Chocolate Caramel Poke Cake

This is no mean feat, especially for a chocolate and caramel lover. But that's exactly what I love about sheet cakes, the greater surface area allows for mass chocolate chip/drizzle combo topping. Its not the prettiest, nor the best executed. More like an excuse to make yourself a cake and load it up with all your favourite toppings.

There's no limit to poke cakes either. You could load it up with chocolate ganache, something boozy or anything else you fancy in place of the caramel. A poke cake literally means poke holes in it and pour over a sauce, it knocks the socks off a drizzle cake...unless it's the super boozy gin and tonic cake I made last week!

C H O C O L A T E   C A R A M E L   P O K E   C A K E
Serves 12

Chocolate cake

140g unsalted butter
350g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
2tbsp malted milk powder (like Horlicks)
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
2tsp baking powder
1/4tsp salt
300g soft light brown sugar
300ml milk
150ml vegetable oil
1tsp vanilla extract


395g tin condensed milk
2tbsp golden syrup
60g unsalted butter

Chocolate caramel frosting

250g unsalted butter, softened
500g icing sugar
100g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids), melted and cooled
1-2tsp caramel extract

Chocolate chips and 50g white chocolate for finishing

  • Heat the oven to 180 degrees and grease and line a 23x33cm baking tray.
  • Melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat and leave to cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, malted milk powder, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt to remove any lumps and add in the sugar.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, vanilla and cooled butter before whisking into the dry ingredients. 
  • Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the baking tray for 10 minutes before using the end of a wooden spoon to poke holes over the surface of the cake.
  • Whilst the cake is baking in the oven, make the caramel. Add all the ingredients into a medium sized pan on a medium heat and gently whisk until the mixture starts to steam, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and continue to whisk for a further minute.
  • Pour the caramel over the cake ensuring to cover every edge and poke hole. Cover and leave to chill for one hour in the fridge.
  • To make the chocolate frosting, whisk the butter and sifted icing sugar together, gently at first, until light and fluffy. Slowly add in the cooled melted dark chocolate whilst continuing to beat.
  • Spread the frosting evenly over the surface of the cooled cake. 

Top with whatever treats you want for finishing touches, I threw over a generous helping of chocolate chips and sprinkles and a drizzle of white chocolate.

The cake is quite oozy, so feel free to pop in the fridge to chill a little again in order to make neat slices for serving. Alternatively, eat straight from the tin with a fork and in great quantities. 

Super Boozy Gin and Tonic Cake

A drunken cake seeped in gin and plenty of sunny lemon makes for a great combination of my two loves: cake and gin. This cake can hold her booze, that's for sure, perhaps a little more than you can.

 S U P E R   B O O Z Y   G I N   A N D   T O N I C   C A K E
(Recipe adapted from Pudding Lane, makes one large 2lb loaf)

265g unsalted butter, softened
265g caster sugar
4 eggs
265g self raising flour
2 lemons
8 shots of gin
Dash of tonic water
150g caster sugar

  • Heat the oven to 180 degrees and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking paper. 
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. 
  • Beat in the eggs, gently one at a time, add in a few spoons of flour after each addition. 
  • Add the flour, lemon zest of both lemons and juice of 1 and half the gin and stir together. 
  • Pour into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. 
  • In the last few minutes of baking, prepare the drizzle. Whisk together the remaining gin, tonic, caster sugar and juice of the remaining lemon until well combined. 
  • Once the cake is cooked, remove from the oven and poke lots of holes into the surface. Pour over the drizzle and leave to cool fully before serving. 

Salted Caramel Stuffed Brownies

Since last month I've been attempting to get used to 9-5 commuting and a new job. Gone are the old days of baking at midnight after a late shift and having the whole next morning to take photos, read and drink coffee. Even though my days are now shorter it feels like there's not enough time in the day.

My body clock is taking some time to adjust so at 6am on Sunday morning I was up baking brownies. I figured that was the only way to make being awake so early on a Sunday more bearable.

