the way around. I piped a line every 0.5-1cm. When you’ve gone all the way around the cake use a palate knife to smooth the buttercream out. Like you did with the bottom layer pipe along the edge of the top of the cake then fill in the centre and smooth out with a palate knife. If you’re having trouble getting a smooth finish to your cake try pouring some hot water over your palate knife, drying it, and then smooth out the buttercream.
Time to decorate! I used the left over buttercreams to pipe blobs onto the top of the cake. I also melted some dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa) and piped blobs on to the cake. Finally I sprinkled some chopped almonds and roasted cacao nibs around the blobs. I also made salted almond praline to go on top of the cake but it’s missing from the pictures because the last time a cupcake version the alcohol in the buttercream made the sugar in the praline to melt (think puddles of caramel everywhere) so it needed to be added at the last minute.
I really hope you enjoyed my first real blog post! Comments/suggestions are welcome and I hope to see you back here soon.