Hello Everyone! Today is a special day, and that special day is my birthday! For those who want to know, I am 24 years young today, and another year wider, I mean, wiser, but not another year taller unfortunately. It’s been 4 years since I last celebrated my birthday in Brunei with my family, and friends I grew up and went to high school with. It’s been that long because for the past 4 years I’ve spent my birthday’s in Australia, with my friends from uni. I didn’t really plan anything special, I just organised a dinner party at Villa Mauri last Friday night with some friends; exchanging conversations, laughter, and of course, no gathering is complete without some dirty talk! We’ve all not changed one bit 🙂 I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank those who came that night, and also thank everyone else who has greeted me so far. I am so blessed to have family and friends from all over sending love my way. I know, that sounded a bit cheesy.
Birthday with my high school friends at Villa Mauri (November 6th, 2015)
Birthday with my work friends at Patisserie (November 9th, 2015)
I baked this cake yesterday afternoon for my birthday dinner tonight with my mom and my sister. Seriously, I cannot stress out how much I hate frosting – it take so bloody long for me to get it perfect. Well, not so much perfect, but for me to get it to cover the cake. I don’t know if I’m doing it wrong or I should blame the climate, but the buttercream is runny to begin with, so I put it in the freezer to stiffen up a bit before I frost. Then when I start frosting, it quickly becomes runny again to the point that I have to keep placing the cake in and out of the freezer multiple times before I can get the frosting to somewhat cover the cake. But anyway, after much frustration on the eve of my birthday, I managed to get a decent looking cake up I guess (so over it right now – so over baking cakes altogether).
Actually, I think I know the reason (maybe not really) why my frosting was runny. I had a look at the ingredients photo that I took and saw that I had icing sugar in it. At first, I thought that that might’ve been the reason, but when I looked at the original recipe, there was no sign of icing sugar. So why did my frosting go wrong?! 😦 Not enough butter?
Birthday with my family at home (November 9th 2015)
Anyway, I’ve been wanting to make a cake like this for a while; as in the whole salted caramel with caramel popcorn on top kind of cake. I was blown away when I came across it over on La Pêche Fraîche – so beautiful and well photographed. So don’t forget to check out the original recipe over on her blog; she has adapted the different components to making this cake from various recipes (all links have been acknowledged below). Plus, her’s looks much more beautiful, and somehow taller than my cake *cries*.
PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 50-55 MINS | SERVES 8-10
For the yellow butter cake (adapted from Joy of Baking)
- 120g unsalted butter
- 4 large free range egg yolks
- 2 & 1/4 cups plain flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 & 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the salted caramel (adapted from FoodSwoon)
- 30g unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp corn syrup
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the salted caramel Italian meringue buttercream (adapted from FoodSwoon)
- 350g unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp corn syrup
- Pinch of salt
- Half of a batch of salted caramel, cooled, the rest reserved for drizzling (see recipe below)
For the salted caramel popcorn (adapted from the Kitchn)
- Popped popcorn from about 1 & 1/2 bags of popcorn
- 130 grams unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- Big pinch salt, plus a little for sprinkling
- Yellow Butter Cake:
- Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). Grease 2 x 8.5-inch pans with a little bit of butter.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the plain flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes altogether. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then add the egg yolks in and beat for a further 2 minutes. Add in the milk and vanilla, stirring gently to combine.
- Add in the dry ingredients all at once, and stir gently until the batter comes together. Divide the batter evenly between your prepared pans and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Set the cakes aside to cool down completely before frosting.
- Salted Caramel:
- Heat the sugar, water, corn syrup and salt together over medium-low in a small saucepan . Whisk at the beginning until they dissolve. Once dissolved, leave the mixture to caramelise into an amber colour.
- Once amber, remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the butter and cream. Be careful of any splattering that may occur. Whisk until completely smooth.
- Set aside to cool down before using it.
- Salted Caramel Italian Meringue Buttercream:
- Place the water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a small saucepan. Heat on low until it reaches to about 115C/240F.
- Meanwhile, as your sugar+water mixture is slowly heating up, place the egg whites in a large bowl and start to beat using a handheld electric mixer. Beat the eggs until soft peaks start to form. Then, slowly stream the water+sugar syrup into the egg whites with the mixer still going.
- Beat the meringue until cooled to about body temperature, and then beat in the butter about 2 tablespoons (30g) at a time. Continue whipping the buttercream until it is silky before adding half of the caramel mixture in.
- Set aside in the fridge until it is time to frost your cake.
- Salted Caramel Popcorn:
- Preheat oven to 130C (250F or gas mark 1/2) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Place the popcorn in a big bowl and make sure not to include any unpinned kernels.
- In a small saucepan, heat the butter, brown sugar, and salt until they begin to caramelise. Whisk well to combine, and then add in the baking soda. Quickly pour the caramel over the popcorn and toss well to coat.
- Scrape the popcorn out onto the baking tray and lightly sprinkle with a touch of salt. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the caramel is completely dry and crunchy. Once done, set aside.
- Stack your cake on a cake stand and frost it with the buttercream. Drizzle the remaining caramel on the edges of the cake and then top the cake with a mountain of caramel popcorn!
- Serve, share, and enjoy!
– Ally xx