Desserts & Baking

Milk chocolate caramel sheet cake

30 minutes, plus 30 minutes cooling time

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  • For the milk chocolate salted caramel ganache
  • 200 g milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 400 ml double cream
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 1 t flaked sea salt
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • For the chocolate sheet cake
  • 250 g plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 75 g cocoa powder
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 2 t bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ t fine sea salt
  • 300 g light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100 ml neutral-tasting oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 225 ml sour cream
  • 225 ml hot brewed coffee
  • To decorate
  • salted peanuts
  • cacao nibs

1. First, make the ganache as it needs to chill before use. Place the chocolate in a large, heatproof bowl. Pour the cream into a small saucepan, bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat. Heat the sugar in a medium-sized saucepan over a medium heat until melted and the colour of an old copper coin.

2. Add the butter, salt and half the warm cream. Once the bubbling has subsided, you should have a smooth caramel. If not, reduce the heat and stir until smooth. Pour in the remaining cream and the vanilla and stir to combine.

3. While still hot, pour the caramel over the chocolate and leave for a couple of minutes, then stir until a smooth ganache. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours or until the texture of buttercream, soft and scoopable. If you leave it too long it will thicken and whipping the ganache will become tough.

4. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease the baking tin and line with a piece of parchment paper that overhangs the two long sides of the tin, securing in place with metal clips.

5. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and sugar into a large bowl and whisk to combine. Make a well in the middle, pour in all the remaining ingredients and whisk everything together just until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and spread evenly.

6. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until the cake springs back to a light touch and is starting to pull away from the tin’s sides. Because the cake is on the large side, it is a little harder to manoeuvre, so cool in the tin for 20–30 minutes, before using the overhanging parchment paper to lift it to a wire rack to cool completely.

7. Use an electric mixer to whisk the ganache for a few minutes until smooth and shiny (over-whisking can make it grainy, so err on the side of caution). Spread over the cake, then sprinkle liberally with peanuts and cacao nibs. Cut into portions and serve.

8. Store in a sealed container for 4–5 days.

Cook's note: This recipe is the reason this book exists, my OG one tin cake that has fed countless crowds as I developed the recipe. One early version came with me to the local pub, and once my friends had devoured most of it, we handed out the rest to strangers – a cake is still the best way I know to make friends. The ganache is made with a bittersweet salted caramel and topped with peanuts and cacao nibs. If there is one cake I want you to try, it’s this one.

This is an extract from One Tin Bakes by Edd Kimber. It is published by Kyle Books and retails for R329. Photography: Edd Kimber

Find more cake recipes here.

Edd Kimber

Recipe by: Edd Kimber

Edd Kimber is a baker, food writer and TV personality and is the author of four cookbooks. He is also the winner of the first season of The Great British Bake Off in 2010.

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