As the days are getting cooler and the breeze stronger, I find that these autumn days tend to make me want to stay home more often, curling up with good books and long, slow movies (or mass amounts of research on my computer these days as I try to improve this site). What these days also do to me is whisper thoughts of warm spices, crispy apples, hot cups of tea and baked goods in the oven. In the spirit of this fabulously cosy season, I found inspiration in Tessa Huff’s London Fog cake, featured on The Cake Blog and in her book, Layered.

As you can see by my photos, I still need to work on presentation! It’s not keeping me from sharing the results though, because in my mind, it was a success. I didn’t under-cook the cake (a bad habit of mine when using gluten free flour), and the Earl Grey buttercream turned out so well! I had some trial and error with the caramel sauce, only because I’d never worked with boiled sugar before.

Using Schär brand of flour, I started out the night before with making the base: a rich, fudge-like chocolate cake. I really liked the essence of coffee in this recipe; it was so subtle yet intensified the chocolate to perfection. For all the other chocolate lovers out there, this recipe if for us! After popping this in the oven, I got started on the buttercream frosting.

I don’t usually like foo-foo flavours that overwhelm the cake bit, I’m more of a simpleton that way. So a tea-infused buttercream topping was something entirely new to me. I started out with melting the butter and dried tea leaves in a pot; later sifting out the leaves and being left with an infused butter for making the buttercream. Whoa! It was like a soft explosion of sweet vanilla Earl Grey tea in cream form. Yum. Up until this point, I had spent about 4 hours in the kitchen and it was getting late, so I quickly frosted the cake (bad idea), and stuck it in the fridge until morning to complete it. I would recommend chilling both the cake and the buttercream before frosting, as the buttercream is quite soft when first made and I had trouble with it sliding down the cake. Otherwise, it was an easy process.

 

The next morning, I prepped the caramel sauce, and since I accidentally over-salted the sauce (and not even fabulous frosting could overcome that taste), I started out for a second try. I excluded the salt altogether (not a fan of salted caramel anyway), and had much more success with the outcome. Then, it was time to put the finishing touches on the cake – the caramel! I’ve since learned that it doesn’t take ALL of the caramel sauce for the topping, as it will eventually run off and pool at the bottom of the cake, looking a bit pathetic (and ruining my photo-op!). So learn from me and have a bit of patience with the caramel. Unless you like caramel, then pour away!

Suffice it to say, I was ecstatic with how this cake turned out! I have to say, it was simply divine, and I plan on making it again someday. In fact, if you get the basics of this recipe down, then it’s quite easy to change up the flavours for something different. I think my next attempt will be a lemon cake with lavender buttercream… But maybe in a few weeks, you know, once I’ve worked off the weight from this first one.

 

Hope you like this recipe as much as I do! I plan on buying the book to learn more of Tessa’s tips and tricks for delicious cakes. If you already have it, let me know what you think!

Happy baking, xx

All credit for this recipe goes to it’s creator, Tessa Huff. I do not accept ownership of any part of it.

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