Brownies are my go to thing. I'd make them each week if I trusted myself not to eat the whole batch. But I've never made them in this way, stuffed with salted caramel. Not the oozy kind, but the kind you make with condensed milk that sets really well once baked. And, most importantly, the kind that reminds me how much I love baking and how I really do need to make more time for it regardless of what hours I'm working!

S A L T E D   C A R A M E L   S T U F F E D   B R O W N I E S
(Recipe adapted from Recipe Tin Eats, makes 16 brownies)

200g unsalted butter
200g Lindt Excellence salted caramel dark chocolate
180g soft light brown sugar
3 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
60g plain flour
30g cocoa powder

Salted caramel:

395g sweetened condensed milk
2tbsp golden syrup
60g unsalted butter
1tsp flaked sea salt

  • Place the butter and dark chocolate over a pan of barley simmering water and gently melt. Takeoff the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, add the sugar, eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.
  • Pour the chocolate mix into the sugar mix and stir together until smooth and silky.
  • Fold in the flour and cocoa powder until just combined and set the brownie batter aside.
  • Line an 8x8" tin with baking paper and preheat the oven to 170 degrees.
  • To make the caramel, add all ingredients to a medium pan on a low - medium heat and stir together.
  • Whisk continually until the caramel starts to turn a little more golden and to steam. Remove from the heat and continue to whisk for a further minute.
  • Pour half the brownie batter into the prepared tin and top with the caramel mix. Smooth the remaining brownie batter over the top.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top has a smooth crisp skin. The brownies once done will have a little wobble in the centre but will firm up as they cool out the oven.

Thanks again to Lindt for my stash of chocolate! This is not a sponsored post. I just love Lindt, a lot. 

Salted Chocolate, Bourbon and Spelt Cookies

You know when you spend forever baking something for someone, trying to get it just right, and it just goes wrong? Brownies for example. I made some when I went to Flick's for tea a little while ago and she sent me back home with them! Sounds cruel, but she was right, you really can tell when something's just not right.

In this instance, I'd melted down some leftover Easter eggs and the chocolate wasn't anywhere near my usual 70-80% cocoa choice. They didn't really taste of anything, such a shame that they didn't taste that great.

For baking, I love using dark chocolate. The darker the better. I'm forever double checking the back of packets just to check just how much percentage of cocoa they have. That's why I love Lindt's Excellence range, it says its 70% and it really is 70%. Especially as they have my 3 favourite flavours, salted chocolate, orange with almond and salted caramel. These are excellent in any baking.

Particularly these cookies. A little bit grown up with the addition of bourbon, super dark chocolate and flaky sea salt. I almost didn't feel guilty having two of these for breakfast this morning!

S A L T E D   C H O C O L A T E   B O U R B O N   &   S P E L T   C O O K I E S
(Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, makes a dozen cookies)

290g plain flour
70g spelt flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
190g unsalted butter, room temperature
75g dark brown sugar
75g caster sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp bourbon
200g Lindt Excellence salted dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
flaky sea salt for topping

  • Add the flour, bicarbonate and salt to a medium bowl and whisk to remove any lumps.
  • Beat together the butter and sugar in another bowl until light and fluffy, around 3-4 minutes. Add in the egg, vanilla and bourbon and continue to mix on a low speed until incorporated.
  • Add the flour mix a little at a time until incorporated again.
  • Gently fold in the chocolate chunks before scooping the dough into a large ball. Wrap in cling film and chill for a few hours until firm.
  • Heat the oven to 180 degrees. Line two cookie trays with baking paper. Divide the dough into 12 equal sized balls, I use an ice cream scoop for this. 
  • Flatten each cookie onto the tray, leaving space in between each. Bake for 14 minutes, until golden and leave to firm and cool before serving.

Thank you to the lovely Elle and Mai at Lindt towers for sending me some samples for recipes!