Hannah Obee's Salted caramel chocolate cake

Hannah Obee's Salted caramel chocolate cake

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(18 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 1 hr, 10 mins

Skill level

For the keen cook


Serves 12 - 0

This sophisticated cake, one of the final three in our 20th birthday cake competition, is dark, rich and moist

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info


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  • 115g salted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 225g plain chocolate (70% cocoa)
  • 150ml milk
  • 225g light muscovado sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 150ml crème fraîche
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp sea salt crystals
  • chocolate truffles, to decorate

For the caramel

  • 450g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 115g salted butter
  • 125ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche

For the chocolate ganache

  • 225g plain chocolate (70-80% cocoa solids)
  • 250ml double cream
  • dessertspoon sea salt crystals (or to taste)

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  1. First, make the caramel. Pour 100ml water into a large saucepan. Add the sugar and golden syrup, gently cook until melted, then turn up the heat a bit and cook until the caramel is a dark goldenbrown colour. Swirl the pan occasionally to prevent sticking but do not stir. Turn off the heat and carefully whisk in the butter, double cream and crème fraîche – it will bubble up quite high. Whisk until smooth, then leave to cool until slightly set. You can make this up to 3 days in advance and chill in the fridge – just gently reheat until soft enough to spread before assembling the cake.
  2. Now make the cake. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease a 23cm springform cake tin and line the base with baking parchment. Melt the chocolate, butter and milk in a large pan over a low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat, then beat in the sugar and vanilla. Cool slightly. Beat the egg yolks and crème fraîche together, then mix this into the chocolate mixture, followed by the flour and baking powder. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff peaks form. Stir a third of the egg whites into the cake mix, then gently fold in the rest along with the sea salt. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40-50 mins until firm to touch. Leave to cool for 20 mins, then remove from the tin and finish cooling on a wire rack.
  3. For the ganache, heat the chocolate and cream together over a low heat until the chocolate has melted. Pour into a bowl to cool.
  4. To assemble, slice the cooled cake in half horizontally. Sandwich together with some of your caramel – you may not need it all, but be generous in order to balance the bittersweet ganache topping. Spread the ganache over the top of the cake and sprinkle with some sea salt crystals and chocolate truffles, if you like.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2009

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bucheler's picture

Wow this cake was amazing but I did tweak slightly after reading the comments. I didn't add any salt to the caramel or chocolate which I think worked well and everyone loved it. The cake itself was gorgeous, I would certainly make again even just a chocolate cake. I also added icing sugar to the caramel to thicken it up as it was far to runny and used the left over runny caramel as a sauce on the side for pouring over as well as some cream, like I said everyone loved it.

Meezey's picture
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Should have read the comments first learnt my lesson, this cake was truly awful, I used rock salt as per recipe, thankfully I didn't sprinkle any on top, way way way to much salt, not even sure why it's called salted caramel as it's not it's just a salted cake!!! Like other even though I left my caramel in the fridge it just ran out of the cake, too much ganache also. Really disappointed and truly awful, not a sophisticated thing about it. Awful truly awful..

lou-tomo's picture

Made the massive mistake of not reading the comments posted about this cake before I made it!!!!! The actual cake part is ok, the caramel was ok once I had re-boiled it for 10 minutes to make it thicken up, the ganache is totally disgusting - far, far too much salt. I made this for my sons birthday and it was vile. Totally disappointing and a waste of ingredients, time and effort, I wish I had stuck with a tried and tested cake recipe.

nicbig1's picture

DO NOT MAKE THIS CAKE WITH THIS RECIPE! Far too much salt in here, good sponge and caramel (if you cook it right) but too much time wasted on a cake that tastes like you've just done a gargle of salt.

Johnsheerman's picture

A total and utter disaster!
I decided to make this cake for my sisters birthday and sadly did not read the comments before hand. This was the most disgusting, inedible waste of time and money I have ever had the misfortune to encounter. After spending all day making this mess I watched my entire family try to politely chew through a piece in baffled silence. I finally took a bite and realised the horror, like having your head dunked in the ocean. Genuinely inedible. I don't know if the salt amount on the recipe is a misprint or if Hannah Obee has no taste buds. Steer clear of this recipe at all costs, or if its too late, pick the truffles off the top and throw the rest straight in the bin.

laurajayne56's picture

massive error not reading the comments before making this cake. obviously as everyone else has said, the caramel was way too runny and just made a mess. the cake is in the fridge at the moment in the hope this will harden the caramel quickly. i haven't put the ganache on yet but im dreading it as that looks runny too! got to take this with me on the train tomorrow and im very worried about what it will look like after the journey :/

was expecting a cake with the wow factor for my boyfriends birthday but maybe i should have just played it safe with a bog standard chocolate buttercream in the middle and on top...

