Salted Caramel Peanut Cake

A beautiful malted caramel sponge, with a salted caramel sauce, French buttercream and whipped cream filling – with a peanut crunch!

I know many people critique salted caramel for being so 2017, but for me, I absolutely love it! My best friend Pavit also loves it too.

I made a variant of this cake for his birthday last year, and to be honest, the sponge was rather dry, albeit the flavours being good. I got the chance to bake this cake again for another friend’s birthday and spent a lot of time recipe testing different sponges. I finally nailed it – a light, soft and fluffy sponge, mostly thanks to the reverse creaming method of mixing.

There are a few components to this cake, but each adds something so wonderful. For me, the star of the show is actually the caramel French buttercream. Caramel cakes can end up being cloyingly sweet, but by using a French buttercream, it lends a velvety texture to the cake and helps to balance the sweetness perfectly.

Do not skip the peanuts (unless you have a nut allergy, of course). They add wonderful texture and saltiness to the recipe. Finally, that salted caramel sauce is super easy, but is the stuff that dreams are made off.

There are a few steps to this recipe, but just consume it in bite size chunks and you will be rewarded by one of the most spectacular ever!

If you make this recipe, please share it with me by tagging me on Instagram @adventureswithsugar or on Facebook at Adventures with Sugar. Please also leave a comment below to let me know how you got on with the recipe.

CARAMEL SPONGE CAKE

  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 210g salted butter
  • 200g muscovado sugar
  • 60g golden syrup
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 50g malted milk powder (horlicks)
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 6 large eggs
  • 60ml milk

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Grease and line three sixteen centimeter tins with baking paper.
  2. Place the butter, oil, muscovado sugar, golden syrup, self-raising flour, malted milk powder and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl.
  3. In a separate jug, add in the eggs, milk and vanilla essence. Whisk by hand for about 30 seconds.
  4. Pour half of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix for about 45 seconds.
  5. Then add in the remaining wet ingredients and mix on medium speed until the batter comes together and becomes voluminous, about 1 minute more. Do not worry if the batter looks slightly curdled.
  6. Divide equally between the three pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE

  • 200g sugar
  • 125ml cream, room temperature
  • 60g butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon flaked sea salt

METHOD

  1. Place the sugar in a large pot so that the sugar just covers the base of the pot (If the sugar feels too much, I suggest making the caramel in two batches).
  2. Heat the sugar until it just turns a deep amber colour. You want it to take on some flavour, so do not let it be too light.
  3. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter.
  4. Then slowly pour in the cream, constantly whisking all the time.
  5. Return to the stove for just 20 more seconds and then remove.
  6. Crush the flaked salt and add it to the caramel sauce.
  7. Set aside to cool.

WHIPPED CREAM FILLING

  • 160ml whipping cream.
  • 100g salted caramel sauce (See above).

METHOD

  1. Whip the cream to soft peaks.
  2. Then add in the caramel sauce and whip until stiff peaks form.

CARAMEL FRENCH BUTTERCREAM

  • 160g brown sugar
  • 75ml water
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 370g salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 320g Dulce de leche/ caramel treat

METHOD

  1. Combine sugar and water in medium saucepan. Heat over low heat while stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium- high and bring to a boil.
  2. In the meanwhile, put the egg yolks in a stand-mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and beat until thick and foamy.
  3. When the sugar syrup reaches 116 ceclius, remove it from the heat. Slowly stream it into the egg yolks, by pouring it down the side of your mixer.
  4. Continue mixing until the bottom of the bowl is cool to the touch and the yolk mixture has cooled to room temperature.
  5. Add in butter one cube at a time allowing each piece to incorporate before adding the next. Add vanilla. Continue mixing until buttercream is smooth and creamy. (About 5-6 minutes).
  6. Add in the dulce de leche/caramel treat and continue to mix until smooth and creamy.

TO ASSEMBLE

  • 80g peanuts, plus 30g crushed to finish
  • three salted caramel sponges
  • one batch salted caramel sauce (divided in two parts)
  • one batch caramel french buttercream
  • one part whipped cream (divided in two parts)
  1. Begin by sticking one of your cakes to your cake plate using some buttercream.
  2. Spread about three tablespoons of salted caramel sauce on the sponge.
  3. Using a large round nozzle, pipe a ring of buttercream just on the inner rim of the sponge to create a dam, this prevents the cream from oozing out.
  4. Fill the inside of the dam with half of the whipped cream, sprinkle with some peanuts and drizzle some caramel sauce over.
  5. Then place the next layer of sponge on top.
  6. Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4 on the second layer as well.
  7. Place the final cake layer on the top.
  8. Add a thin coat of icing, a crumb coat, to the outside of the cake.
  9. Place in the fridge for 45 minutes.
  10. Give the cake a final quote with the caramel french buttercream.
  11. Place the remaining salted caramel sauce in a piping bag. You may have to microwave the sauce for five seconds to soften it.
  12. Pipe a drip around the sides of the cake, and fill the center with more of the sauce, spreading it around with a palette knife.
  13. Pipe little swirls on the top of the cake, with a star nozzle.
  14. Finish off with the salted peanuts.

Recipe by adventureswithsugar.com

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