As this cake was taken to the restaurant to share with my aunt and uncle’s family, unfortunately I do not have a picture of what the inside of the cake turned out because it was cut into experimental squares and triangles, and essentially a mangled mess. Nevertheless, I think the cake when it was still whole turned out quite pretty!
I used a mix of recipes from the following bakers to make my cake – Cupcake Jemma, Summer Stone, Yolanda from How to Cake It ! To be precise, I followed Jemma’s Sponge Cake recipe to make my sponge layers, the Swiss Buttercream recipe from Summer Stone, and Yolanda’s Easy Caramel recipe.
Making the Sponge
Source: Jamie Oliver | YouTube
Small changes I made were I did not brown the butter as Jemma did in her recipe, and I didn’t add in ground gloves or zest of two clementines. These changes were made from a mixture of preferred taste. I also used maple syrup instead of golden syrup, because this is what I had on hand. Regardless, I think these are small changes and I really loved the way the sponge tasted!! This recipe is easy to follow and I have listed out the ingredients and method that I adapted from Jemma’s original recipe at the end of this post.
Note: I made three 9 inch layers instead of four 8 inch layers that Jemma does.
I’ve read about the magicalness of swiss buttercream for some time now, but I’ve always been put off by how time consuming it sounds to make, how fickle the buttercream can be if you don’t do it right, and the lack of time I usually have when making a cake. But I came across this recipe by Summer Stone, and it was such an excellent and comprehensive post, perfect for first time buttercreamers like me. In her post she breaks down her thought process on making buttercream and subsequently supports her method in how she makes stable, beautiful and delicious buttercream without all the potential tears.
This buttercream was a dream to use, and I am definitely using this buttercream more in the future for cakes!
Okay, I admit that my caramel was made via a shortcut, courtesy of the wonderful Yolanda Gamp from How to Cake It. I essentially got a pack (150g) of Werther’s “Cream Caramels” (that’s what the Werther’s caramels are called here in Australia) and melted them down in a saucepan over heat. I note that Yo mentioned that she uses soft caramels, but since I couldn’t find soft caramels here, I decided to just try my luck with the cream caramels being typically hard as rocks. From my results, I think soft caramels just have less melting time- I didn’t have a problem with my hard caramels. Be sure to stay vigilant in watching your caramels – you don’t want them to burn so remember to constantly stir and be EXTRA careful when adding in the cream; there will be a lot of hissing from the caramel so be careful of eyes and hands!
My caramel was partially incorporated into my buttercream to taste.
There was no real method when it came to decorating this cake, and the way I chose my decorations was a mixture of imaging what I thought would go well together (caramel popcorn and curly wurlies – the common caramel part seemed logical to me) and then it was a matter of just finding other decorations that would be aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
This was a super heavy cake to carry but I thought the effort was worth it, particularly for someone I love very much. Many new firsts for this cake, so it will not be one I forget soon!
Recipe For the Sponge Cake:
Adapted from Cupcake Jemma
-1.5 tbsp Maple Syrup
-375g soft unsalted butter
-300g caster sugar
-75g dark brown sugar
-6 large eggs
-370g self raising flour
-1 tsp salt
-2 tsp cinnamon
-2 tsp ground ginger
- Beat sugar and eggs together until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add in the 6 eggs, beating for 30 seconds in between each.
- Add in all your sifted dry ingredients together on the lowest setting, before adding in 4 tbs whole milk. Gently fold all the ingredients together.
- Divide your batter between 3 greased and floured 9″ round tins, levelling before baking for 20 minutes at 170C or 150C fan forced.