Dulce de Leche is the embodiment of sweet, caramel comfort. It's also, essentially, just a fancy name for condensed milk that's been heated for a few hours until it becomes a rich, sticky goo. There are various ways of making it, but the easiest (and sluttiest) way is to buy it in the tin.
Hazelnuts and mascarpone make sure that this cake doesn't rocket off the sweeter-than-sweet scale, but you could replace with almonds if you so fancy. Warning: this involves A LOT of spoon licking.
Dulce de Leche Cake
You will need:
For the cake
- 175g butter, softened
- 175g caster sugar
- 3 free-range eggs
- 140g self-raising flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 50g chopped hazelnuts
- 300g mascarpone
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out or a few drops vanilla essence
- 25g chopped hazelnuts, to decorate
- 1/2 tin or about 5 tablespoons of dulce de leche (caramel)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Lightly grease and line a 20cm round cake tin.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a tablespoon of flour with each to help the mixture stay smooth.
- Gently fold in the remainder of the flour and baking powder, taking care not to over-mix.
- When just combined, stir in the chopped hazelnuts.
- Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 35-40 minutes until risen and a skewer comes out clean.
- Cool in the tin for a few minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Spoon the mascarpone into a bowl. Add the vanilla and icing sugar (you might want a little more, to taste) and beat together. Set aside.
- Finely chop or give the hazelnuts a quick blitz with a hand blender.
- Tip them into a small, dry frying pan and toast over a medium heat until fragrant - careful, they burn quickly. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Carefully cut your cake in half.
- Spread the bottom half of the cake with some of the mascarpone, then a thick layer of the dulce de leche or caramel.
- Sandwich the top on and spread the remaining mascarpone over the top and sides of the cake.
- Swirl the caramel over the surface and add the toasted hazelnuts to finish.