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Monday 19 May 2014

Gluten Free: Chocolate & Salted Caramel Cakes

I don’t want to prematurely celebrate, but it really feels like Spring is properly here, doesn’t it? We’ve had a glorious weekend of warm, sunny weather and it rather looks like today’s going to be similarly lovely. 

Who doesn’t love sunshine? Well, me, sort of. I’m from that distinguished group of people who describe their complexion as ‘Celtic’, when really we mean ‘pasty and opaque’. Sun makes me wilt, turn bright red and feel generally hot and bothered. In spite of hat, SPF 30 and lots of shade, I feel a little fragile today. I’m slightly dehydrated, even though I didn’t have any booze (promise) and I’ll bet some of you feel the same way. We need salt. Not loads, just a touch. Enough to return the balance to our delicate systems. 

That’s the perfect excuse (if you need one) to indulge in these cakes. Rich chocolate cake, smooth vanilla icing and a cheeky wee dose of salted caramel hidden inside. They fall into the ‘looks impressive, actually quite easy to make’ category, which is my favourite kind of cake. Just remember to say, "it's for the good of my health," when you reach for a second one.

Chocolate and Salted Caramel Cake (makes 12)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Decoration time: 15 minutes

You will need:
For the cakes:
  • 20g cocoa powder (check the label, some carry that pesky ‘may contain traces…’ warning)
  • 130g gluten free self raising flour mix
  • ¾ tsp baking powder (make sure it’s gluten free)
  • 185g caster sugar
  • 100g sour cream
  • 67g vegetable oil
  • 2 medium eggs
To decorate
  • 120g salted caramel (make your own or buy some, M&S’s is good)
  • 300g softened butter
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean 
Make it!
The cakes:
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and line a bun tray with cupcake cases. 
  2. Sift the cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl. 
  3. Add self raising flour mix, baking powder and sugar then whisk to combine. 
  4. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the sour cream, oil and eggs. Mix well, until there are no lumps. 
  5. Divide the mixture between twelve cupcake cases, and bake for 15 minutes (until the surface feels springy to the touch). 
  6. Transfer to a rack to cool.

To decorate:
  1. Put the butter in a bowl and sieve the icing sugar in with it. Beat until light and fluffy, then fold in vanilla bean extract. 
  2. When the cakes have cooled, remove a section from the centre of each cake, I use an apple corer to do this. 
  3. Fill each indentation with salted caramel, about a teaspoon-worth in each cake.
  4. Pipe the icing on to the cakes (I used an open star nozzle which cost me £1 at the cake decorating shop), then drizzle some extra caramel over the top, letting it run down the grooves in the icing.
  5. If you like, sprinkle a few sea salt flakes on top to finish. 

1 comment:

  1. These look incredible. I'm so impressed with our ability to hide things in cake.


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