Chocolate Brownie Cake
- Preheat oven to (180°C/160°C fan-forced) and line two 10cm (4”) round baking pans with greaseproof paper.
- Melt butter and dark chocolate in small saucepan on low heat until smooth, then set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
- Place sugars and eggs in free-standing mixer with paddle attachment and beat until pale and smooth.
- Pour melted chocolate and butter mixture into beaten sugar and eggs, and beat until combined.
- Add 1/3 of the sifted plain flour and gently beat on low speed to combine, then the rest of the flour, cocoa and baking powder, until mixture is smooth. Take care not to overmix.
- Divide mixture between prepared cake pans, weighing each pan to ensure equal weight. Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes in pans, then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack.
Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- Place egg whites and caster sugar in heatproof bowl over small saucepan of simmering water, ensuring the base of the bowl does not touch the water.
- Allow the sugar to dissolve, whisking intermittently, heating to 65°C to ensure egg whites are pasteurised.
- Allow mixture to cool to room temperature, then whisk in free-standing mixer until white, glossy, soft meringue peaks form.
- Very slowly add small 1cm cubes of softened butter, then salted caramel sauce to taste, and continue whisking until buttercream is light and fluffy.
- Assembling this cake is easiest when the cake is slightly chilled, and the buttercream and salted caramel are at room temperature. The salted caramel should be thick but fluid, and can be warmed gently to allow smoother drips, but take care not to overheat as it will melt your buttercream.
- Level each cake by slicing off the cake domes, then cut them in half lengthways to yield four cake layers in total. Use the base of one layer for the base of the cake, and the base of the other layer (turned upside down) for the top of the cake to avoid crumbs in the buttercream.
- Place the first layer on a round cake plate or turn-table and spread a thin layer of buttercream on the top, smoothing with a palate knife. Repeat frosting between each cake layer.
- Cover the top and sides of the cake in a very thin layer of buttercream and smooth with a palate knife, allowing portions of the cake to remain visible, creating a semi-naked cake appearance. It can help to dip the palate knife in warm water then wipe clean to create a smoother “white-wash” appearance, although naked cakes generally have a rustic appeal so it does not need to be perfect.
- Drizzle salted caramel sauce slowly over the top of the cake, allowing a little to drip down over the sides.
- Decorate with fresh figs.