This is a big day for Supergolden Bakes because the blog turns the ripe old age of ONE.
When I started this whole adventure a year ago, I was completely clueless about writing a blog, promoting it, taking decent photographs or much of anything really. I was just enthusiastic about baking and wanted to somehow share it with the world. So I jumped in with both feet - and you can't say the first blog post wasn't ambitious!
Twelve months went by really fast. I have baked (and eaten) an AWFUL lot. I have discovered an immense and vigorous international baking community, branched out into developing my own recipes, attended a handful of great events and worked in partnership with some fantastic brands. But most of all, I have discovered that what started merely as a way to pass the time has turned into a real passion - what I enjoy doing the most. I want you to know that I appreciate every single comment left on this blog, every visit, Facebook like, tweet and Google+ share. Thank you.
A birthday (even a blog one) would never be complete without cake. I dithered about what to make to celebrate this milestone and in the end I decided to revisit an old recipe - one that I have made repeatedly and which has never let me down. It really is a beautifully moist (sorry - dreadful word!) cake and the buttercream is out of this world.
If you have never made Italian buttercream, don't be intimidated. It really isn't very difficult. Approach fearlessly, keep whisking and you will be rewarded!
Black Magic Cake
Makes 2x23cm/9 in or 3x20cm/8 in or 4-5x16cm/7in cakes
200g | 7oz plain flour
350g | 12oz caster sugar
75g | 3oz cocoa powder
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
225ml | 8 fl oz strong coffee or water
225ml | 8 fl oz buttermilk
100ml | 4 fl oz vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 180C | 350F. Prepare 3x20cm pans or 2x23cm pans by spraying with cake release spray or grease with vegetable shortening and dust with flour.
2. Sift all the dry ingredients into the bowl of your stand mixer.
3. Put the buttermilk, oil, coffee (or water) eggs and flavourings in a measuring jug. Mix together lightly with a fork . Cover the bowl of the mixer and slowly add the wet ingredients while mixing on low speed using the paddle attachment. Increase the speed to high and mix for 2-3 mins. Stop and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl (the batter tends to settle) and then mix for another minute.
4. Divide the batter (it will be quite thin - don't be alarmed) among the cake tins, filling only halfway. Bake in the centre of the oven for around 30-35 minutes. The cakes should be firm on top and a skewer inserted into the centre of each should come out clean.
5. Let them cool completely before frosting. These cakes have a really soft crumb - put them in the fridge, covered in cling film, for at least an hour before frosting. Or put them in the freezer for 30 mins.
Note: Can be made up to three days ahead and refrigerated.
Baileys Salted Caramel
To paraphrase New Girl, this is so good it ended the Cold War.
300g | 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
60ml | 1/4 cup water
200ml | 7 fl oz double cream
40-80ml | about 1/4-1/2 cup Baileys or other Irish Cream liquor
30g | 2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 - 1 tbsp Maldon coarse sea salt (more or less, to taste)
1. Combine the cream and Baileys in a measuring jug.
2. Put the sugar and water in a medium heavy-bottomed pan. Bring to the boil and cook, swirling the pan, until the sugar dissolves and the colour changes to amber. Remove from the heat and pour the cream - be careful, this will cause the caramel to bubble and rise in the pan. When the bubbling stops, add the butter and whisk till combined.
3. Return the saucepan to the heat and cook the caramel for a couple of minutes. Add the salt and check the taste (carefully! Caramel is very hot).
4. Strain the caramel through a fine sieve into a bowl and cool. You can thin the caramel by adding more Baileys or cream. If it sets you can heat it gently until it's pouring consistency.
Italian Meringue Buttercream
200g | 1 cup caster sugar
60ml | 1/4 cup water
150g | 5 oz egg whites (equivalent 5 large eggs)
250g | 2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
100g | 3 1/2 oz of dark chocolate, melted and cooled
5 tbsp of the Baileys Salted Caramel sauce (or more, to taste)
1. Put the sugar and water in a saucepan and clip on a sugar thermometer. Bring the sugar and water to the boil.
2. Put the egg whites and salt into the bowl of your stand mixer. When the sugar temperature reaches 110C (230F) start whisking till you get soft peaks.
3. When the sugar reaches 120C (240F) take off the heat and very carefully pour the sugar syrup into the whisked egg whites. Pour down the side of the mixing bowl in a steady stream while whisking at medium-high speed. Once all the syrup is in, increase speed to highest setting and whisk until you have a glossy meringue and bowl has cooled slightly.
4. Reduce speed slightly and start adding the butter, one large cube at a time, waiting until each is mixed in before adding the next. Once all the butter incorporated, add the cooled melted chocolate and salted caramel.
5. To assemble the cakes, spread some caramel on each layer then pipe or smooth a generous amount of buttercream to sandwich the layers together. Add a thin layer of buttercream as a 'crumb coating' and chill cake for up to an hour before adding the final layer of frosting. Sprinkle some salt flakes or drizzle with caramel before serving.
A year ago I was making...