Sep 29, 2012


Oh boy, I have been in baking/cooking hibernation haven't I? It really has been too long- but with the hot and terribly humid weather we've been having for the last few months, being near a flaming oven or stove was the last thing on my mind. 

Anyway, everything in it's time right? And so I'm back, and the first baking bug of the season has bitten me

With that said, admittingly I was feeling a bit stressed the other day and to remedy for that I have two options: run until I can't feel my legs anymore or... walk into my favorite grocery shop, grab a basket and wander down the aisles picking up ingredients in a totally spontaneous manner. Well- grocery shopping it was. And  getting lost in aisle four (which happens to be where the baking ingredients are) is often my favorite way to brainstorm a cake recipe. 

This all led me to what turned out to be a fabulous caramel cake with a crunchy chocolate toffee cream cheese frosting. Yes, it was truly fabulous! For those who love to cook, you know that when you make something good, you have every right to shout it loud and clear on your rooftop! I'm a generally modest person in many aspects in life...but when it comes to food, I certainly have my proud peacock moments :) 
There are two "secret" ingredients I love to add to my cakes: rum and mahlepi (pictured above, which is cracked cherry seeds). Their magical effect is subtle...yet noticeable at the same time! 

I threw in some crushed toffee and chocolate into my cream frosting

And here is the delicious caramel cake. After months of being away from the oven, baking this cake felt like such a relief and satisfying experience! 

Recipe for Caramel Cake with Crunchy Chocolate & Toffee Cream Frosting

Caramel Cake
Ingredients for a standard 9 inch/22cm round cake pan

4 eggs
200gr softened butter
1 tablespoon rum (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150gr sugar
100gr caramel syrup 
230gr flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon mahlepi (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F/180C. 
In a bowl, mix the eggs, butter, rum, vanilla, sugar and caramel together. 
Add the flour, baking powder, salt and mahlepi. Mix until batter is smooth.
Transfer to a greased & floured cake pan. When filled tap pan a few times on a kitchen counter or on the floor to pop any bubbles in the batter. Bake for 30 mins. Check with a knife to see if cake is thoroughly baked. If not, extend baking time by sequences of 10 mins. 

Crunchy Chocolate Toffee Cream Frosting
I work off a standard recipe which is based off the following proportions: 
For 1 portion of cream cheese add 1/4 portion of whipped butter and 1/4 portion of sugar. Add milk to smooth if necessary
Crushed toffee and chocolate (if in the US, Heath Baking Bits work fine). 

Whisk the cream cheese, butter, sugar together. Add a bit of milk to smoothen mixture if necessary.
Throw in toffee and chocolate at the very end, mix carefully. Frost cake on an elevated stand for better coverage. 


Uzaimi Mutalib said...

Hello Marianna!
I have no doubt that this cake is amazing, just looking at the pictures! I'm just wondering about the caramel it sold in supermarkets (I haven't seen one yet and I'm from Malaysia, by the way)or you make your own syrup? I'd appreciate ur response very much! :)


Marianna said...

Hi Uzaimi- thanks for your comment! Im not familiar with the Malaysian grocery offerings... so you might come across ready made caramel syrup. Otherwise you can make your own by heating 1 cup sugar in a pot on medium heat. Keep stirring until the sugar dissolves and becomes of a golden colour. Don't let it burn- just when it's liquidy and has a beautiful golden colour is perfect and you can incorporate it into the cake mixture. Hope this helps!!

Omar said...

Where can I find Mahlab? And what is it exactly? I see it's optional, but I would like to use it. Thanks!

Marianna said...

Hi Michele,
Malhab is a spice made from the seeds of a certain cherry. Im not sure where you live...but I maybe it can be found in Middle Eastern or Greek shops...or specialty food stores? Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Can you help with the conversions of grams??