Miso caramel cake | House & Garden

Keiko Oikawa

It is becoming increasingly fashionable to introduce umami and salty elements to bitter-sweet dishes. Here, sweet sponge acts as a foil to the luscious bittersweet caramel icing (frosting) – which slowly reveals its salty umami notes.

Ingredients

For the miso caramel sauce

  • 250 g/9 oz/1¼ cups caster (granulated) sugar
  • 4 tbsp cold water
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 150 ml/5 fl oz/⅔ cup double (heavy) cream
  • 70 g/2½ oz/5 tbsp unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp shiro white miso paste

For the sponge

  • 1 tsp cold-pressed sunflower oil, for greasing
  • 225 g/8 oz/1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 225 g/8 oz/1 generous cup caster (granulated) sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 225 g/8 oz/1¾ cups self-raising flour, sifted

For the miso caramel icing

  • 250 g/9 oz/1 cup miso
  • caramel sauce
  • 280 g/10 oz/1 cup plus
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 70g/2½ oz/¾ cup icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted

Method

  1. Begin with the miso caramel sauce. Put the sugar, water and golden syrup into a medium heavy-based saucepan and set over a low heat. Don’t stir – just give it a swirl now and then. Once the sugar has melted you can increase the heat to medium and boil vigorously until the syrup turns golden brown. Keep swirling and allow it to darken to a rich dark brown. As soon as it darkens and starts to smoke, remove from the heat and whisk in the cream, followed by the diced butter and lemon juice. Pour into a bowl and leave until tepid, then beat in the miso paste – don’t worry if this seems a little salty, it will be diluted in the icing. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180°C/350°F/ gas mark 4. Lightly oil 2 x 20-cm/8-inch sandwich cake pans and line the base of each with baking parchment.
  3. To make the sponge, beat the softened butter and sugar together in a large bowl, using a wooden spoon or electric whisk, until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract, followed by one egg at a time, beating them in well. If the mixture starts to curdle, beat in 2 tbsp of the flour. Once all the eggs have been beaten or whisked into the mixture, gently fold in the remaining flour in 3 batches with a flat metal spoon. Divide the mixture between the 2 cake pans and smooth level before placing in the oven.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes or until the cakes are well risen, golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed with a fingertip.
  5. Place on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Then, using a knife, gently loosen the sides of each cake from its pan. Turn out, peel off the baking paper, and leave to cool.
  6. Once the sponge cakes are cold, spread some of the butter icing on one of the cakes. Sandwich the other cake on top, baked-side up. Spread more butter icing on the top before gently packing and spreading the remaining icing round the sides of the cake. Chill for 1 hour to set the buttercream.

This recipe is taken from 'Sight, Smell, Touch, Taste, Sound: A New way to cook' by Sybil Kapoor, published by Pavilion Books, £24. Buy a copy here.

Miso caramel cake | House & Garden