Thursday, 21 June 2012

Butterscotch, Caramel and Chocolate Checkerboard Cake

My love affair with checkerboard cakes continues and I got the pleasure of making this one again last week. Three of my favourite flavours; butterscotch in the golden layer, caramel in the light brown layer and the chocolate in the chocolate brown layer.
The cake rings are joined with a delicious butter caramel sauce and all wrapped in a whipped butterscotch buttercream. Let me just repeat my favourite bit there; whipped butterscotch buttercream !
Also, just to show that you don't need any special equipment to make this fun cake. Directions for this are below or you can go to the Knickerboker Glory Cake - Checkerboard Style for Strawberry, Chocolate and Vanilla version made in June last year. 

Magical Fairy Dust in the Kitchen? or Overuse of Gold Shimmer Spray!
Word of warning on the gold shimmer spray, I got a bit carried away and sprayed it from a distance onto the cake and the particles hung in the air for some time before hitting the floor. ( Yes I have used it before.... ) Whether it was due to the warmth that the shimmer suspended in the air for some time, I'm not sure but I took a quick picture.
However, it was only later in the evening as we got ready with the reflection of the artificial light, I realised that we were all sparkling on our hair and clothes! I'm not sure that it was a good idea to breathe that in either. The cake on the other hand has only a very slight coating of gold....

Ingredients :

Butterscotch and Caramel Cakes :

225g   Butter
225g   Soft brown sugar
1 tbsp golden/corn syrup
4 Large eggs
225g   Self raising flour
2 tbsp Milk

2 tbsp Caramel Syrup for one half
2 tsp Butterscotch flavouring for the other half

Chocolate Cake :

110g  Butter
110g  Caster sugar
1 tbsp golden/corn syrup
2 Eggs
55g Self raising flour
55g  Cocoa powder (light cocoa such as Cadburys)
1 tbsp Milk

6-8 tbsp Caramel Sauce for joining cake rings

Butterscotch Buttercream for inside and outside decoration:

440g Icing sugar
110g Butter
3+ tbsp Milk
A few drops of butterscotch essence to taste


Preheat oven 160c/140c Fan/325F/Gas Mark 3.

Grease three tins and line bottom with baking paper. Quantities are for three 7 inch /18cm cake tins.

Cream the sugar and butter together. Beat in the syrup. Whisk in the eggs one at a time. Fold in the flour.  Divide into two. You can weigh each one to make sure you have the same weight of mixture in both, for two even bakes.
Add butterscotch and 1 tbsp milk to one and add the caramel syrup and 1 tbsp milk to the other.
Make up the chocolate cake batter using the same method but  fold in the flour and cocoa. Add milk to soften batter.

Place in the centre of the oven. Check after 20 minutes. Cook until risen and a skewer comes cleanly out. Allow to cool.

Chill cakes before cutting out circles to reduce crumbing. You can use a special tin or simply use a glass for the centre circles, score with a knife and then cut out. For the outer circle use a saucer  or small bowl to draw around and cut out. Do the same for all three.

Put the colour circles into three different colour sets before you begin to assemble. In the past I have got the wrong combo and not got 3 different colours in each layer and it is very, very messy to take apart.

Put circles onto a wire rack.

Warm the caramel sauce lightly and brush or spoon onto the cut surfaces. Compared to using jam or jelly this was quite a sticky operation. 

Insert circles back into cakes making three layers. If you don't have much room in the fridge use grease proof paper between finished layers before stacking on top of each other to stop them sticky together.

  Chill for 10  minutes.

Make simple butter cream – whisk butter, and icing sugar and flavouring together. Add tbsp of the milk at a time until smooth enough to spreadable.  Spread the icing on top of the first and second layers and place the final layer on top. Spread on a crumb coat of icing. Return to fridge and chill until firm. Finish with final layer of buttercream. The cake was finished with a gold shimmer spray and some gold stars. Leave for the buttercream to firm slightly before cutting. This cake also freezes well. Magic!