Peach and Berry Crumble

Since it is pretty much Fall here… yes, this soon. I’m thinking we can all use a little extra comfort.
In the form and shape of crumble, lots of clumpy crunchy comforting lumps of cookie flavoured morsels covering juicy peaches and berries.
To me that is comfort at it’s best.
You can serve it either warm or let it cool and serve it with whipped cream or even ice cream.

It’s simply one of our favourite desserts and we make it all the time with all kinds of fruit, depending on the season, but this particular combo has me running back for more each time, not to mention the cookie like smell coming from the oven during baking.
I actually also love to have this in the morning,  if there are any leftovers and serve it with a dollop of Greek yoghurt. I mean it’s healthy right? Fruit, fibre, yes, I think so.

INGREDIENTS:

Fruit mixture:

2 cups of fresh or frozen berries and/or blueberries
2 -3  roughly chopped fresh peaches, (skin removed)
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tablespoon flour

Crumble Layer:

1 1/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup (spelt) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons almond butter, soft
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small piece (or grated)
1/2 cup maple syrup or light brown sugar

Extra:
1 tbsp of butter for pan or baking dish
whipped cream to serve

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F / 175 C .

2. Butter a 10-12 inch skillet or a similar baking dish and set a side. This step just adds flavor.

3. Peel the peaches (as best as you can) and remove the stone, cut them into bite size pieces and place them in the skillet.

4. Add the honey and vanilla and stir to combine.

5. Add the raspberries/blueberries and corn starch and stir carefully until all is just combined.

3. To make the topping, combine the oats, flour, cinnamon, almonds, salt and baking powder in a medium-size mixing bowl. Add the maple syrup or brown sugar. Add the butter and almond butter and use your hands to work the butter into the dry ingredients until everything is combined and lumps form. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit.

4. Transfer to the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbling. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream. Enjoy!

XO

Myra

Advertisements

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

The smell coming from the oven while this cinnamon swirl banana bread was baking was simply amazing.

This banana bread, with it’s incredible moistness and sweet banana flavor has tons of very very ripe mashed bananas, this is what makes the bread so sweet and moist and generally very yummy, also yoghurt for freshness (and less butter) and a cinnamon brown sugar swirl in the middle.
Lots of vanilla in it too, because I just love real vanilla, I love it almost more that chocolate.
Making this (and from this day forward your favorite 😉) banana bread is so simple. It’s very straight forward, however it is necessary to have all the ingredients at room temperature.
Get everything out, measure correctly and throw it together.
First mix the dry ingredients and set aside. Then in a stand mixer, mix the wet ingredients.
Mixing the dry with the wet should be done with a rubber spatula because over mixing will turn your banana bread into rubber. And that would be such a shame. Just about 8 strokes with the spatula until all the flour is absorbed. No more.


⏰ Prep time : 10 min
🍧 Cooking time : 40-45 min approx.
🍴 Makes : 1 loaf


INGREDIENTS:

• 2 cups (250gr.) all purpose flour or half whole wheat and have plain or even spelt flour.
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• pinch of salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
————————————–
• 3/4 cup (150gr. ) packed coconut sugar or regular light brown sugar
• 1/2 cup (115 gr.) unsalted butter, room temperature
• 2 large eggs, at room temperature
• 1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
• 1/3 cup plain yogurt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
________________________
• 2 tbsp. coconut sugar or light brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

cinnamon swirl banana bread

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350° F. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar and butter on medium speed until well blended and creamy– about 3 minutes.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. Add the mashed banana, yogurt, and vanilla. Mix on the lowest stand for just a minute or so.
6. Remove bowl from mixer.
7. Add the dry ingredients in one go and gently fold to mix with a spatula. Do not overmix. Just until all the flour is no longer visible, about 10 folds.
8. Mix the cinnamon and the sugar for the center swirl.
9. Spoon half of the batter into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar in one straight line on the batter. Cover with more batter and make swirls or zig-zags with a knife.
10. Top with remaining batter. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan and cool completely on the wire rack.
11. Slice and enjoy.
12. Banana Bread will keep for about a week in an airtight container.

