March 30, 2011

Chocolate & Butterscotch Cake

Just a quick post on this gorgeous Chocolate & Butterscotch Cake I made for a friends 30th.

Chocolate Butterscotch Cake-15

Chocolate Butterscotch Cake-11

Originally, he had requested a Butterscotch Souffle but because I had to make the Winnie the Pooh cake for the same weekend and the logistics of delivering this cake (i.e. the souffle would become a flattened mess by the time he got it) I suggested a cake based off the butterscotch flavours instead.

Chocolate Butterscotch Cake-14

I went through quite a few trials and errors with this cake - it really made me think hard and fast about the cake design and decoration process. It was different from my other cakes as it was not a novelty cake like the others, yet it had to be pretty looking enough for a 30th birthday cake.

Chocolate Butterscotch Cake-12

Initally, I was going to use a mascarpone based frosting with swirls of butterscotch sauce layered in between the cake but because of the heat, the cake layers were slipping and sliding. In the end, I opted for a Swiss Butterscotch Buttercream and Caramel Ganache for the frosting between layers and Caramel Ganache to cover the outside of the cake. The cake was then decorated with what I like to call my 'Sugar Centrepiece' aka toffee strands lol and candied hazelnuts aka toffee coated roasted hazelnuts.

Chocolate & Butterscotch Cake
Butterscotch schapps
Cocoa powder
Baking paper

Chocolate Cake
Adapted from The Australian Women's Weekly - Wicked

I doubled this recipe so I could get a higher cake so in total I had 4 cake layers.

1/4 cup (25g) cocoa powder
2 Tsp instant coffee (optional)
250g butter, softened
1 cup (200g) firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp golden syrup
1 ¼ cups(185 g) self raising flour
½ cup (125ml) milk

Preheat oven to 180oC. Grease a 20 cm round cake pan.

Sift cocoa into a large bowl. Then add all other ingredients and mix on a low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium and continue to mix until batter has changed to a lighter colour (see below).
Chocolate Butterscotch Cake-9

Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake for about 1 hour or until it springs back to the touch.

Let cake cool and cut in half with a serrated knife.

Chocolate Butterscotch Cake-2

Swiss Meringue Butterscotch Buttercream
Adapted from The Caked Crusader

4 egg whites
250g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
3-4 Tbsp Butterscotch schnapps (obviously if you want it more alcoholic a stronger flavour you can add more but note it will water down the consistency of the buttercream)

Place the egg whites and sugar in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir constantly to prevent the egg from cooking.

After 5-10 minutes, when the sugar has dissolved (when you cannot see any crystals on the back of the spoon), remove the bowl from the pan of simmering water and whisk until the meringue has puffed up and the mixture has cooled down.

Add butter and schnapps and keep beating until smooth, light and fluffy. It will look curdled and gross at first but just keep beating.

Caramel Ganache
1 x 220 g Cadbury Caramello Block
100 g thickened cream

Melt both chocolate and cream in a pot and mix until smooth.

Toffee & Candied Hazelnuts
100g sugar
1/4 cup sugar

Bring sugar to the boil in a pot and stir gently until completely dissolved.

Turn down heat and let simmer until the caramel starts to change in colour - remove from heat immediately. You might need to brush down the sides with a bit of water as it is simmering to stop the syrup thats splashed on the sides crystallising the rest of the syrup,, turning the rest of the mixture into a crunchy mass... but I found that with the heat low enough I didnt really need to do this as the syrup didnt splatter on the sides too much.

Tip: you can have a bowl of iced water handy to cool down the caramel by plunging the bottom of the pot into it.

Chocolate Butterscotch Cake-3

To make the sugar piece - get a fork, dip it in the toffee then quickly sway back and forth over some baking paper so that it makes nice golden strands. To get a little fancy position the baking paper over a bottle or something curved so that it hardens curved. Make a few of these. I also liked to use the beautiful golden droplets for decoration :)

Chocolate Butterscotch Cake-4

To make the candied hazelnuts - stick a skewer into the hazelnut and dip it in the toffee. Place the hazelnut on baking paper until the toffee hardens.

To Assemble:

Brush each of the cake halves with Butterscotch schnapps.

Spread a third of the buttercream and a few spoonfuls of the ganache on one half of the cake sides. Repeat with the next 2 layers (dont use all the ganache).

Once you have assembled all the cake layers with icing in between, ice the entire cake with the remaining ganache.

Dust cocoa powder over the top of the cake and position your sugar pieces along with your candied hazelnuts in an "artistic" way hehehe.

Pipe a neat little border around the base of the cake with some left over ganache.


Chocolate Butterscotch Cake-13

Hope you had a lovely 30th birthday Tactless! :)

Bon Appétit! ♥


  1. Yumm, you are such a good friend! I love how shiny and smooth your ganache looks!

  2. You had me at chocolate :)

    Would reducing the butterscotch scnapps over heat get the best of both worlds with regards to increased flavour without compromising the buttercream's consistency?

  3. SHT NGA GD DMN! Looks crazy Rhonda! Bring it over!

  4. Simon: I totally didnt even think of that.. .will have to try it out next time.. initally I was actually going to incorporate some homemade butterscotch sauce into the buttercream but i ran out of time which is why I had to go the schnapps option.. but great tip! thanks!

  5. A lovely 'age appropriate' cake!

  6. Yum :-) Can you make this for my 30th later this year too? ;-)

  7. amazing!

    my birthday is coming up in 4 days *hint*

  8. Ooo, that is an exquisite cake! I love the spun sugar swirling you added to the top - gorgeous, and very sophisticated.

  9. This is so impressive! Very elegant cake!

  10. Looks decadent and oh so scrumptious - nice work!

  11. Beautiful. I tried to copy yours but mine is nothing compared to this artistic creation! xx


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