April is always an especially busy month. This partly has to do with Easter, but mostly because it’s the month I celebrate my birthday. While I never invite a large crowd to my birthday party, I do try to make the most of the occasion and use it to try out new recipes. in my husbands family, it’s a sort of tradition that the feestvarken (literally translated it means party piggy) arranges an array of food for their guests. This year, I documented all the recipes and I took pictures of everything, so the next couple of posts will center around the fod I served at my birthday party.
For today, I thought I’d start with the newest and most elaborate recipe. i know it might make more sense to work my way up to it and do the other recipes first, but I just can’t wait to tell you about this one, so here it is anyway 🙂
This year’s centerpiece was a salted caramel cake. I found the recipe online, but did adapt it a little bit to basically make my husband happy (he really wanted chocolate cake and this recipe actually has yellow cake, so I added some cocoa powder).
The recipe I used is Cleobuttera’s Perfect Caramel Cake (with sea salt) and you can find the recipe here. It;s quite a long recipe, so I won’t print it in its entirety (and you can look it up for yourself if you’re interested).
Like I said above, I did add a bit of cocoa powder, probably 2 tablespoons. Of course I SHOULD have reduced the amount of flour with the same amount, but because I only decided on the cocoa powder after I had already mixed in the flour. Another change I made was that I used honey instead of light corn syrup. The reason for that is simply that light corn syrup is a pain to find here in the Netherlands. I did search for it, but didn;t find it anywhere and when searching for it I did find some Dutch websites that said you could use honey instead, so in the end, that;s what I did.
So, how did it turn out do you ask? Well, here’s what the finished cake looked like:
As you can see I added some chocolate shavings and the pieces of chocolate you see are bits of Tony’s Chocolonely milk chocolate with caramel and sea salt (my all-time favourite chocolate in the WORLD). If the bits of chocolate seem uneven, that is absolutely correct. Tony’s bars are all devided into unequal bits, which can be a bit annoying when you’re trying to decorate a cake with them, but it doesn’t really matter in the eating.
Now, as you may also be able to see, I had placed the cake on my serving platter before I added the caramel icing. While I loved the flavours, I must admit I didn’t really think the cake looked the best. There was a big puddle of caramel icing on the platter (I’m not complaining, that stuff is the BEST), while in some places, the cake wasn’t entirely coated in it. Because the caramel cooled so quickly, any attempt to fix it basically made it worse (which is why, in the end, I just decided to leave the puddle).
Having said that, everyone loved the flavour of the cake and even the people who were a bit uncertain about salted caramel before said they thought it really worked in this cake. I completely agree with that assessment. Without the salt, the caramel would probably have been too sweet, but the little pops of salt in there balanced the whole cake out.
So, what would I change next time? Well, as much as I like chocolate cake, I would probably not add cocoa powder next time. Maybe I simply overbaked the cake, but I did feel it was quite dry, which I’m sure was not what the original recipe intended. Apart from that, I would use a larger pan to make the caramel. It did say to use a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, and I did use a relatively large one, but the caramel bubbled up way more than I thought it would, so at some point I had to transfer the boiling caramel into an even larger suacepan, which is far from ideal (and leaves more washing up and a stressed Femke).
Apart from that there is nothing I would change, because quite frankly, this recipe is great and I love it! So thank you Cleobuttera for this wonderful recipe and to everyone else: till next time!