Enjoy!
Myra XO

If you make this, don’t forget to snap a pic and post it on Instagram. Remember to tag me in your picture @thecookingspoonblog so I can see your delicious creations.

wonder bread

Norwegian Health Bread

wonder bread

This amazing bread was originally invented by a Norwegian Pastor named Marksett, and is nothing short of a miracle. Jam packed with nutrients and no flour, no yeast and no leavening whatsoever. Pure natural ingredients for a real bread.
Oats, seeds, olive oil, salt and water, that’s it. The Chia seeds and Psyllium act as binding agents.
A nutrition BOM, so to speak. Full of fibre and healthy fats. I eat two slices a day and I can assure you, it’s plenty and very delicious. Toasted it’s pure heaven.
The beauty of this loaf is that it has to be made with lots of love, almost like therapy. You need to mix the ingredients and leave it overnight in the fridge so that all the seeds and fibre can do their “thing” and expand. Bake the next day. A slow bread if you will, worth every bit of effort.

wonder bread

wonder bread

wonder bread
Freezes well too!


Prep time: 15 minutes
Waiting time: overnight
Cooking time : 70 minutes
Makes 1 loaf


Ingredients:

• 1 ½ cups rolled oats (if making gluten-free, make sure to get certified gluten-free oats)
• ½ cup Pumpkin seeds
• ½ cup Sunflower seeds
• ½ cup flax seeds whole
• 3 tbsp. flax seeds cracked or roughly ground
• 2 tbsp. Chia seeds
• 2 tbsp. Psyllium seed husks
• 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
• 1 tsp fine grain sea salt
• 1 tbsp. olive oil
• 1 3/4 – 2 cups water

wonder bread

Directions:

1. In a bowl combine all the dry ingredients, stirring well. Whisk oil and water together in a measuring jug. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick , first add the 1 ¾ water and then the remaining ¼ up if necessary. See how it goes. It will however become a big ball. See picture.
2. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge overnight.
3. The next morning, remove the bowl from the fridge and let sit at room temperature for about an hour before baking.
4. Grease a loaf tin, ( 8”/ 20 cm.)
5. Do not preheat oven.
6. Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake at 350° F / 175° C for 70-75 minutes.
7. If the loaf gets to dark, make a tent cover of aluminum foil and cover loosely. Test with a wooden skewer to see if the bread is done. The wooden skewer may be moist but not sticky.
8. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. It should also have shrunk away from the edges of the tin. Let cool about twenty minutes and remove from tin. Then cool completely before slicing.
9. Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to four days, or freeze.

Enjoy!

Myra Xo

wonder bread

pepper honey hamburger buns

Black Pepper Honey Brioche Hamburger Buns

pepper honey hamburger buns

I have a problem with store bought hamburger buns, the ones you buy in a plastic bag, the ones that fall apart by the first bite, the ones that have an insipid dull factory flavor of nothing that completely leaves you hanging and doesn’t really do your scrumptious burger justice.
You know the kind right?
A good burger, is crunchy on the outside, juicy on the inside with a good amount of flavor, you need a bun that can keep up, a bun that can endure the whole burger eating experience until the very last bite. You’re with me, I know it.

Well I’ve got you covered. Give these a try for your next cook-out and your store-bought-bun-days are over… forever….THE END


Prep time : 15 minutes plus rising 2 hrs.
Cooking time : 15 minutes
Makes: 8 large buns


INGREDIENTS:

• 3/4 C. warm water
• 1/4 C. warm milk, soy or regular. (I use Soy)
• 2 ½ tsp. instant yeast
• 3 tbsp. honey
• 2 eggs, at room temperature
• 3 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
• 4 ½ C. Spelt flour
• 1 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1 tsp. Black cracked pepper * SEE NOTE
• 1 egg beaten for glaze
• 1 tsp. honey
• 1 or 2 tbsp. sesame seeds for sprinkling on top
* NOTE : Two ways for cracking the pepper, either set your pepper mill to the course setting or crack whole pepper corns in a pestle and mortar.

brioche hamburger buns

pepper honey hamburger buns

INSTRUCTIONS:

Mix the first 4 ingredients in a bowl and let the yeast proof for 5 minutes until frothy.
Beat the eggs and the butter together,
In the bowl of a food processor set with the hook attachment, add the flour, salt and cracked pepper and give it a stir, slowly add the eggs and butter mixture and continue with the yeast/milk mixture.
Set the processor on low and knead for 10 minutes.
Turn out the dough on a floured surface, and give it a few turns and shape into a ball.
Put into a bowl sprayed with oil and cover with oil sprayed cling film. Let rise in a warm place for 2 hours. Until double in size.
Take the dough out of the bowl and put it back on your work surface sprinkled with a little flour. Knead a few times and shape into 8 buns. Put them on a baking tray covered with baking paper. Brush the buns with the beaten egg and honey mix and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cover the buns with cling film that has been sprayed with oil. Let rise for another 30 min.
Preheat the oven to 400 °F.
Bake the buns for 14 -15 minutes, turning them once half way. Let cool on a rack.
If using for burgers, split them in half and toast slightly on the bbq for a few minutes.
Leftover buns freeze well.

