Today is a special day: Mondomulia turns three years old! It’s crazy to think how this little blog revolutionized my life, motivated me, shaped who I am, gave me new friends and a new career.
I missed my blog’s 2nd anniversary last November as I was on my honeymoon in Australia, but this year I wasn’t going to let the 24th of November pass without a special post (and miss the opportunity to eat a slice of cake…or three!).
This year I have another reason to celebrate: in two weeks I will officially retire from advertising and start working full time on my blog and photography. I reached a point where I simply couldn’t keep juggling multiple jobs and leaving Mondomulia wasn’t an option. It was a scary decision to make, but I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do. I want to dedicate all my time to food writing and photography and I hope it’s going to pay off.
Blogging, writing, taking photos, working in the food and coffee worlds: this is my life and what I love and I hope to be able to continue doing this for a long time!
To celebrate my blog anniversary and special announcement, I made a Chocolate Guinness Cake with Caramel Sauce and Maldon Sea Salt Flakes. After a month of baking for the Whole30 diet (see my Date & Almond Cake) I am really enjoying baking again with wheat flour, butter and sugar! I have never made Guinness Cake before, but since today I happen to be in Ireland for a press trip (more on this soon!) I thought it was the perfect occasion to try it!
I found the cake recipe on The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days cookbook and replaced the cream cheese frosting with a caramel sauce sprinkled with Maldon sea salt (I took the idea from The Hungry Housewife blog). We loved this cake at home, both served with a scoop of clotted cream ice-cream for dessert or plain with a coffee for breakfast!
To prepare the cake I used my new Russell Hobbs Aura 6-in-1 Hand Blender, using the whisk attachment. The blender comes with six different attachments for whisking, chopping, blending, creaming and shredding so it can be used for lots of different recipes, from baking to cooking.
- For the sponge
- 250ml Guinness
- 250g unsalted butter
- 80g cocoa powder
- 400g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 140ml buttermilk
- 280g plain flour
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
For the caramel sauce
- 70g butter
- 100g packed dark brown sugar
- 80ml double cream
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 80g icing sugar
- Maldon Sea Salt Flakes for decoration
Preheat the oven to 170 °C. Grease and flour a cake tin.
Pour the Guinness into a saucepan, add the butter and gently heat until it has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir the cocoa powder and sugar into the warm liquid. Mix together the eggs, vanilla and buttermilk in a bowl, and then add this to the mixture in the pan.
Sift together the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Using a hand-held electric whisk, set on a low speed, pour in the contents of the pan. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to mix thoroughly until all the ingredients are incorporated.
Pout the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for approximately 45 minutes. Set aside to cool and, when the cake is cold, remove it from the tin on to a wire rack.
In a medium saucepan, bring the butter, dark brown sugar, double cream and salt to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla extract. Add about half of the icing sugar and whisk until smooth. Continue to whisk in powdered sugar by the tablespoon until you reach your desired consistency.
Place the cake on a serving plate or stand and pour the salted caramel sauce over the top. Sprinkle the sea salt flakes over the caramel glaze.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary Russell Hobbs blender to use for this recipe. All opinions are my own.