This is a simple sponge that with an extra step becomes something quite decadent. I used a jar of Bonne Maman Hazelnut Praline Caramel which makes it very very easy and doable but you can make your own salted caramel too – I was just all about the short cut when I saw this jar and that’s where the idea for the cake began!
You will need two cake tins – 20cm, sides buttered and bases lined. Preheat your oven to 180 (160c fan)
200g golden caster sugar
200g plain flour
500ml cream, whipped
Jar of Hazelnut Caramel Praline (or similar)
Chopped toasted hazelnuts
First you will make your brown butter. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat. It will melt, then foam, turning a golden colour then to a deeper amber and smelling lovely and nutty. There will be some solids in the bottom of the pan that will go a darker colour. Watch closely that they don’t go too dark. This will give your sponge a lovely complex taste and is well worth the extra step. It goes so well with the nuts and caramel. Take off the heat and leave to one side.
In a stand mixer whisk the eggs and sugar until they are pale, fluffy and have more than doubled in volume. The beater should leave a trail when you lift it out. This will take a while so have patience! Now fold the flour in carefully, trying not to knock too much air out but making sure there are no pockets of flour left in the mix (a challenge). Follow this with the cooled brown butter, drizzling it carefully in with all the nutty bits and mixing them in carefully.
Divide the mix equally between the tins and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes (in my oven they take 23 minutes!) until golden. Cool for a few minutes in the tin then invert on a wire cooling tray to cool completely.
Top one half with half the whipped cream and dot with praline (you may need to warm some slightly) and sprinkle with chopped toasted hazelnuts then top with the other half and repeat.