I’m a huge fan of the simple things in life, such as fresh sheets, strong coffee, laughter, and hugs. Yet, when it comes to cake, I’ve noticed that the current trends are moving away from the ‘Simple Life’ with combinations and decorations that would make even Mary Berry raise an eyebrow.
The fact we were due to visit family gave me the perfect excuse to bake something delicious, I logged onto Pinterest and started to search for inspiration. I wanted to make something a little different, yet achievable and without huge amounts of stress or having to source complicated ingredients. If I’m honest, I’d be more than happy with gorging on an endless supply of brownies containing everything but the kitchen sink, however, it wasn’t actually about me for a change and I wanted to impress.
I decided to keep things straightforward by baking a vanilla cake with the addition of brown sugar and dates, allowing for the rich Salted Caramel icing to be the feature point. Alongside lashings of white chocolate, caramac buttons, bars, and glorious gold edible confetti. Whilst this cake won’t win any awards for detailed decoration and complicated structure, it allowed me to be playful and focus on baking something delicious.
You could easily make this cake gluten-free, by switching up the flour (my Mum recommends Morrisons own brand gluten-free flour) and you can leave out the chopped dates too! Plus, don’t worry if the frosting sounds complicated, Tesco sells a delicious ready-made Salted Caramel Icing, that I might just have used myself. Also, on the topic of icing, I chose not to sandwich the middle with frosting, but this would be a scrumptious addition if you felt inclined.
- 175g (6oz) Margarine
- 175g (6oz) Brown sugar
- 3 large eggs.
- 175g (6oz) self-raising flour, sifted.
- 1tsp baking powder.
- 1tsp vanilla extract.
- pinch of salt.
- 8 Dates – Chopped
- 125g/4½oz white caster sugar
- 80ml/2½fl oz double cream
- ½ tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 160g/5¾oz salted butter, softened
- 200g/7oz icing sugar
- White chocolate melted and poured over the icing + caramac buttons + caramac bars and gold edible confetti (from Tesco’s)
- Start by pre: heating the oven to 180g and lightly greasing a round cake tin.
- Now, you have two options – For ease I tend to place all of the ingredients into my mixer and allow my mixer take on all the hard work.
- For the old fashioned baker, start by beating the eggs and placing to one side and then using a hand mixer cream the butter and sugar, slowly add in the eggs and other dry ingredients until a smooth batter has formed.
- Pour into your cake tin and bake for around 45 minutes.
- Once the cake has cooled, remove from the tin and place on a plate ready to start the frosting.
- In a large saucepan, heat the caster sugar and four tablespoons of water over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved, then increase the heat and cook the caramel for 2-3 minutes, or until golden and slightly thickened. Remove the pan from the heat right away and stir in the cream. Stir in the salt and vanilla and leave until completely cool.
- Cream the butter and icing sugar together for at least 4- 5 minutes, then beat in the caramel. When combined pipe or spread the icing over the top of the cake
- Melt some white chocolate (around 30g) and drizzle over the top of the cake, quickly add the caramac, confetti and more white chocolate buttons.
- Icing recipe from BBC Goodfood – https://www.bbc.com/food/recipes/gingerbread_cupcakes_24180
- You can also cheat and buy pre-made salted caramel frosting.
Tell me, what’s your favorite cake at the moment?