Chocolate, Popcorn and Salted Caramel Cake

This image and recipe are courtesy of Tesco.com

Whatever the occasion, celebrate in style with this showstopper of a cake! Layers of light chocolate sponge sandwiched with a dark chocolate ganache, all encased in a mascarpone icing and topped with a sensational caramel drizzle and gooey, sticky salted caramel popcorn. This stunning cake recipe is surprisingly simple but looks and tastes divine.

Ingredients

  • 250g butter
  • 250g light brown soft sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 75g cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 3-4 tbsp thick caramel sauce

For the chocolate ganache filling

  • 150ml tub double cream
  • 100g dark or milk chocolate, chopped

For the caramel popcorn

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 15g salty popcorn

For the mascarpone icing

  • 75g butter, at room temperature
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 2 x 250g tubs light mascarpone

Method

  1. Heat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Base line 3 x 20cm loose-bottomed cake tins. In a stand mixer, or using a hand-held mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then mix in the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Fold in the milk to make a light batter.
  2. Divide the batter between the prepared cakes tins and bake for 20-25 mins, or until risen and springy to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 mins, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. To make the ganache filling. Melt together the cream and chocolate in a saucepan and heat gently, stir and set aside to thicken.
  4. For the caramel popcorn, melt the sugar in a saucepan. Once you start to see pools of melted sugar, gently swirl the pan to encourage the rest of the sugar to melt. Using a wooden spoon, stir together and heat until all the sugar crystals have dissolved and the colour looks like runny honey. Take off the heat, stir in 2 tbsp water then put the pan back onto the heat to melt any clumps that have formed. Stir in the popcorn and pour onto a lined baking tray to cool.
  5. Make the icing by beating together the butter and icing sugar until creamy. Then mix in the cocoa powder and mascarpone.
  6. On a cake stand, or plate, layer the cake up with the chocolate ganache, leaving the top plain. Cover completely with the mascarpone icing, and use a palate knife to give a smooth finish. Drizzle over the tinned thick caramel sauce and arrange the caramel popcorn on top.

 

Ashford Finalist