Anniversary cake

chocolate layer cake

I was toying around with the idea of making a small layer cake for our 13th anniversary but until the last minute I had no clue what it would be.

A couple of days ago I read Joy of Baking’s post about a chocolate cake that she says it is her go-to chocolate cake whenever she has a dinner or a birthday party, so I thought I’d give it a go. And on the very day I decided to go for salted caramel and walnut fillings and a dark chocolate ganache frosting. The combination turned out great but I have to admit that it’s not a crowd-pleaser for it’s very rich and not too sweet.

We Should CocoaSpeaking of anniversaries, I’m entering this recipe to the We Should Cocoa challenge of this month: Chocolate Showstopper Cake, hosted by Chocolate Log Blog.

(source: Joy of Baking)
Serves about 12 people
400 g sugar
245 g flour
75 g cocoa powder
1½ tsp baking powder
1½ tsp bicarb
½ tsp salt
2 eggs
240 ml warm coffee
240 ml milk
120 ml vegetable oil
½ tsp vanilla paste

Preheat oven to 180°C and place oven rack in the centre of the oven. Butter three 20 cm loose bottomed round tins and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarb and salt.
In a medium jug, whisk together the eggs, coffee, milk, oil, and vanilla paste. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined. (The batter will be quite thin.) Evenly distribute the batter among the tins and bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from their tins, remove the parchment paper and cool completely on a greased wire rack before frosting.

ganache and salted caramel layer cake

(slightly adapted from Nigella‘s)
75 g unsalted butter
50 g muscovado sugar
50 g caster sugar
50 g golden syrup
125 ml double cream
1 tsp fleur de sel

Melt butter, sugars and syrup in a saucepan and let simmer for 3 minutes, swirling every now and again.
Add cream and half a teaspoon of fleur de sel salt and swirl again. Give a stir with a wooden spoon and taste – go cautiously so that you don’t burn your tongue – to see if you want more salt and let it simmer for about 6 minutes or until you get the desired consistency – just remember that it will get thicker as it cools.

395 g sweetened condensed milk
200 g walnuts, minced

Combine both ingredients in a medium pan over low heat, stirring frequently. When it starts boiling, pay attention and stir like mad 😉 Remove from heat when it starts to leave a trail on the bottom of the pan.

250 g dark chocolate buttons / drops / chips
125 ml double cream

Heat cream in the microwave for about 1 minute and combine with chocolate buttons until it gets glossy and all buttons have melted. If needed, take it back to the microwave for 10-15 secs.

NOTES: I only have one 20 cm round tin, so I baked one cake tall enough to divide into two and, when I got it out from the tin, I baked the third layer. In the mean time I kept the batter in the fridge and it worked just fine. Just pay attention to baking times if you do it this way because the taller cake will take longer to bake.

It took me about 4½ hours to complete the task, including cooling time and making everything from scratch. It may look like a huge task but every step is so simple that you don’t even need an electric mixer!

To avoid cake from sliding, I put a blob of caramel on the centre of the cake stand. And to avoid having frosting and filling all over my cake stand, I used some strips of grease proof paper to line it around the cake.

anniversary layer cake

35 responses to “Anniversary cake

  1. oh my goodness – salted caramel AND walnuts and condensed milk – be still my beating heart – this is just perfect – I now need an event where others will appreciate such decadence!


  2. Well I guess it rather depends on whether your crowd is a discerning one or not. It’s a fabulous cake. The addition of salted caramel will always do it for me and the walnut filling sounds delicious. Thank you for helping to celebrate We Should Cocoa’s 3rd anniversary and congratulations on your 13th.


  3. Love the sound of the walnut filling, and you can never go wrong with salted caramel – if your other half has had a cake like this for all 13 anniversaries he’s a lucky man!


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