With a great pleasure I’m sharing this wonderful cake recipe. I’ve made this cake for my Birthday this year. I thought I better play safe and use a trusted recipe, and here it is - by the queen of cakes - Katherine Sabbath. The layers of spiced caramel mud cake are deliciously sticky and add a subtle nuttiness of almond meal. The delicate flavour of rose water and tanginess of the rose cream cheese frosting is complemented by the satisfying crunch of crushed pistachios and meringue. Pure joy!
The legend about the name of the cake is that a French woman fell in love with an Iranian prince and created this cake to show her feelings for him. However, she was unaware of his severe allergy to one of spices she has used in the cake and he died on the spot after only a few bites. Such a romantic story, isn’t it?)
But whether the legend is true or not, the cake is heavenly delicious and the ingredients and textures are spot on. You definitely must try it for one of your parties, it’s ready in no time at all and it’s a complete show stopper! My guests were very happy with it 🙂
The recipe makes a 4-layer 15 cm round cake or a 3-layer 18 cm round cake.
Spiced caramel mud cake:
- 200 g butter, cubed
- 200 g white chocolate, roughly chopped
- 200 g brown sugar
- 180 ml hot water
- 1 T (20 g) golden syrup or honey
- 2 t (10 g) vanilla essence
- 2 (115 g) eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
- 150 g self-raising flour
- 1 t cinnamon
- 1 t ground cardamon
- 150 g almond meal
In a small sauce pan, combine the butter, chocolate, sugar, water and golden syrup. Bring to boil, stirring frequently. Remove from heat when the butter and chocolate are melted. Stir in the vanilla essence. Leave the mixture to cool for 20 min.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Add eggs to the cooled butter and chocolate mixture, whisking to combine. Add the flour and spices (it is better to use freshly ground cardamon), stir to combine, stir in the almond meal. You will end up have quite runny batter.
If you are like me making a 15 cm cake, divide it equally between 2 cake tins lined with baking paper. If you re making a 18 cm cake, you can pour the batter in one cake tin lined with baking paper.
Bake it in the preheated oven for ~1 hour or until done. Remove the tin(s) from the oven, let them cool in the tins for 20 min, then transfer to a cooling rack. I flipped my cakes upside down after another 20 min into cooling in order to level down the domed tops. Let the cake(s) cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the cream cheese frosting:
- 500 g cream cheese, softened
- 100 g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 200 g heavy cream, whipped to medium peaks
- 200 g icing sugar, sifted
- 1 t rose water (essence)
- pink food coloring
In a mixing bowl, whisk all the ingredients but the heavy cream until smooth and creamy. Gently stir in the heavy cream by hand using a spatula.
Cut off the domed tops from the cooled cakes (if necessary) to level them down. Slice each cake equally in half horizontally (for a 15 cm cake) or into 3 equal layers (for a 18 cm cake).
- 2 egg whites
- pinch cream of tartar or citric acid
- 100 g sugar
- food coloring (optional)
Fill a small saucepan 1/4-1/3 height with water and set over heat to boil. Preheat the oven to 120ºC. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Meanwhile, in a heatproof bowl, start whisking the egg whites with cream of tartar, gradually increasing the speed. When the egg whites start to look bubbly, start adding the sugar, little at a time.
When the water is boiling, take it off the heat, place the bowl over it and continue whisking on high speed until stiff peaks form, the sugar dissolves and the mass looks glossy, 5-10 min. Remove the bowl from the water bath and continue whisking on high until it cools down, another 5-10 min.
If you want your meringues colored, add the coloring(s) at this point and stir gently. If you use a few colors, transfer portions of the whipped egg white into separate bowls first.
You may spoon the meringues on the tray, or you may pipe it with a tip of your choice. I used a plain 5 mm tip. Spoon or pipe meringues leaving some space between them. It is also optional to sprinkle them with crushed nuts or dried crushed rose petals.
Place the tray in the preheated oven and let the meringues to dry out a bit, about 40 min (for small meringue kisses). Turn the oven off and leave the meringues in to cool completely.
- 40-50 g meringues, recipe above (store-bought will also do)
- 80-100 g chopped unsalted pistachio kernels
- fresh berries or fruit, to decorate
- dried food-grade roses, to decorate
Transfer the frosting to a piping bag with a star tip or a tip of your choice. Alternatively you may spoon and level down the frosting. Reserve a few meringues for decoration and crumble the rest of them.
Place the first cake layer on a serving plate, pipe the frosting all over the top, sprinkle with crushed meringue and chopped pistachios, put the second layer on top and repeat the sequence until you used all you cake layers, finishing off with the layer of frosting, crushed meringue and pistachios. Decorate with fresh berries or fruit, whole meringues and crushed rose petals.