Enjoy!
Myra XO

pepper honey hamburger buns

brown butter vanilla donuts with chocolate frosting

Brown Butter Vanilla Donuts with Chocolate Frosting

brown butter vanilla donuts with chocolate frosting

Just three weeks ‘till Fall and I couldn’t be more excited about it. I can Finally turn on the oven without feeling like a basket case because yes, I did bake during Summer and people did call me crazy. But in their defense it was 36° C / 97° F at one point so who can blame them?
Either way I’m glad the heat wave(s) are over , I love Fall and rain and long hikes in a damp forest with that wonderful musky smell.
Then coming home to hot coffee and something freshly baked, like Donuts.
These Donuts. They only take 10 minutes to bake!
Brown butter Vanilla Donuts with Dark Chocolate frosting. Oh my….and since they’re baked it’s ok to eat two.
And the even greater part is that they’re low fat. Wait no, the greatest part is actually that you can’t tell they’re low fat. Awesome right?
Yes, you can definitely eat two , you totally deserve it!


Prep Time 10 mins

Cook Time 10 mins

Total Time 20 mins

Servings: 8


Ingredients:

• 1 Cup + 1 tbsp. white Spelt flour nr. 1050
• 1 tsp. baking powder
• ¼ tsp. baking soda
• Pinch of salt
• 1 large egg room temperature
• 2 ½ tbsp. butter
• 2 tsp. vanilla extract
• ½ cup buttermilk
• 1/3 cup caster sugar
• 100 gr. / 4 oz. chocolate chips
• 1 tbsp. coconut oil or butter
• 1 tbsp. honey

brown butter vanilla donuts with chocolate frosting

brown butter vanilla donuts with chocolate frosting

brown butter vanilla donuts with chocolate frosting

brown butter vanilla donuts with chocolate frosting
Instructions:

1. Pre heat oven to 180 C / 350 F
2. Lightly butter your Donut pan.
3. Whisk together in a large bowl, the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
4. In another bowl or large jug, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, sugar and vanilla extract.
5. Meanwhile heat the butter in a small dish in the microwave at 30 second intervals until brown and fragrant. It takes about 4, 30 second sessions but may depend on the power of your microwave.
6. Alternatively heat in a small sauce pan until light brown and fragrant without it getting burnt.
7. Let cool a little bit before adding to the egg and buttermilk mixture.
8. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
9. Fill a donut pan with the mixture, about ¾ full in each cavity.
10. Place on a rack in the middle of the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
11. Remove from oven, insert a wooden skewer to test if the donuts are cooked through, the skewer should come out dry.
12. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing the Donuts from the pan. Let the Donuts cool completely before frosting.
13. To make the chocolate frosting, melt the chocolate, coconut oil or butter and honey in the microwave at 30 second intervals until fully melted, stir to combine.
14. Place chocolate in a shallow dish or bowl large enough to dip in the donuts.
15. Dip each Donut in the melted chocolate and decorate with sprinkles or chocolate shavings.
Enjoy!
Myra XO

the best healthy coffee walnut brownies

The Best Healthy Coffee Walnut Brownies

Prep Time : 5 mins
Cook Time : 25 mins
Total Time : 30 mins

Servings: 16

Ingredients:

• 250 gr. Black Beans, drained
• 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
• 2 tsp. Instant Coffee granules
• 2 L. Eggs, room temperature
• 1/2 C. Cocoa
• 1/2 C. Gluten free Flour or All purpose
• 1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
• 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
• 1/4 C. unsweetened apple sauce
• 1/4 C. Canola or neutral oil
• 1 1/2 tsp. Liquid Stevia Extract
• 2 tbsp. Maple Syrup
• 1/3 C. Chocolate Chips, plus extra for sprinkling on top
• 1/3 C. Walnuts, roughly chopped, plus extra for sprinkling on top

the best healthy coffee walnut brownies
Instructions:

Pre heat oven to 180 C / 350 F.
Line a square 20 cm / 8 ” baking tin with parchment paper.
In a food processor add all the ingredients except the chocolate chips and walnuts.
Blend for a few minutes until completely smooth.
Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts and pour into the prepared baking tin.
Sprinkle with more chocolate chips and some extra walnuts.
Place on a rack in the middle of the oven and bake for about 22 to 25 minutes.
You can insert a wooden skewer to test if they are done, it should come out dry.
Remove from oven and let cool for at least 20 minutes in the tin.
Remove from the tin and let cool completely on a rack before cutting, the colder the better you can cut them.
Will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days

Enjoy!

