I am a huge lover of Baileys but I do tend to forget it for a large chunk of the year…until the temperature starts to drop. That’s when I get back into my hot chocolate game and the Baileys comes out to play. (If I’m being really indulgent I melt 70% chocolate into full fat milk, sometimes mixing it with single cream, add a large splash of Baileys then top with grated chocolate)…

Baileys is that creamy, indulgent tipple that people love over the festive period. This year, Baileys have teamed up with East London based, self taught baker & cake designer Lili Vanilli, who has come up with some delicious Baileys inspired recipes. I decided to try out her chocolate cakes with Baileys salted caramel and they turned out a treat…

INGREDIENTS (makes 8 chocolate cupcakes)

Chocolate Cakes
125g/4.4oz light brown sugar
120ml/4fl oz olive oil
55g/2oz cocoa powder
1 large egg
125ml/4.2fl oz whole milk
120g/4.2oz plain flour
120ml/4fl oz cooled espresso
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch sea salt
1 tsp vanilla

Baileys Salted Caramel
200g/7oz caster sugar
25g/0.9oz glucose (I didn’t have any so I used golden syrup instead)
100ml/3.4fl oz water
100ml/3.4fl oz double cream (heavy cream if you’re in the States)
25ml/0.8fl oz Baileys (I added a splash more)
¼ tsp Malden sea salt

Preheat your oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / 350°F, then begin by making the Baileys Salted Caramel.

Pour water into a non-stick pan over a high heat. Carefully add the sugar and glucose and then bring to the boil. Heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the sugar starts to turn golden brown – you shouldn’t stir but you can gently swirl the pan to make sure all the sugar melts evenly.

Once the sugar has melted and bubbles are forming all over the surface, take the pan away from the heat. Mix the Baileys into the double cream and carefully pour it into the pan – be careful to avoid splashes as mixture will be very hot.

Finally whisk in a good pinch of sea salt & allow to cool.

For the chocolate cakes, make up the coffee & leave it to cool. Beat together the olive oil, sugar & vanilla ina large mixing bowl. Then add the eggs & milk & beat gently until well combined.

Sift together the cocoa, bicarb, flour & salt. Stir until evenly combined, then beat into the batter until smooth.

Slowly add the cooled coffee until just combined evenly.

Pour the mix into well greased cupcake pans (no cup necessary) – fill each cup around 2/3 full.

Bake for around 15/20 mins or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Once out of the oven and partly cooled, make a small hole in each cake and spoon some salted caramel into the centre.

At first you will think you have way more salted caramel than you need, but the cakes absorb the mixture so keep topping it up. It also tastes heavenly so it is worth having a pot of it on the side to pour over as you eat your cakes.

Served warm or cold, these cakes are gloriously indulgent. The sponge is extremely light and moist, and a tad bitter when eaten on its own, so the Baileys salted caramel complements it perfectly. These are an ideal treat for any New Years parties you may be having, or just generally as a treat before the inevitable January detox.

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