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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Salted caramel peanut butter mini layer cake

Recently, hubby bought me a mini salted caramel cake that left the carb fearing person in me wanting for more. What to do when the cake shop is in town? I did the next best thing and got busy in the kitchen.
Flat tops are a must for layered cakes. This eliminates waste and spares the shaving away of the cake dome. For this, I have to tone down the baking temperature and increase the baking time.
For two 5-inch cakes, the original temperature of 176C is tweaked to 160C and baking time from 25 minutes to 35 minutes. I find the cake a wee dry even at 33 minutes ( yeah, I did an encore baking ! ). Nevertheless, 160C/35 minutes  was good enough for me to eat. In fact I had to control myself from devouring all of the cake trimmings ‘tainted’ with the frosting and caramel.  The difference for 160C/33 minutes was slight. Maybe I will tone down the temperature to 150C the next round and see if it yields a slightly tender crumb.
The cool and chill process is important for   crumb free frosting. I was rewarded for my patience because the cake turned out looking fabulous.
It was out of character to praise myself but I really love how final cake tastes. Perhaps it was the sea salt. Brown sugar is nice but sea salt makes it sparkles. Good thing this is a mini cake or else I will have to make another 10km run pretty soon.
The procedure is long so read it before baking. I find it useful to go through a mental picture of the process so that I don’t have to rummage my fridge or pantry halfway for things.

Credits : chocolatemoosey and JamieOliver (both adapted)

Peanut Butter Frosting:

Credits: Chocolatemoosey

50g creamy peanut butter + 20g unsalted butter, room temperature + 1/4 cup icing sugar +  1/8 tsp crushed sea salt + 1/4 teaspoon vanilla + 3 Tbsp heavy cream
This can be done when the cake is baking. Whisk all the above until combined.
Set aside.

Salted caramel
Credits: Adapted from JamieOliver
40g water + 80g soft brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean extract + 60ml heavy cream + 10g unsalted butter + 1 tbsp sea salt
Bring water and sugar to boil. Remove from heat immediately.
Add essence, cream, butter and salt. Stir until all is dissolved.
Cool and set aside.

Cake dough
Credits : Chocolatemoosey ( Adapted )
Two 5 inch silicon trays, bottom greased
A: 50g plain flour + ¼ tsp baking powder, sieved
B: 50g unsalted butter, room temperature + 50g smooth peanut butter + 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
¼ cup fine soft brown sugar
1 medium egg + ¼ tsp vanilla essence
6 Tbsp full cream milk
4 inch cooker cutter
3 pecans, toasted and cooled.
Coarse sea salt for garnish
Preheat oven to 170C with raised baking rack.
To make the dough, prepare two 5 inch silicon baking tray with greased bottom ( for insurance ). Set aside.
Set aside (A) flours in a single bowl.
In a mixer, beat (B) i.e. butter and peanut butter  and salt until combined.
Whisk in sugar until light.
Whisk in egg, vanilla until it is fluffy.
Add (A) flour in 3 batches. Alternate with milk in 2 batches. End the addition with dry ingredient.
Whisk until it forms ridges.
To prepare for baking, spoon equal amount of batter to the 2 silicon trays.
Drop the tray to spread out the batter.
Bake the cake at 160C ( reduced from preheat temp of  170C ) for 33 minutes. ( see my notes above )
When cool enough to handle, remove the 2 mini cakes. Cool further on tray lined with silpat.
Freeze for 10 minutes.
To assemble, work with the flat side of the cake facing you.
For the bottom layer, brush salted caramel on surface until it is totally drenched.
Spoon a generous dollop of frosting on the center of the bottom layer.
Place the top layer on the bottom frosted layer.
Press the top layer firmly until frosting peeks out from the cakes.
Use a 4 inch cooker cutter and cut out the layered dough.
Carefully discard the outer cake rim and remove the cutter.
Frost the surface of the top layer. Make patterns so caramel can on the surface.
Pour the caramel in desired pattern, letting a little drip down the layered cake.
Pressed down the pecans in the center of the frosting.
Sprinkle with sea salt.
To serve, bring out from the chiller for 15 minutes before eating.
Best with coffee.

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