Whiskey Salted Caramel, Nutella + a Chocolate Cinnamon Layer Cake + Lately

Hi.
Let’s just talk about this cake for a while.

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It’s not the prettiest cake I’ve made in my whole, entire amateur baker life BUT
1. I made it for my parents marriage anniversary.
2. I’ve never done a fancy pants layer cake before. Or generally fancy cakes in general. I’m a bread gal.
3. It’s really, really RIDICULOUSLY yummy. I mean, it’s salty delicious caramel with a hint of whiskey and when I say salty, I mean perfectly salty. I HATE when restaurants put out salted caramel desserts and you can’t taste the saltyness so the next time you head to one of those cafès, take the name with a pinch of salt.

PUNPUNPUNPUN

Ahem.

The cakes are soft and fabulous. I’m not even joking, you could put your head on one of these babies and take a nap. So soft.

And the Nutella. Obviously. Needs to be everywhere.
Not that I’m complaining.

WHISKEY SALTED CARAMEL + NUTELLA CHOCOLATE CINNAMON LAYER CAKE

For the salted caramel:

For the cake:

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 ½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2/3 cup cocoa powder

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2/3 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 tbsp vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste) GOOD QUALITY GUYS!

2 cups well shaken buttermilk or one cup yoghurt (dahi is okay) and one cup milk. I personally prefer the latter.

Additionally:
1/2 cup Nutella

PROCEDURE:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and line two cake pans. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sift in the cocoa powder and add the cinnamon and stir to combine.

In another bowl, blend together the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add the buttermilk/ yogurt milk mixture and stir to combine.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Beat till combined, my Kitchen Aid usually takes 2 minutes. The batter will be a little lumpy, but worry not. Don’t overmix.

Divide batter between your two prepared cake pans. Bake for 40 minutes, until the edges of the cakes have come away from the sides, a tester inserted through the center comes out clean and the cakes are light and springy.
Let it cool before frosting.

The caramel:
Heat the sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the sugar starts to melt, swirl the sugar on top so that it meets the liquid parts of the sugar. Do not stir.

While the sugar is melting, warm the cream and butter in a separate pan, over low heat until the butter has melted.

Once the sugar has completely melted, this should take about 10 minutes and the the sugar should have a deep amber colour, take the pan off heat.

Immediately whisk in the warm cream and butter mixture (be careful, as the hot caramel will bubble up)
If the sugar solidifies, return the pan to medium heat until the mixture is liquid again. {my sugar did actually turn into a hard lump after adding the butter-cream but it was okay after heating, so don’t worry about that}

Stir in the salt and whiskey.

Pour the mixture through a sieve and remove any remaining in dissolved bits of sugar. Let it cool.

For the buttercream:

Beat the butter, sugar and caramel till it reaches a smooth, creamy consistency.

CONSTRUCTION:

I’m no pro. {evidently}
But, here are some handy links to help you construct a pretty cake.

The layers:
I sandwiched the cake layers with the salted caramel buttercream and Nutella. On top, after applying a tough coat of the buttercream, I drizzled on the remaining caramel and topped with a few crumbled cookies to one edge.

Links:
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GnL6BpFzA6Q

http://www.marthastewart.com/275519/how-to-assemble-a-layer-cake/@center/276954/great-cake-recipes
Gaaaah.

Apart from that, here’s what my life has looked like lately.

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Yeah basically.
This was the highlight of my week.
Ugh exams.