Happy Easter, everyone! As promised, here is my second seasonal Rosie Makes of the week to celebrate. Easter and chocolate go hand in hand, but I also love the warming spice of hot cross bun and simnel. This cake gives the best of both worlds: a moist chocolate sponge with an aromatic simnel-spiced salted caramel and light as air buttercream. The cake itself is an easy Mary Berry all-in-one and the delicious salted caramel is the concoction of chocolatier Paul A Young – I made the whole recipe, which is more than you need, but I also wanted to fill some eggs with it too! I hope you like my table setting: I am making the most of my gorgeous Regency Green Denby crockery again (as featured on my Christmas table too); Danish vintage enamelware (brought all the way back from Copenhagen in my suitcase!); flowers from local florist Rose and Ammi and Gisela Graham egg decorations; making for a mint, lilac and yellow theme. To make the salted caramel, you will need:
150g unsalted butter
150g muscovado sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground mixed spice
150g double cream
40g milk chocolate, finely chopped.
To make the caramel, put the butter, sugars, salt and spices in a heavy bottom pan.
Bring to a gentle simmer and bubble for 8 minutes, then remove from the heat.
Slowly pour in the cream, whisking carefully (it can froth up quite viciously).
Add the milk chocolate and mix until fully melted, then pour the caramel into a heatproof container to cool.
Next, make the cake (my go-to Mary Berry chocolate sponge). You will need:
50g sifted cocoa powder
6 tbsp boiling water
3 large eggs
50 ml milk
175g self-raising flour
1 rounded tsp baking powder
100g softened butter
275g caster sugar.
Preheat the oven to 180C/ Fan 160C/ Gas 4. Grease and line three 20cm sandwich tins. Mix the cocoa and boiling water in a large bowl.
Add the remaining cake ingredients and beat until the mixture is a smooth, thick batter.
Divide the mixture equally between the prepared tins and level the surface.
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until well risen and the top of each cake springs back when pressed lightly. Leave to cool in the tins then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack. Meanwhile, make the buttercream. Cream 105g butter in a stand mixer until pale. Add 335g icing sugar gradually, beating between each addition.
Add 30 ml milk to loosen, along with a tablespoon of the simnel-spiced salted caramel.
Beat until almost white in colour and fluffy and light in texture. Firm up a little in the fridge, then construct your cake. Cover the first sponge with the buttercream, a layer of caramel, top with the second sponge and repeat.
Cover the top layer and sides with the remaining buttercream, and spoon the caramel over the top, letting it drip down the sides. Decorate with chocolate eggs and serve!
Perfect for Easter afternoon tea.
What are you baking this Easter weekend?
Plates c/o Denby but all love of seasonal table settings my own.