I love planning birthday cakes. My beloved celebrated his birthday this week. I’ve been toying with the concept of this cake for years. I think it had occupied me because I’d seen so many ‘Mars bar cake(s)’ done badly. Much to my chargrin, my beloved is a sweets junkie, any kind of mass produced confection he can get his hands on (if I’m not watching), he’ll relish. So I thought it was a good fit. Besides, he’d been dropping hints about a caramel cake for a few weeks.
The idea is that the bottom layer represents the malt nougat in a Mars bar, and the top layer represents the gooey caramel. The ganache is made from melted mars bars, to bring it all together. I came up with a recipe for choc-malt cake for the bottom, and a caramel mud cake for the top. Don’t rush this cake. I’d recommend baking the cake the morning before, icing it the evening before, and then serving the day after baking.
Choc – malt layer
|1||egg white, beaten|
|1||cup||dark brown sugar|
Grease a rectangular cake tin and line with baking paper.
To make the malt layer, beat the butter and caster sugar till light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the egg and white. If it starts to curdle add a couple of teaspoons of flour. Add the malt extract and milk and combine. Sift over the flour and baking powder, fold through till well combined. Tip into the tin, level and set aside while you make the caramel layer.
Preheat the oven to 165oC.
To make the caramel layer, melt the butter, chocolate, sugar, water, golden syrup and vanilla in a heavy based saucepan over a low heat until the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool for about half an hour. Beat in the egg and yolk. Sift over the flours and stir till well combined. Pour the mixture onto the tin, being careful not to disturb the malt layer. Carefully transfer to the oven, so as not to disturb the layers.
Bake in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin before removing to a wire rack. Then refrigerate for the cake to firm up.
To make the ganache, melt the mars bars and cream in a bowl over simmering water, mixing regularly till smooth. Pour the ganache over the cake, reserving a small amount of ganache. When the ganache has cooled and thickened a little, drizzle the remaining ganache atop the cake in the pattern used atop mars bars. Refrigerate till the ganache sets firm.