Myra XO

salted caramel donuts

Salted Caramel Donuts

salted caramel donuts

Making freshly baked salted caramel donuts at home is so easy! Almost too easy. Cinnamon spiced donuts dipped in luscious caramel and topped with chopped Daim caramel candy.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour                                                       
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder                                                        
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda                                                    
  • 3/4 tsp.  salt   
  • ½ tsp. Cinnamon                                                      
  • Pinch of Nutmeg                               
  • 4  tbsp. butter, melted and cooled to room temperature  
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract                              
  • 1/2  cup brown sugar or coconut sugar                                                      
  • ¼ cup apple sauce unsweetened                             
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped Daim candy

Salted Caramel Topping:

1 cup granulated sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tsp. Vanilla extract

1/2- 3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. of salt

Instructions:

Pre heat the oven to 180 C  / 350 F

Spray a 6 hole Donut pan with cooking oil or grease with melted butter.

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients; the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, Cinnamon and Nutmeg.

In another bowl, combine the remaining wet  ingredients;  the butter,  buttermilk, egg, vanilla extract, sugar and apple sauce.

Stir into the flour mixture. DO NOT OVER MIX.

Spoon the batter into the donut pan, filling to just below the top of each mold. Bake for 12 to  15 minutes until lightly golden brown around the edges. They should bounce back a little when you slightly press one with your finger. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Slide a thin spatula around the edges to help loosen them out. Then place on a cooling rack and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before glazing. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Caramel topping, instructions:

Melt the butter and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add  the heavy cream, vanilla and salt. Whisk constantly until dissolved. Allow to bubble for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 30 minutes.

With a hand or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat in (about ) ½  cup  confectioners’  sugar and 1 more tablespoons of heavy cream until you have reached the desired consistency. 

When the donuts have completely cooled, frost them with the caramel topping and sprinkle with chopped daim candy.

Enjoy

Myra XO

Cherry Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

cherry-chocolate-chip-bundt-cake-7

First of all I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

This year we decided to do the food celebration in our home on Christmas Eve, since we won’t be home on Christmas Day.

I am kind of looking forward to having my food prepared for me on Christmas day, I think it might actually be the first time in my life (as an adult) that I am not cooking.

So, on Christmas Eve we are going to have a buffet style dinner  with lots of bites and appetizers and goodies, no real cooking involved and lots of desserts. Of course lots of desserts.

I am going to put this cake on the table too and I’m kinda hoping there will some left for Christmas morning. Fingers crossed…

It’s a pretty straight forward cake with just some glacé cherries and chips since kids don’t like to many “things” in their cake.

And the good part is you can make a day or two in advance.

Ingredients;

1 C. butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes

1 1/4 C. Caster Sugar , packed

3 large eggs at room  temperature

2 C. Self Rising Cake Flour

4 tbsp. Whole Milk

1 tbsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

25 red   Glace Cherries cut in half

1/2 C. Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips

1 tbsp. flour

cherry-chocolate-chip-bundt-cake-1

cherry-chocolate-chip-bundt-cake-3

cherry-chocolate-chip-bundt-cake-4

Method;

Pre heat oven to 160° C  / 320° F

Butter your Bundt pan very well and dust with flour. Tap of excess flour.

Beat the butter until light and creamy in the bowl of your mixer.

Add the sugar and beat until pale and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, waiting until fully incorporated before adding the next.

Add the vanilla.

Now add the cake flour in two times alternating with the milk.

Toss the chocolate chips and cherries with the tablespoon of flour, add to the batter. Mix it in with a spatula.

Divide the batter over the Bundt pan and even out with a spatula. Place on a rack, just below the middle in the oven.

Bake for about 60 to 70 minutes,  until a wooden skewer comes out dry.

Remove from oven and let cool on rack for at least 20 minutes before turning over the cake.

Decorate with icing or frosting.

cherry-chocolate-chip-bundt-cake-8

cherry-chocolate-chip-bundt-cake-15

cherry-chocolate-chip-bundt-cake-19

If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day.

