I love it when my birthday comes round and I get to make exactly the cake I want. I’ve been planning this chocolate fudge cake with salted caramel icing for a while as I’m a bit obsessed with everything salted caramel at the moment and knew I wanted to make this frosting (icing? I never know what to call it). You can buy the tins of caramel ready made now, which saves you boiling a tin of condensed milk for three hours the old fashioned way and risking first degree burns into the bargain. Take it easy when you’re salting the caramel icing. Start off with a little bit of salt and keep tasting until you get the required balance of sweet/savoury. Too little and it’s just caramel icing, but then too much and the whole cake will taste salty and yucky. This chocolate fudge cake recipe is SO easy – I’m not claiming it as my own, sadly, as I’m pretty sure I copied it down from a magazine years ago, but it’s one I make a lot and it always comes out soft, moist and delicious. I recommend using muscovado sugar as it has the proper, fudgy taste, but use whatever you have.
Chocolate fudge cake with salted caramel icing
For the chocolate fudge cakes:
175g butter, softened
175g muscovado sugar
3 large free range eggs, beaten
150g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder (not hot chocolate!)
1 tsp vanilla extract
50 dark chocolate, melted
For the salted caramel icing:
350g icing sugar
150g Carnation caramel
Large pinch salt (to taste)
So firstly, preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4 and get all your ingredients together. Line and butter two 20cm tins (loose bottomed is better), make sure the butter is at room temperature, beat the eggs, and sift together the flour, baking powder and cocoa.
Cream the butter and sugar together until it’s really light and fluffy, then turn the mixer down and alternate spooning in the dry ingredients and pouring in the eggs – this is the best way to keep in the air and stop it curdling.
Stir in the vanilla and melted chocolate, and if it seems a bit thick, stir in a splash of milk – I always do that with cake mix, I think it makes the finished cake more tender (swerving the hideous m-word there).
Split the mixture evenly between the two tins, level the top and bake for half an hour. Press the tops, they should spring back – don’t leave them any longer if you can possibly help it – you want them just under if anything.
Meanwhile, make the salted caramel icing: whizz up the butter, then add the sieved icing sugar and a couple of big spoonfuls of the caramel mixture, then carefully add your salt to taste. Pop the icing into the fridge until you need it.
Once the cakes are completely cool (don’t even attempt to ice them until they are – you’ll just get a huge, melted, soggy mess), split the icing roughly in half, spread half on the bottom layer, squidge on the top, and pile the rest on there. I went for three tasteful birthday candles as I didn’t want to set the house on fire with… well, let’s just say more than forty 🙂
If you fancy making my chocolate fudge cake with salted caramel icing this weekend, you could make it a bit Easterified (that’s a word, right?) by adding some cute little mini eggs onto the top too.