For the March Clandestine Cake Club meeting the theme was “saucy sweet or sensual savoury”. I have been wanting to make caramel with marmite for a while – it was based on the fact marmite is salty and I just love salted caramel. I also recently tried marmite chocolate and absolutely loved it so much I regretted only buying bar of it! I think the marmite works wells in the caramel – I added marmite bit by bit testing all the way so that I didn’t overpower the caramel. You could add more if you want, it’s very much up to personal taste. The buttercream is adapted from Primrose Bakery cupcake book.
For the cake
- 175g plain chocolate, broken into pieces (minimum 64% cocoa solids)
- 175g softened unsalted butter
- 75g unrefined caster sugar
- 4 eggs, yolks and whites separated
- 90g ground almonds
- 90g plain flour, sifted
For the marmite caramel buttercream
- 120g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 180ml milk
- 440g soft brown sugar
- 480g icing sugar, sifted
- 2tsp marmite
- 2tbsp milk (may be required)
Oven temp: 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 2
- Grease and line two 17cm/7inch sandwich tins.
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until it melts. Do not let the bowl touch the water and never melt the chocolate directly in a pan as it goes grainy. Stir well.
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until frothy and light. Beat in the egg yolks bit by bit. Add the melted chocolate and the ground almonds.
- Whisk the egg whites in a seperate bowl until soft peaks form. Do not go on beating or they will collapse.
- Using a large metal spoon, gently fold the egg white and the flour into the mixture bit by bit until it has all been used.
- Spread the mixture evenly into the sandwich tins and baker for 20 minutes. It’s a good idea to check them after 18 minutes, the sponge should be springy, not firm.
- Remove the tins from the oven and leave to cool for a couple of minutes before turning them onto a wire rack.
- Once the cakes are nearly cooled, you can make the buttercream. It needs to used almost straightaway as it dries quite quickly and is hard to manipulate. In a large pan, melt the butter then mix in the brown sugar,milk and marmite, stirring until it comes to the boil, then boil for a minute.
- Taste test and add more marmite if desired (remember that the taste will become diluted with the addition of the icing sugar).
- Remove from the heat, transfer to a large bowl and whisk in half of the icing sugar then leave to cool, checking and stirring regularly so that the consistency is regulated.
- Once cooled, whisk in the remaining icing sugar and check the consistency. If too thick, add 2tbsp milk to loosen the buttercream.
- Take 1/3 of the marmite caramel buttercream and spread on top of one of the cake bases. Then sandwich other cake base on top. Spead the rest of the mixture on the top and sides of the cake and smooth with a palette knife.