Tamal Ray’s recipe for butterscotch layer cake | The sweet spot | Food


Once learned, butterscotch sauce becomes difficult to do without. I became hooked when I started to make sticky toffee pudding, which in turn led to a string of film nights guzzling butterscotch drizzled popcorn. The “icing” in this recipe is a variation on the basic sauce: butterscotch cooked to the soft-ball stage, then whipped up with extra cream to give a rich, toffee filling.

Butterscotch layer cake

I find it simpler to weigh liquids when baking, rather than decanting them into volume measures. If you prefer to use volumes, then the cream and milk will be the same in millilitres as in grams, but the oil is approximately 235ml.

Prep 30 min
Cook 30 min
Serves 10-12

For the cake
300g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
350g light brown sugar
20g cocoa
200g vegetable oil
3 medium eggs
2 tsp coffee powder
50g milk

For the butterscotch icing
150g light brown sugar
75g unsalted butter
¼ tsp fine salt
300g double cream

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/gas 6. Grease two 23cm round tins, lining their bases with greaseproof paper and brushing the sides with a little oil.

Make the butterscotch sauce: stir the sugar, butter, salt and half the cream in a saucepan over a low heat for a couple of minutes, until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and simmer for eight minutes until the mixture has thickened. Drop a small blob of the mix into a bowl of cold water. If it dissolves immediately, then continue to cook and check again in another couple of minutes. If it forms a pliable ball, the butterscotch is ready. Remove from the heat, add the rest of the cream, stir to combine, then leave to cool.

For the cake, sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and cocoa into a bowl, add the remaining ingredients and beat together until combined. Divide between the cake tins, then bake for 15 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool.

Once cooled, remove the cakes from their tins and peel off the greaseproof paper. Use an electric whisk to whip the butterscotch icing into stiff peaks. Put one half of the cake on a plate, spread half the icing over it, sandwich with the other sponge on top, then ice to finish.

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