Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Bruce Bogtrotter Cake

Man, I am reveling in my short window of free time. I have watched very many silly films, I have cooked some very delicious food. First up I made Joy the Baker's Chicken Pot Pie with Cream Cheese and Chive Biscuits which was divine. It was everything you could want from a meal - creamy, carby, comforting... And crammed with vegetables but not in an overly vegetable-y way. Completely recommend it. I think American biscuits might even ease me towards an appreciation of (some) dumplings, a food I had a hate-hate relationship with at school.

Then I made my Bruce Bogtrotter cake. This isn't the actual Bruce Bogtrotter cake from the Roald Dahl cookbook, which one of my flatmates owns, but I feel it has earned the title by way of its general overwhelming power and chocolatiness. I should preface this by saying that I never like chocolate cake - I always find it dry, bland and uninteresting. I never buy it in cafes or cook it at home because it is always a disappointment. However, some greedy little piglet has been pushing me to make the Baked Sweet and Salty Chocolate Cake for ages and I have a lot of faith in their recipes. I have made their brownies and their cookies and they have been totally delicious. Also, I love salt. Love it! Think it makes pretty much everything more delicious, inevitably including chocolate cake.

My attempt at the cake looks like something a five year old might make and it has very little aesthetically in common with the Baked original but do not underestimate its heavenly goodness. It is three layers of chocolate cake, each layer sandwiched with a layer of salted caramel sauce, a layer of chocolate caramel ganache and a sprinkling of sea salt, all pasted in ganache and dusted with a pinch more sea salt. Despite a firm lecture on the value of independence and individuality all my layers merged into one sticky, gooey super layer. Not that this took away from the cake's charm, in my humble opinion... It was a thing of genius and, interestingly, a cake that matured really well (which was good because there is no way that this thing could be eaten in a single sitting unless you had 20+ guests). I normally only like cake hot out of the oven but this just kept getting better over two days. It just kept on knocking people's socks off...

i) This cake does take a loooong time. I mean a loooooooooooooong time.
ii) This cake requires crazy amounts of dairy product. One whole pot of sour cream, one whole pot of double cream, over a pack of butter in the cake... The recipe says TWO ENTIRE PACKS of butter in the icing. This is obviously crazy so I only used half a pack and I still had enough icing to thickly frost two layers of cake, the whole outside of the cake, the 9 cupcakes the remaining cake mixture made and quite a lot of myself with a fair bit left over.
iii) The quantities generally are a bit insane. I had left over everything.
iv) There is a lot of washing up!

Ingredients: (Makes large cake and a small batch of cupcakes)
Chocolate Cake:

  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 2/3 cups plain flour
  • 3 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups, 283g butter (they have some marg in there but I'm not a fan)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Salted Caramel Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup double cream
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Chocolate Caramel Ganache:

  • 1 pound, 450g dark chocolate - I used one standard 200g pack because I didn't check the conversion.
  • 1 1/2 cups double cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 2 cups, 450g butter - I used 125 g.

Chocolate Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160oC. Butter and grease three 8-inch cake tins.
  2. Medium bowl - combine the cocoa, sour cream and hot water and set aside to cool. This will look like weird brown water and taste gross but go with it.
  3. Medium bowl 2 - measure out your flour, baking powder and salt together.
  4. Big bowl - beat the butter until pale. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs, beating them in one at a time. Add the vanilla and generally beat until everything is incorporated.
  5. Take it in turn to add the flour mixture and the cocoa water mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixture.
  6. This should now be looking like a normal if slightly wet cake mixture. Divide among your tins and bake for 30-40 mins, or until cooked.
  7. Leave to cool on wire racks.

Salted Caramel Sauce:

  1. Small saucepan - combine the cream and salt. Bring to simmer over a low heat. Don't burn the cream.
  2. Medium saucepan - combine 1/4 cup water, the sugar and golden syrup over a high-ish heat. Cook until a dark amber, Baked estimate this as 6-8 minutes. Don't burn yourself.
  3. Remove the caramel from the heat and cool for one minute. Add the cream mixture to the caramel and stir in. Then stir in the sour cream.
  4. Leave to cool ready for assembly.

Chocolate Caramel Ganache:

  1. Medium bowl - break your chocolate into.
  2. Small saucepan - bring cream to simmer over a low heat.
  3. Medium saucepan - combine 1/4 cup water, the sugar and golden syrup as before. Cook until amber.
  4. Remove the caramel from the heat and cool for one minute. Add the cream to the caramel and stir slowly in.
  5. Pour the hot caramel mixture over the chocolate and leave for one minute. Then stir to combine.
  6. Now beat the mixture until quite cool and start adding the cubed butter. Continue to beat until fluffy.
Now combine. Cake layer, caramel layer, ganache layer, sprinkling of salt, cake layer, caramel layer, ganache layer, sprinkling of salt, cake layer, full cake frosting in chocolate ganache, decorative flourish of salt on top. Cue much gorging.

Go forth and prosper my morbidly obese but gloriously happy chocolate covered children!

Chuck x


  1. Oh god, gooey chocolatey perfection! A worthy tribute to Bruce Bogtrotter.. xx

  2. I have one thing to say: nomnomnomnomnom! :D looks sooo yummy! x

  3. Woah this looks awesome! Proper Matilda/ Mrs Trunchbull style!

  4. man oh man it does look amazing though, it sure does have a ton of stuff in it. i don't have the patience for it but maybe my gf could. ace

  5. actually speechless at the wonder.

  6. um, this looks ridiculously amazing.

  7. Oh my goodness. Miraculous chocolate overload.