Chocolate Caramel Espresso Cake

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Chocolate Caramel Espresso Cake

A luxurious spin on coffee cake - everything's better with chocolate! You will need two 20cm sandwich tins.


Serves 10-12

Oil, to grease
85g good quality dark chocolate, minimum 60% solids
1 tsp vanilla extract
340g soft light brown sugar
290ml milk
110g butter, softened
2 eggs, at room temperature
75ml espresso coffee
225g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the filling
397g tin or caramel (dulce de leche)

For the icing
65g good quality dark chocolate, minimum 60% cocoa solids
100g unsalted butter, softened
200g icing sugar
20g good quality dark cocoa powder
A few drops of vanilla extract
25ml strong espresso coffee


  1. Heat the oven to 190°C. Lightly brush the base of the 2 sandwich tins with oil and line the base of each with a disc of greaseproof paper. Lightly brush with a little more oil, including the sides.
  2. Put the butter and remaining sugar in a large bowl and, using an electric whisk, beat until light and fluffy. Break the eggs into a small bowl and, using a fork, beat lightly to break them up. Add the eggs to the creamed mixture in several additions, beating well between each addition, then stir in the chocolate mixture and the espresso.
  3. Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda over the surface and fold in carefully and thoroughly. Stir in the remaining milk; the mixture should be the consistency of a thick batter.
  4. Divide the mixture between the 2 tins and bake in the middle of the oven for 35–40 minutes. When cooked, the cakes should feel spongy to the touch and should be evenly set.
  5. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Peel off the greaseproof paper and leave to cool completely.
  6. Meanwhile, to make the icing, break the chocolate into small pieces and put into a heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of just-boiled water, ensuring the bowl is not touching the water, and leave to melt, giving it an occasional stir to encourage it. When the chocolate has completely melted, remove the bowl from the pan and set aside to cool.
  7. Whisk the butter in a medium bowl, using an electric whisk, until light and fluffy. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a separate bowl, then gradually add to the butter, with the electric whisk still running. Stir in the melted chocolate and the vanilla, then beat in the espresso until smooth.
  8. To assemble, cut each cooled cake into 2 layers. Set aside the best layer for the top, then spread the others with the caramel. Stack up the cakes to make a 4-layered cake.
  9. Spread the icing over the top and around the sides of the cake, using a palette knife and swirl the top decoratively with the knife. Chill briefly to set the icing if necessary, before cutting into slices to serve.

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