Spare time is a dangerous thing… in the best kinda way… ya know..
Well, for me I know I tend to spend that;
a) sitting way too close to the tv watching stupidly entertaining daytime shows (ahh… which is totally not talk shows… yeah…)
b) maybe or maybe not annoying my dog by creating reflections that he chases .. yeah his a crazy kinda dog
c) baking. obviously…. for serious extended periods of time, where hours should not be listed here or you would be genuinely convinced that I do nothing other than make a sticky floury mess in the kitchen… which is totally… not…. true.
But on the flip side of this metaphorical coin that is my pointless story, isn’t baking the absolute best way to spend you spare time?
Let’s think about it.
You get to create and put something together (yep, homemade blood sweat and tears), using flavours and ingredients that you love, and then wait for it… you won’t believe it… you get to eat it! BAM! Life is sweet. (pardon the pun)
Homemade goodness that you can enjoy and reap the further rewards of…. Baking is da bomb.
So, that’s exactly what I did my friends! Put my spare time to perfectly good use.
I baked. A Cake. And it twas good.
(yes I did burn my finger from the praline… but they are battle wounds I am willing to endure for the sake of cake. Oh the things I do for you cake.)
It all started on first saturday I had off work in a while, and I spent… well the first half of the day sleeping…gals gotta do what a gals gotta do.
Then I pulled me lazy self out of bed, on a beautiful crisp autumn morning might I add, and kinda headed straight for the kitchen, flour and butter…
And as a perfect saturday would have it, it was the ultimate overcast day, so I could spend the arvo photographing the cake without freaking out that damn direct light was gonna ruin ma groove.
Twas your ultimate saturday I’ll say.
When I was on the hunt for the ultimate cake, I stumbled across this one by the Flourising Foodie.
All my chocolate dreams came true friends…
Cake (moist cake at that), salted caramel (Pools of salted caramel… the best kinda pools), buttercream, with a little macadamia praline that I added just for fun.
A cake most worthy of my spare time. The holy grail of all chocolate cakes. I can officially tick that off my bucket list.
But seriously, this cake is a crowd pleaser, you really can’t go wrong!
Chocolate cake most sadly doesn’t have the most regular occurrence in our house as I wish it would… let’s just say I’m one of the few sweet chocolate tooths that lives here… I don’t get it either…
But when I bake chocolate, boy do I go all out. We’re talkin’ 3 tiers all out. Boo yeah!
(and yep you got it – it was even devoured by the least of chocolate fans! We have officially succeeded at life.)
CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH SALTED CARAMEL AND MACADAMIA PRALINE
recipe adapted from The Flourishing Foodie – Triple Layer Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting
2 cups granulated sugar
80g (1/2 cup) roasted macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
155g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
60ml (1/4 cup) water
2. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the lightly beaten eggs and combine. Add the canola oil and the milk and combine. Stir in the boiling water. Your batter should now be fairly liquid.
3. Divide the batter into the three pans (I weigh it out to get even quantities). Place into the oven and bake for 30 – 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before removing from their pans. Let them finish cooling on a wire rack.
4. For the Salted Caramel, place the corn syrup, water, and granulated sugar in a small saucepan and combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Do not stir the mixture while it’s boiling. Continue to boil until it thickens and turns a light brown caramel color. Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the cream, vanilla, salt, and lemon juice with a wire whisk. If the caramel clumps unevenly, place back on the stove on low heat, and stir until it becomes smooth. Set to the side to cool completely.
5. Meanwhile, make the macadamia praline by lining a baking tray with non-stick baking paper and spreading the macadamia nuts over the tray. Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Cook, without stirring, brushing down the side of pan with a brush dipped in water, for 8 minutes or until golden. Pour over the macadamias. Set aside to cool. Break into shards, then blitz in a food processor until coarse.
(you may have left over praline, so just store it in an air tight container until next opportunity to use is. PS. delicious topping off ice-cream. Just sayin’)