Every day, Yahoo Food features delectable cakes. They taste good, they look good, and they’re made by good people — talented bakers from around the world. Today Sarah Coates shares the ultimate candy bar cake from her cookbook The Sugar Hit! Sweets That Pack a Punch!. Tune in this week as we countdown the days to Halloween with the most mouth-watering, ghoulish cakes around!
Photograph by Chris Middleton
By Sarah Coates
Epic Candy Bar Layer Cake
For the times when nothing but an EPIC cake will do, I give you the Epic candy bar layer cake! Layers of chocolate sour cream cake, malted chocolate frosting, salted caramel and chopped-up mini candy bars. This is the birthday cake of my dreams.
2 ¾ ounces butter
8 ½ fluid ounces (1 cup) brewed coffee
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or good-quality natural vanilla extract)
12 ounces (1 ½ cups) caster (superfine) sugar
6 ½ ounces (1 ¼ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
3 ounces (¾ cup) unsweetened (Dutch) cocoa powder
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
Pinch of salt
9 ounces (1 cup) sour cream
8 ounces butter, softened
5 ½ ounces (1 ½ cups) malted drink powder (Ovaltine or Horlicks)
13 ounces (3 cups) icing (confectioners’) sugar
5 ½ ounces dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), melted and cooled slightly
1 ½ ounces sour cream
½ batch Salted Caramel (see below), completely cooled
Chopped mini candy bars, to decorate (Snickers, Twix, Mars, Maltesers, M&Ms or Peanut Butter Cups are good choices)
Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease and line three 7 inch round springform cake tins. Put the butter, coffee and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until the butter is melted. Put the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk together (you might want to sift the cocoa if it’s super lumpy). Add the coffee–butter mixture, sour cream and eggs and whisk until everything is combined. Divide the mixture between the three tins and bake for 20–25 minutes or until the cakes spring back when touched lightly. Leave to cool for at least 10 minutes in the tins, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Use a serrated knife to level off the cakes, if they’re domed.
To make the malt frosting, put the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment until light and creamy. Add the malted drink powder and icing sugar and beat again until incorporated – it may look a little dry, but that’s OK. While mixing on low speed, stream in the melted chocolate and beat until incorporated. Finally, beat in the sour cream. To assemble, place a layer of cake on a stand and dollop on a third of the frosting. Spread it messily across. Drizzle with a little salted caramel and scatter over some chopped candy bars. Repeat with the next 2 layers, finishing with a final scattering of candy pieces. If you need to, anchor the cake with a few skewers. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
I know it’s hardly original, but this stuff is just so good, and so useful in the kitchen. This is my fail-safe recipe. The sugar is, of course, boiling hot, so give it your full attention. Don’t touch it and be very careful. This recipe makes 13 ½ fluid ounces.
8 ounces (1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
4 fluid ounces (½ cup) pouring (single/light) cream (35% fat)
4 ½ ounces butter, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
Put the sugar in a deep heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, along with 2 fluid ounces (¼ cup) water. Cook, without stirring, until the sugar melts and the mixture begins to bubble. If the sugar is melting unevenly, you can tilt and swirl the pan gently, but do not stir. Once the mixture begins to bubble, continue cooking for 5–8 minutes until the sugar darkens to an amber color – you might see some wisps of smoke from the pan, but that’s normal.
Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour in the cream. It will bubble up furiously, but just leave it to settle. Then add the butter, put the pan back over low heat and cook, stirring, until everything melts and combines into a gorgeous caramel. Stir in the salt.
Reprinted with permission from The Sugar Hit! Sweets That Pack a Punch! by Sarah Coates (Hardie Grant).
The Sugar Hit! Sweets That Pack a Punch! by Sarah Coates
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