FOR THE SPONGE 150g unsalted butter, at room temperature 100g light muscovado sugar 75g caster sugar 2 medium eggs, beaten 1 tsp vanilla extract 150g plain fl our 1 tsp baking powder Quarter tsp bicarbonate of soda 30g cocoa Pinch of salt 100ml buttermilk, at room temperature

FOR THE ICING 50g caster sugar 50g golden syrup 150g unsalted butter, at room temperature 75ml double cream Half tsp sea salt fl akes

150g dark chocolate (60% cocoa solids), chopped

FOR THE CHOCOLATE CURLS 150g dark chocolate, chopped YOU WILL NEED

12 hole mini sandwich tin

1 Start by making the salted caramel icing. Place the caster sugar and golden syrup in a small, heavy-based pan, add 1 tbsp of water and set over a low heat to allow the sugar to dissolve completely without burning. Bring to the boil and cook over a medium heat until the syrup turns to an amber-coloured caramel.

2 Remove from the heat and add the double cream and 50g of the butter to the hot pan, being careful as the caramel may splutter and harden. Return the pan to a low heat for a couple of minutes to allow the caramel to re-melt and continue to cook until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, add the sea salt, leave to cool and then chill for 2 hours.

3 Melt the chopped chocolate either in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (do not allow the bowl to touch the water) or in a microwave on a low setting. Stir until smooth, add to the caramel and stir gently to combine. Add the remaining butter and mix again until silky smooth. Cover and chill for 30 mins until ready to use.

4 Preheat your oven to 180C/gas 4. Now make your sponge. Cream the butter and both sugars together until the mixture is pale and light. Gradually add the beaten eggs, mixing well between each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix.

5 Sift the fl our, baking powder, bicarbonate of 12 | THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER

soda, cocoa and salt into the mixture and mix until almost combined. Add the buttermilk and continue to mix until smooth.

6 Divide the mixture between the mini sandwich tin (roughly 1 heaped dessertspoon of mixture in each well) and level with a teaspoon. Bake on the middle shelf of your preheated oven for about 15 mins until well risen and a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean.

7 Leave the cakes to rest in the tin for 2 mins then ease out onto a wire cooling rack and leave until cold. Using a serrated knife, cut each of the cakes into 3 even layers. Neatly spread the top of each layer with a teaspoon of the salted caramel icing and sandwich all 3 layers together.

8 To make the chocolate curls, start by melting the chopped dark chocolate in the same way as above. Stir until smooth, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Pour the chocolate onto a fl at, spotlessly clean baking sheet (or the underside of a baking tray), allowing it to spread to a thickness of about 3mm. Leave in a cool place until set – this can take anything from 30 mins to 3 hours depending on the room temperature, but do not be tempted to pop the tray into the fridge or the chocolate will set too hard.

9 Place the baking tray on a damp cloth to prevent it slipping. Take a long sharp knife, hold the top of the blade fi rmly in both hands and drag the edge of the blade across the chocolate at roughly a 70-degree angle to create the chocolate curls. Place a few curls on top of each cake for the ultimate fi nish.

Non-stick Mini Loaf Tins Steamer Trading Cookshop, £6.99

Pick your Pan...

Mini Sandwich Tin 12 Hole Loose-Based Mini Sandwich Tin , Lakeland, £19.99

Nordic Cupcakes Nordic Ware Filled Cupcakes Pan Harts of Stur, £35.99

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