By Jonathan Hatchman, Food Editor, @TLE_Food
Set up with the aim to invent new products, recreate time-honoured classics and above all – create cutting-edge taste sensations, Cutter & Squidge is the brainchild of sisters Annabel and Emily Lui. Originally opened as a Soho pop-up, the team behind Cutter & Squidge have now opened their first permanent store, which is also in Soho, following the success of their homemade ‘Biskies’.
Tying in with the recent opening, self-taught bakers have shared a recipe for their own take on the perfect salted caramel and chocolate Dreamcake.
“Here is a recipe that really celebrates our award winning Sea salted caramel. The salty sweet butterscotch taste combined with fluffy sponge is a sure fire winner and one of our best sellers in the shop.”
This cake will make a 3 layer 8” cake
For the chocolate dream sponge
Unsalted butter, 350g, softened
Cocoa powder, 200g
Self-raising flour, 350g
Bicarbonate of soda, 2 tsp
Sour cream, 100g
Caster sugar, 350g
Vanilla extract, 2 tsp
For the buttercream
Icing sugar, 400g
Unsalted butter, 600g
Sour cream, 50g (Optional)
Use a Cutter & Squidge jar of salted caramel or make your own…
For the salted caramel
Double cream, 100ml
Fine sea salt, 2 tsp, preferably Maldon sea salt
To make the light sponge
Whip together the butter and sugar until light, pale and fluffy.
Mix together the egg, sour cream and milk.
On a medium speed, add the egg mixture to the butter and sugar until all incorporated (the batter should be the consistency of whipped double cream).
Sieve together the cocoa powder, self-raising flour and bicarbonate of soda and slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the batter.
Equally separate the mixture into greased and lined three deep 8” tins (roughly 350g in each tin).
Bake for around 30 minutes in a 170c oven until the middle is springy to touch. Baking will depend on your ovens at home.
For the buttercream
With a flat paddle beater add the icing sugar together for 5-10 minutes until fluffy. If it ever becomes liquid just put it back into the fridge for an hour. Once chilled, re-whip.
Once the buttercream is fluffy, add in the sour cream and beat on a high speed for 1-2 minutes. Then on a low speed add in 100g of salted caramel. If you like it stronger, add a few tablespoons more.
To Make the Salted Caramel
Add the sugar and a few drops of water to the pan, wait until all the sugar is dissolved and starts to turn a golden brown colour. Then start to swirl the pan.
Once the caramel is an amber colour pour in your double cream, a bit at a time.
BE CAREFUL, the sugar will bubble and steam when you add the cream, but don’t fear, once all of the cream is stirred in, your caramel will calm down and will be a luscious golden colour.
Boil for three minutes then add your butter, stir the caramel until the butter is completely incorporated and then add your salt. Boil for another two minutes. It is now ready.
To Decorate Your Cake
Trim the tops of your sponge with a bread knife so you have nice flat cakes.
Smear a small amount of buttercream on a cake board to stop the cake from moving on the board.
Place one sponge flat side down and evenly spread 200g of the delicious salted caramel buttercream onto your cooled sponge and drizzle over the buttercream and some of the lovely salted caramel.
Add on the next sponge and evenly spread another 200g on top. Add on the final cake sponge, this time with the flat side faced up. This will help you have a nice flat top for your cake.
Now for the crumb coat to make sure your cake looks nice and white and free of cake speckles. Use 100-200g of the buttercream and spread it all over your cake. Filling in all the holes with the buttercream. With a plastic cake scraper or a flat large palette knife, remove the excess buttercream so you can see the sponge and all wholes are filled in.
Pop the cake in the fridge for one hour.
With the remainder of the buttercream, add it on to the top of the cake. With a palette knife cover the buttercream all over the cake as evenly as possible, don’t worry about making it smooth at this stage, just get it covered.
If you have one, use a turntable, if you don’t, try using a small bowl and another cake board sitting on top of it.
With a clean palette knife, use the edge of it to gently scrape away small amounts of excess buttercream. Turning the cake as you scrape. You will see that the cake will become smooth. Make sure to keep cleaning you palette knife after each scrape. Once the cake is smooth pop it back in the fridge for 30 minutes until cold to touch.
Using a large 2cm nozzle and a piping bag – put the remaining buttercream in the bag and pipe 12 even peaks onto the edge of the cake. Top with chocolate shavings, marshmallows or brownie pieces. Then drizzle the top with extra salted caramel.
Cutter & Squidge can be found at 20 Brewer Street, London, W1F 0SB, they also offer an online shop that features a full range of products.