Not quite what you’re looking for? How about Brownie Cookie Squares with Chocolate Fudge Layer brownie-cookies-squares-43

Oven Baked Christmas Churros with thick Spanish Mocha hot Chocolate

churros-with-spanish-mocha-hot-chocolate11

churros-with-spanish-mocha-hot-chocolate21

Great childhood memories for me about Churros, we used to get them at the weekly market in my village in Spain, they’d be deep fried and sprinkled with lots of cinnamon sugar. Served in a paper cone. Crunchy and warm, and oh sooo good.

My version is baked, not fried. Just because it can get a little heavy otherwise and it’s also less calories.

Traditionally these are served with hot thick Spanish chocolate but since I love Coffee, I have made us a Mocha Hot Chocolate. Basically the best of both worlds.

I have sprinkled the Churros with a cookie spice mix (pumpkin spice) to give it an extra “Christmassy” flavour.

Some people have this even for breakfast but they are great any time of day and even as a dessert (YUM is all I can say).

churros-with-spanish-mocha-hot-chocolate

churros-with-spanish-mocha-hot-chocolate1

churros-with-spanish-mocha-hot-chocolate2

Serves 4

Ingredients Churros;

½ cup unsalted butter or cooking margarine
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tbsp. sugar of choice (I use coconut)
1 cup water
1 cup all purpose flour
3 eggs at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tsp. mixed spice (like pumpkin spice
1/4 C. powdered sugar of choice
cooking spray
Method;

Preheat oven to 400° F / 200° C

In a medium saucepan combine the butter, salt, sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Remove from heat add the flour and stir with a spoon to combine. Mixture will thicken…add the vanilla.

Leave dough in the saucepan, but beat it on low with a hand mixer, adding one egg at a time, mixing well before adding another. After adding each egg, the mixture will become wet and glossy, but after mixing on high for a few seconds it will thicken again.

Spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Lightly spray a cookie sheet and pipe 8-inch rows of the dough with at least 1 inch between each Churro.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown*, and when a toothpick comes out clean.
Mix spice and sugar in a shallow dish.
Spray Churros lightly with cooking spray, and one at a time, transfer them to the dish and sprinkle with spiced sugar. Serve immediately with Spanish hot Chocolate

churros-with-spanish-mocha-hot-chocolate4

churros-with-spanish-mocha-hot-chocolate10

churros-with-spanish-mocha-hot-chocolate22

       

Ingredients Spanish Mocha Hot Chocolate;

1/2 C. hot freshly brewed coffee

3 tbsp. cocoa

1/2 tsp. vanilla

5 tbsp. coconut sugar or of choice

2 c. full fat milk (or of choice)

2 tbsp. corn starch mixed with a little water

Whipped cream to serves

golden mini starts to decorate (optional)

Method;

Make the cup of coffee and mix in a saucepan with the cocoa, sugar and vanilla. Mix to dissolve sugar and cocoa completely. Add the milk and stir to combine. Heat until just begins to bubble. Add the corn starch slurry and combine well. Keep stirring frequently and heat thru until thickened, for about 5 more minutes.

Pour into cups and serve with whipped cream and dip the Churros in the hot mocha chocolate.

churros-with-spanish-mocha-hot-chocolate15

churros-with-spanish-mocha-hot-chocolate12

If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day.

Not quite what you’re looking for? How about Cream Cheese Cranberry Chocolate Chip stuffed Cinnamon Rolls or Triple Chocolate Donuts

Ultimate Chocolate Caramel Birthday Cake

chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake26chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake13chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake8

Every year I ask my daughter what cake she would like for her birthday and the answer is always the same, chocolate.

I can’t even begin to tell how much fun it is to create a cake, a special cake for a special someone. Surprise them and show them through baking how much you care.

This cake has caramel shards on top, that I will explain in detail how to make, then a swiss meringue fudgy caramel buttercream between delicious moist chocolate cake layers. Caramel dripping around the cake.  Then besides the impressive caramel shards  and Unicorn Bark all sorts of chocolate and sweets to make it a decadent feast.

Ingredients Fudgy Caramel:

1 C. plain sugar

3 tbsp. water

1 C. cream

3 tbsp. butter.

1/2 tsp. vanilla

pinch of salt

Method.

In a large pan add the sugar and water, bring to a boil. Cook around 7 minutes, brushing down the sugar crystals that form on the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Be careful, sugar is extremely hot!