emma-lou198's picture

I made this recipe without reading the comments, my own fault. But I was extremely disappointed by the caramel and the ganache, these qualities are so off. Unfortunately it is a massive waste of, quite frankly, ingredients of a higher cost. The cake on the other hand tasted great, and everyone had a lot of compliments however the caramel loomed over the enjoyment a little too much.

serendipity7000's picture

Can't recommend this caramel recipe. Like others, I found it far too runny. I tried what someone else did, which was mixing icing sugar in. This made it a big thicker, but also a different colour and didn't taste right - and still not spreadable consistency. I am wondering if there is a misprint in the recipe. ie maybe 100ml of water should be 10ml. I was going to use the caramel as filling for another chocolate cake recipe, for a birthday cake, but decided to use Nigella's custard buttercream instead. The caramel is lovely as a sauce though - but SO sweet. A whole pound of sugar!

taffyblodwin's picture
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My daughter made this for my husbands 50th birthday.
She didn't use as much salt as suggested but it was miles too salty & we couldn't eat it,
The caramel tasted nice but again was too runny.
A big disappointment

foziabegum's picture

I made this cake for my brothers 20th birthday. It was a hit amongst everyone. I didnt use any salt but I think I will next time. My brother warmed his slice up a little in the microwave added a double cream to it and OMG it tasted amazing (to die for!!!).
I would recomend you try it like that. Its been the best cake I have made so far and the yummiest too. Thankyou for the recipe

mandi1165's picture
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Lovely cake although having read the comments I made a couple of adjustments.
- I cooked the cake in two tins and sandwiched together which
meant it cooked quicker and more evenly
- I halved the ingredients for both the filling and topping and there
was more than enough
- I beat the filling, when cold, with a little icing sugar to thicken it
and make it more 'butter icing' like.

Worked well, cake delicious

the-dirty-ratman's picture

Re the Caramel, the recipe suggests taking the sugar to a golden brown colour. This in fact is not that easy. You will need a sugar thermometer to take it to 340oF, then take off the heat and add the Cream, Butter and crème fraîche. At 320oF all the water will have evaporated so at this stage things happen very quickly so lower the heat and keep a close eye on the temperature. I would say any temp from 320-340 would be fine but no higher as it will start to taste bitter.

bumpkinbaker's picture

Will make this for my son's Birthday, but will take comments on board and fill with the Mary Berry caramel recipe, the one she uses for Millionaires shortbread,(which I now can't find, good job I copied it down!)

omarhussain's picture

Cake is nice but oh my god the salt content is not needed. I wouldn't bother with the salt in the cake and certainly I would not add an extra dessert spoon on the top!
Idea is good but this cake needs to come with a health warning!!!
Shame I threw my cake in the bin after a long baking process and high cost!!

thefifimachine's picture
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I made this cake for a friend's 50th birthday celebrations. I made the cake in a 20cm pan and due to the richness of the cake 16 people managed to get a slice of it. Everyone loved it and a lot of people said it was a 'chocolate cake for adults'.

I did find the caramel too runny and it ran down the bottom side of the cake. It didn't impair the flavour whatsoever, it just looked sloppy.

I didn't add truffles as suggested nor did I sprinkle salt on top as I felt it might be a bit much, and it was the right choice to make.

I found there was too much ganache and too much caramel so in future I'm going to half the recipe.

heatherannison's picture
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I made this cake and found that even after the maximum cooking time it wasn't cooked through. I didn't discover this until i attempted to halve it, even though it felt firm to the touch when I took it out of the oven. It didn't matter too much, it just made it a bit harder to handle.

I've attempted to make caramel fillings before and have never yet been succesful, finding, like others, that it comes out once you put the top layer of sponge on. So instead I bought a really good quality jar of caramel and added a little maldon salt (flakes) to that, which worked perfectly. On the whole a lovely chocolatey cake.

juliapenny's picture

Made this for my daughter's 16th birthday - but as she is lactose intolerant had to vary the recipe. Used lactofree cream cheese in place of the creme fraiche, used lactofree milk for the milk and again lactofree cream. For the butter I substituted stork for pastry (not a tub but a packet). This won't be any good if you are allergic or intolerant to cows milk protein, ut if it just the lactose then the lactofree range works really well.

I would agree with others' comments that the caramel is too runny - maybe try taking it to hard crack? And there was way too much caramel and too much ganache. I would maybe do a third of the caramel and two thirds of the ganache.

Did taste nice though very rich.

cocojo's picture
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Need to make sure you use Seasalt otherwise the cake will taste salty!! Caramel too runny to put in the middle but can always add on the side. Has the Wow factor when it works!

sarahleetes's picture
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Made this for my sons 13th birthday yesterday and we all loved it! Was not too salty as I did not add the tablespoon of salt to the chocolate cake mixture as salted butter was used. Caramel sauce was made a day in advance and kept in fridge for 24 hours prior to using as the filling for this delicious cake. Only drawback was it took longer to cook than stated even though I used the same size pan. Took an hour to cook!
Topping was lovely, not too rich as I used dark chocolate as stated.
A great birthday cake!