Monday, 12 May 2014

Argentine Chocolate and Dulce de Leche Celebration Cake

I know. I'm sorry. (Actually I'm not). 

dulce de leche chocolate cake argentina

One photo of this cake should have been enough...  but I just couldn't stop taking pictures of it.  Honestly, this cake is gorgeous and just kept getting sexier the more I looked at it. 


dulce de leche chocolate cake argentina slice

I created it from one of my husband's memories of a chocolate cake he ate in Argentina, when he was little. He's been banging on about this cake for ages, so when I was able to get my hands on a big 900g jar of dulce de leche I made it for him. 

It took quite a few attempts at this cake to get it just right. I felt it was important to use actual chocolate - rather than cocoa powder - in the cake itself - so eventually found a dark, 80% cocoa bar of chocolate that worked just right. And then the type of dulce de leche is important too - you can buy two main types of dulce de leche in Argentina. The first - regulardulce de leche - is milky and smooth but also slightly runny. The second - which is what you need for filling cakes and general baking - is dulce de leche repostero, a thicker, drier version that doesnt ooze down the sides of a finished cake but stands proud, between the two dark layers of chocolate cake. Cuts into 10-12 slices.

Oh, go on then, just one more... 


slice of dulce de leche and chocolate cake argentina

Ingredients
For the cake:
150g butter, slightly softened
125g golden caster sugar
3 eggs
80g dark chocolate, with 80% cocoa solids
1 tsp vanilla essence
150g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk

For the filling:
approx. 8 heaped dessertspoons dulce de leche repostero

For the chocolate ganache topping:
120g dark chocolate, 80% solids
100ml double cream

Method
First, make the cake. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/190ºC/375ºF and grease and line two sandwich tins. Place the chocolate in a small bowl and set it over a pan of gently simmering water (dont let the water touch the bottom of the bowl) until melted. Set to one side. In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in the eggs and then pour in the melted chocolate. Mix well and add the vanilla essence. Once the cake mixture is smooth, sift in the flour and baking powder and trickle in the milk. Stir well. 

Divide the mixture between the sandwich tins and bake for 20 minutes, or until firm and risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool for 5 -10 minutes and then turn the cakes out of the tins very gently, removing the circle of greaseproof paper from the bottom. Leave to finish cooling on a wire rack. 

Once the cakes are thoroughly cooled, you can fill them with the dulce de leche. Place one of the cakes on a serving plate and drop dessertspoonfuls of the dulce de leche repostero on the top. Using a palette knife, spread the dulce de leche gently and lightly around the surface of the cake, being careful not to disturb the crumbs too much underneath - the dulce de leche is very sticky. 

When youre ready, place the other cake on top - taking care to get the alignment right before you put the cake down. Once its down it will stick firmly. 


To make the ganache, melt together the chocolate and double cream in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir together to form a thick, glossy chocolate ganache. Allow to cool for a minute or so and then pour over the centre of the cake, allowing the ganache to fall and billow out down the sides. It will set and harden as it cools, or you can just dig in now and cut into fat wedges.

So... who wants a slice? 

Did you know that I've written two ebooks on the food of Argentina? Check them out on Amazon here (affiliate links)...