When the caramel turns light golden remove from the heat, Remove it before it gets too dark because it will continue to cook for a while off the heat. Alternatively use a candy thermometer, when it reaches 180°/356°F remove from heat. Add the butter stirring vigorously with a beater the the cream and vanilla.

The caramel will bubble up like crazy. Stand back, wear long sleeves!!!

Pour into a clean heat proof container. I use a glass weck jar. Cool and store until ready to use. Will keep for about a week.

chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake49

Ingredients Caramel Shards;

1 C. sugar

4 tbsp. water

Method;

Place sugar and water in a pan and cook over medium high heat for about 7-10 minutes or until thermometer reaches 180°/356°F.

Remove from heat and pour onto a baking tray that has been lined with baking parchment. Pour into the desired shape. I pour it into a rectangle like shape so I can break it in to large segments. Let cool for a couple of hours before using.

chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake51

Ingredients Swiss meringue butter cream;

5 large egg whites

1  C.  sugar

2 C.  butter at room temperature cut into little blocks of about a tablespoon
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Method;
Combine egg whites and sugar into the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water, much like a double boiler.

Whisk constantly until the  sugar has dissolved and reached 160°F on a thermometer, about 15 minutes. Test this by picking some between your thumb and index finger if you don’t have a thermometer, there should be no sugar grains.  Put mixing bowl on the mixer and using the whisk attachment start mixing until mixture cools to room temperature. Begin on low, raising the speed up to medium high. Beat until stiff peaks form, about 10 minutes. Now add your butter, 2 tablespoons at a time.Beating on medium until each addition of butter is added.

Now add your vanilla. Remove the whisk attachment and replace it with your paddle attachment.
Mix with paddle for 2 minutes on low speed working out the air bubbles.

Makes enough frosting to cover and fill one 9.5″ layer cake.

Store airtight in fridge for 3 days.
chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake56
chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake57
Unicorn Bark;
1 C. vanilla white candy melts + 1 tbsp.
edible glitter
Nonpareils
wooden skewers
Method;
Melt the candy melts in a bowl in the microwave at thirty second intervals until melted.
Spread onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and form a sort of rectangle.
Sprinkle with the decorations and leave to dry completely.
Break lengthwise into two or three shreds.
Flip them over, melt the remaining tablespoon of candy melts in a little bowl and “glue”on the wooden skewers with the chocolate so you will be able to stick them into the cake.
chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake48
Chocolate Cake;
Yield: 2  10 inch rounds

Ingredients:

butter and cocoa for coating and dusting the cake pan

3 C.  All Purpose Flour

3 C. Granulated Sugar

1½ C.  Unsweetened Cocoa

1 tbsp. Baking Soda

1½ tsp. Baking Powder

1 tsp. salt

4 large eggs

1½ C.  buttermilk

1½ C.  warm water

½ C.   Vegetable Oil

1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
Method:

Preheat oven to 175°/350° degrees.

Butter two 10 inch cake rounds. Dust with cocoa and tap out the excess.

Mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a stand mixer using a low speed until combined.

In a seperate bowl beat the eggs and combine with the buttermilk, warm water, oil, and vanilla.

Add wet to dry. Beat on a medium speed until smooth. This should take just a couple of minutes.

Divide batter among the two pans.

Bake for about 35 minutes until the cake meets the toothpick test (stick a toothpick in and it comes out clean).

Cool on wire racks for 15 minutes and then turn out the cakes onto the racks and allow to cool completely.

Caramel Buttercream frosting (filling);
Mix one cup caramel fudge sauce with one cup buttercream, whip until well combined.
chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake11chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake12chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake8
Assembling and decorating the cake;
 Place a little dab of buttercream on a cake round and place the first cake layer on it. Level the cake with a serrated knife or a cake cutter. Level the other cake layer as well.
Spread with the caramel filling and place the second layer of cake on it. Press a little bit.
Now cover the entire cake with a very thin layer of the Swiss meringue buttercream and place in the fridge for half an hour. After this time cover the cake with an other layer of the buttercream, smoothing it out completely.
Dab some pink food coloring here and there and with your scraper just go alongside the cake to spread out and smooth.
Decorate the cake with the shards of caramel,  the Unicorn Bark and all the pretty Nonpareils you feel like. Let yourself go and use your vivid imaginations.
Note: I used a dummy to make the cake look twice as high, you can get one online.

chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake37

chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake38