Chocolate & Salted Caramel Gingerbread Man Cake

chocolate and salted caramel gingerbread man cake christmas baking ideas kids birthday

Happy New Year! Hope your festive period was as fun-filled as ours… it says something when it’s taken over 2 weeks to upload this post 🙂

I was tasked (as per usual!) with providing dessert for a pre-Christmas meal with friends. You may remember last year’s Chocolate Christmas Pudding cake – well this was devoured equally as quickly. It’s not necessarily just a festive recipe either; I’d happily have a big slice of this at any time of the year.

As I was trying to think of what to make, a little lightbulb pinged in the back of my mind – I’d bought this gingerbread man silicon mould about 2 years ago, and as you can see had not yet used it.

gingerbread man cake silicon mould chocolate and salted caramel

I’d decided to try another gluten-free cake, and chocolate seemed like a safer option than a more complicated ginger one. I used this recipe from This Cotswold Girl – adding a couple of teaspoons of ground ginger to live up to the name. The mix was actually a little too much for the mould, so I made a few small muffins as well. You can never have too much chocolate cake!

The cake came out rich and fudgy, I’ll definitely be using this recipe again.

fudgy gluten free chocolate silicon moulded cake in the shape of a gingerbread man person

However the pièce de résistance for me was the amazing (if I may say so myself) salted caramel icing. It did catch a bit in the pan, but I think the caramelised sugar flecks give it an even more authentic gingerbread man look.

 

It’s a thick, fudgy icing that goes amazingly with the chocolate cake. The above recipe gives a very generous quantity, but I didn’t struggle to use it all up!

gingerbread man cake covered in salted caramel icing recipe salted caramel icing recipe use for covering cakes thick ginger coloured christmas

I let the icing set a little, putting the cake in the fridge for half an hour, before finishing with some red and white royal icing decorations – sleeves and a belt:

gingerbread man cake decoration piped armbands and belt red and white christmas baking ideas

And a wonderfully wonky little face! Well, nobody likes their gingerbread men perfect, do they?

gingerbread man cake crooked smiley face red and white piped royal

The finished gingerbread man (or Gingy if you prefer!) – a perfect post dinner treat.

gingerbread man cake chocolate and salted caramel with hand piped royal icing decorations

Salted Caramel Pecan Pie

salted caramel pecan pie easy homemade recipe gbbo

#greatbloggersbakeoff2014 and it’s pies and pastry week! I remember my mum lusting over pecan pie when I was little, and when she made it, it was absolutely divine. What better way to improve than with some sweet-yet-savoury salted caramel. It’s actually quite a simple recipe (once you’ve made the pastry!), but looks and tastes wonderfully impressive to serve as a dessert.

Recipe

– Shortcrust pastry case – I like Be-ro’s pastry recipe
– 395g (one tin) condensed milk
– 75g butter
– 2 tablespoons golden syrup
– 75g light brown sugar
– 1 1/2 teaspoons rock salt
– 2 eggs
– 100g pecan nuts

Blind-bake your pastry case, and set aside to cool
– Add the condensed milk, butter, syrup and sugar to a heavy bottomed saucepan. Heat on high until the mixture bubbles and boils
– Turn off the heat, stir in the salt, and set aside to cool
– Once at room temperature, beat in the eggs, and pour into the pastry case
– Carefully place the pecans on the top, in whatever pattern you wish. I used a combination of whole and crushed nuts, finished with a sprinkle of light brown sugar
– Transfer to the oven at bake at 180 degrees until just set. Keep an eye on the pie during baking, if the pastry is starting to darken, cover with foil for the remaining baking time to prevent burning

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The top should be crunchy, golden and caramelised…

salted caramel pecan pie crispy sugar top pastry case

… with the inside sticky, sweet, and salty:

slice of salted caramel pecan pie served warm

If you can, serve whilst slightly warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Quite frankly divine, so many amazing flavours on one little plate!

salted caramel pecan pie served warm with vanilla ice cream home recipe

greatbloggersbakeoff2014

Banana and Salted Caramel Birthday Cupcakes

salted caramel and banana cupcakes swirl buttercream orange and yellow flower toppers recipe

Happy Birthday to me! Well, yesterday actually, but who’s counting 😉

Continuing the brilliant tradition of taking cakes into the office for my birthday, these bad boys are my offering for 2014. Having just eaten one with compliments from colleagues ringing in my ears, I cannot help but rave about them. They are so good. And, made with real bananas, good for you as well. Wins all round.

They also make use of the final product from my Sugar and Crumbs trial pack. As much as I enjoyed using the Chocolate Cherry Cocoa Powder and Coffee Icing Sugar, this Salted Caramel Icing Sugar was always going to be my favourite, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

At £2.99 for a 250g bag from Sugar and Crumbs, it is a fair price (if you use the whole pack for one batch like I did), so one to use for special occasions, of which my birthday is definitely one!

sugar and crumbs salted caramel natural flavoured icing sugar review and recipe

Ingredients (Makes 8-10 cupcakes)
90g butter
90g light brown sugar
1 large or 2 small eggs
Approx 180g banana (2 small or 1 large bananas)
1 tablespoon milk
120g self raising flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

To ice
75g butter
1 tablespoon milk
250g Salted Caramel icing sugar

Method
– Beat together the butter and sugar
– Add the mashed banana, and eggs, plus 1 tablespoon of flour, and beat until well combined
– Sieve in the remainder of the flour and baking powder, and fold in
– Spoon into cupcake cases, about 2/3 full, bake at 180 degrees for 15-18 minutes. The tops should be firm to the touch and golden brown. The cake will still feel a bit squishy, due to the banana, if unsure, insert a small skewer or cocktail stick to check it’s completely cooked.
– Once cool, beat together the butter, milk and icing sugar until light and airy but thick in texture. Spoon or pipe onto the top of the cupcakes.

cupcake buttercream perfect swirl star nozzle salted caramel and banana

The cupcakes come out light and beautifully moist, the banana flavour comes through perfectly. And combined with the sweet tang of the salted caramel buttercream – perfection!

banana cupcake recipe deconstructed method inside moist and fluffy

To top my cupcakes I embraced the first throes of spring with some orange and yellow flower toppers. Cut out of coloured flower paste, I finished them with a contrasting centre before sticking onto the buttercream with a little white icing.

homemade icing toppers yellow and orange flower paste spring bakes

salted caramel and banana cupcake recipe review and method easy how to

The cupcakes disappeared in mere seconds at work, with a few more left for a birthday dinner tonight, I can’t imagine they’ll be around for long!

banana and salted caramel birthday cupcakes with spring orange and yellow flowers recipe

banan cupcake with salted caramel buttercream swirl frosting and flower past fondant orange and yello