Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Butterscotch Cake with Caramel Hazelnut Wisps

This cake is somewhat weird and wonderful and looks a little like something out of the Alien movies...however, it certainly has the wow factor and is just a little bit different. The addition of light muscovado to the sponge mixture gives it the butterscotch flavour and the mascarpone frosting is a nice alternative to buttercream...although it's probably not for everyone!

This is the second outing from The Birthday Cake Book by Fiona Cairns, following on from Alice's Teapot Cake last week. It was fun to make and tasted good...although I'd say for my taste the sponge was a little bit dry...or maybe it was just my baking!! :-)

I wanted to give this one a go as I was keen to try making caramel again, following the Weekly Bake-Off Hokey Pokey Coffee that's a mouthful to say. I think I was a bit too keen when making my caramel for the hokey pokey cake as I didn't wait for it to turn a really deep amber, so this time I didn't make the same mistake and the caramel wisps are a lovely deep colour.
So if you have a friend who likes butterscotch and something a bit wacky, this could be the cake for them!

175g unsalted butter
175g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
3 eggs
100g golden caster sugar
75g light muscovado sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
500g mascarpone
1 tbsp black treacle
1 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsp light muscovado
Caramel Whisps
30 blanched hazelnuts
Wooden skewers
110g caster sugar
Heat your oven to 180c/170c fan/gas 4 and prepare two 20cm sandwich tins by buttering the sides and lining the bottom. The cake is then easy to make, just sift the flour and baking powder together before adding the remaining ingredients. Mix well but don't over-mix and then divide between the sandwich tins and cook for 20-25 minutes before cooling on a wire rack.
To make the frosting you just literally just need to beat all the ingredients together. This frosting might not be for everyone, so you could also use toffee buttercream.
For the wisps, put the sugar and water into a heavy based saucepan and then put over a low heat, stir with a metal spoon until all the sugar crystals have dissolved and then turn up the heat so the sugar mixture is boiling, at this stage who should not stir it at all. Leave to boil until the caramel turns a deep amber colour. During this process just pop your hazelnuts onto a baking tray and put them in the oven for 5 minutes on 170c.

When cooled, insert a skewer into each hazelnut. When the caramel is ready you can then dip each one in and ensure it is liberally covered. Place the end of the skewer under a heavy board and a long whisp should form which will take about 5 minutes to harden. One tip though...make sure you place some newspaper on the floor!

* Adapted from The Birthday Cake Book by Fiona Cairns


  1. This cake looks gorgeous, Laura! I haven't tried the mascarpone frosting yet but am truly intrigued. The whisps are breath-taking though. Have a great day!

  2. WOW! What an amazing cake. This is something a professional would do. It is stunning!

  3. I love over-the-top cakes and would definitely add this cake to the list. Love love love the caramel whisps. I have a birthday cake to make at the weekend and they're going on the top!

  4. so beautiful... sooooooo beautiful, I love it. I wish I had your patience and talent with cake.x

  5. Dear Laura, this cake looks beautiful and decadent! I know this is something that my daughter would absolutely love! Thank you for your sweet comment. Blessings my dear, your friend, Catherine xo

  6. OMG this certainly has the "WOW" factor! Beautiful presentation and I simply adore mascarpone frosting. This one is certainly a keeper

  7. Wow! Looks gorgeous - I've got this book too but haven't yet tried any of the recipes! I agree with you about having another go at the caramel after the Coffee Cake so maybe I'll have a go xx

  8. WoW this looks AMAZING!!!!!!!! what a fantastic cake x

  9. What a beautiful cake presentation!! Looks and sounds delicious!

  10. What a beautifully decorated and delicious cake. Blessings, Catherine

  11. These cakes sounds & looks good! Love the way you've decorated it! So CHIC! :)

  12. Wow that looks amazing! And I'm sure it tastes great too!

  13. I adore this as it is so unusual they really are quite something. Must have a go at this one I feel to decorate a pay day cake. Amazing Laura.

  14. Thanks all! This is definitely an idea that would work on a range of different cakes!

    Cakeboule...I'd love to see this on a pay day cake! :-)

  15. this looks gorgeous! I had a look at the fiona cairns book and everything looked a bit scarily hard, but you have really inspired me to perhaps give it a go!

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