by Karen Swan
I am OBSESSED with dulce de leche. Unlike any caramel you’ve ever tasted, once you sample the real deal, you’ll never look at caramel the same again. Seek it out. Head to gourmet delis and speciality shops. But don’t, whatever you do, substitute the dulce de leche with a can of ‘ready to fill’ condensed milk caramel. It. Is. Not. The. Same. Well, OK, that’s severe, but it simply cannot match the richness and smoothness of the real deal.
This cake is dense like a mud cake, yet the taste of the dulce de leche shines through all the other ingredients as the primary taste. Topped with the buttercream icing, and you’ll be in a state of food bliss.
(please note: my oven is utter shite and never cooks a cake right through to the centre. Hence the massive dip in the middle of the cake. I like to see it as a ‘glass half full’ cock up, as it means I can bung on MORE of the icing to fill the void!)
(makes 2 x 20cm cakes)
85g butter – softened at room temperature
200g brown sugar
120g plain yoghurt
1/3 cup olive oil
300g dulce de leche
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
320g plain gluten free flour (or substitute regular if GF is not an issue)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
For the icing:
225g butter – softened at room temperature
1 to 1.5 cups icing sugar (depending on how sweet you want the icing)
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dulce de leche
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and grease and line two 20cm cake tins.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Have patience here, it takes a while!
Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating each egg well into the batter before adding the next.
Beat in the oil, yoghurt, vanilla and (drool) dulce de leche.
Still using electric mixers, or a bench top mixer, add in half the flour.
Now, grab a wooden spoon and stir through the milk before adding the rest of the flour.
Pour the mix evenly into the two prepared tins and bake for approximately 40 mins.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tin, before inverting onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Here’s where the size of the cake is up to you. If you want to take this to the next level of indulgence, then by all means, layer one cake on top of the other when icing. I wanted to stretch out the dulce journey for as long as possible, so wrapped one cooled cake in cling film and foil and put it in the freezer. Then, using a fancy pants cake cutter from IKEA, sliced the cake through the centre and proceeded to ice.
To make the icing, be prepared for some serious time holding the electric hand mixers if that’s what you’re using. Those of you with awesome stand mixers, please feel free to make a cup if coffee while the butter whips and I shoot green eyed monster glares at you.
In a medium bowl, beat the butter until it goes all light and fluffy. This takes a while!
Add the icing sugar and continue to beat until the sugar is dissolved into the mix and it starts looking lovely and creamy.
Add the vanilla and dulce de leche, plus the salt, and whip, whip whip until you have a light icing mixture.
Spread a layer as thick as you please over the liced cake. Pop the top layer on and then smooooooooth the icing on and around the cake. Again, my fancy pants IKEA cake decorating set came in rather handy here.
(ooooh, see the big icing WEDGE in the centre? Now that’s what I call a silver lining to a sunken cake almost disaster!)
In-iced cakes can be frozen, wrapped well, for up to 3 months.
Iced cakes will last for 3-5 days, covered in the fridge.