CHOCOLATE + SALTED DULCE DE LECHE GRAVEYARD CAKE

Chocolate + Salted Dulce De Leche Graveyard Cake w/ Meringue Bones || A decadent layer cake for Halloween. Rich moist chocolate cake layered with salted caramel, dark chocolate frosting and meringue bones for decoration.  || creamandhoney.ca

My life is buzzing with Halloween excitement and busyness with many to-do lists. I've haven't had much time to write a post, but this cake needs an internet space to call home before Halloween is here in case any of you need a little inspiration or a recipe for an amazingly moist chocolate cake. I'm not just saying that, it is physically difficult to stop eating it.

So instead of writing-writing, I decided to make more lists. Halloween lists.

Chocolate + Salted Dulce De Leche Graveyard Cake w/ Meringue Bones || A decadent layer cake for Halloween. Rich moist chocolate cake layered with salted caramel, dark chocolate frosting and meringue bones for decoration.  || creamandhoney.ca

Best Halloween Candy

  • Any brand name chocolate bar. Kit Kat, M&Ms, Bounty, Crunchie, Cookies and Cream, Crispy Crunch, Oh Henry, Twix, Milky Way, Wunderbar, etc. No imitations welcome please. 
  • Chips (except plain. No one wants plain. Unless it's with dip.)
  • Swedish berries
  • Skittles
  • Fuzzy peaches
  • Rockets! People either love them or hate them. They get all the love from me.
  • Nerds
  • Starburst
  • Anything sour
  • Ring pops
  • Caramels
  • Candy necklaces forever!!!

Worst Halloween Candy

  • Candy corn. Can we just stop making these already?! I have never met anyone who actually like candy corn. Honestly, never. 
  • Black licorice. Don't ever, for any reason, under any circumstances, no matter what, no matter who they are, no matter where they're from or who they were with, whatsoever, give anyone black licorice. Period.
  • Tootsie rolls. They are brown, but NOT chocolate?!?! I have never and will never understand WHAT flavour tootsie roll is supposed to be?! I feel like this candy was the best you could get in the Great Depression but they forgot to stop making it once all the better candy and chocolate came out afterwards. Also. They look like little poops. 

 

Chocolate + Salted Dulce De Leche Graveyard Cake w/ Meringue Bones || A decadent layer cake for Halloween. Rich moist chocolate cake layered with salted caramel, dark chocolate frosting and meringue bones for decoration.  || creamandhoney.ca

Best Halloween Movies

  • Beetlejuice
  • Hocus Pocus
  • Ghostbusters
  • Casper
  • Addams Family + Addams Family Values
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas. The best part about this movie is if you miss it at Halloween, it also doubles as a Christmas movie.
  • The Witch (2015)
  • The Witches (1990)
  • Edward Scissorhands
  • Friday the 13th
  • From Dusk Till Dawn
  • Scream
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Halloween (duh)
  • Practical Magic
  • Young Frankenstein
Chocolate + Salted Dulce De Leche Graveyard Cake w/ Meringue Bones || A decadent layer cake for Halloween. Rich moist chocolate cake layered with salted caramel, dark chocolate frosting and meringue bones for decoration.  || creamandhoney.ca
Halloween, age 6. Those eyebrows though... 

Halloween, age 6. Those eyebrows though... 

Other Best Things About Halloween 

  • Jack-o-lanterns
  • Parties!!!
  • Costumes
  • Pumpkin flavoured everything
  • Haunted Houses
  • Spooky decorations
  • Day of the Dead
  • Throwing out candy corn

Worst Things About Halloween

  • People who choose trick" when you say trick or treat at the door. Just give me candy and no one will get hurt, okay?! Okay! 
  • The stories about staples or needles or poison in Halloween candy. Did this really happen or did someone just make it up so Halloween is scarier? If so, kudos to you, creepy person.
Pineapple jack-o-lanterns this year just because. 

Pineapple jack-o-lanterns this year just because. 

Chocolate + Salted Dulce De Leche Graveyard Cake w/ Meringue Bones || A decadent layer cake for Halloween. Rich moist chocolate cake layered with salted caramel, dark chocolate frosting and meringue bones for decoration.  || creamandhoney.ca
Chocolate + Salted Dulce De Leche Graveyard Cake w/ Meringue Bones || A decadent layer cake for Halloween. Rich moist chocolate cake layered with salted caramel, dark chocolate frosting and meringue bones for decoration.  || creamandhoney.ca

CHOCOLATE + SALTED DULCE DE LECHE GRAVEYARD CAKE

t h e   m a g i c 

i n s p i r a t i o n :             HALLOWEEN + DAY OF THE DEAD

t h e   f e e l s :                     Rich, moist, indulgent + spooky (of course) 

e a t   w i t h :                       Red wine, bourbon, espresso, tea, milk

m i g h t   l i k e   i f   y o u ' r e   i n t o :             cemeteries, horror movies, The Nightmare Before                                                                                                       Christmas, grave rubbings, Nosferatu, Dia de los                                                                                                         Muertos,  The Ramones.

t h e   s c i e n c e 

I suggest making either the meringue bones OR the cake (and freezing) a day or two in advance just to break things up and make things easier. You can keep the meringue bones in an airtight container. 

makes three 6-inch x 2-inch round layers (I only used 2 layers for this cake and froze the other for my next intense chocolate craving).

CAKE (adapted from Rosie Alyea's The Sweetapolita Bakebook)

i n g r e d i e n t s :

  • 320 g (approx. 2.5 cups) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 520 g (approx. 2.5 cups) sugar
  • 120 g (1 cup) dutch-process dark cocoa powder (must be dutch process and not regular cocoa powder, there is a big difference. I buy mine at bulk stores. Click here to have Joy the Baker tell you the difference. She knows all.) 
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea or himalayan salt
  • 1.5 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup hot coffee or espresso
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

filling 

  • 1 can of dulce de leche (homemade or store bought) Learn how to make your own here
  • 1/4 tsp sea or himalayan salt (plus more to taste)

frosting (makes 4 cups)

  • 225 g (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature (if your butter is cold, you can speed this process up by cutting the butter up into cubes onto a plate.)
  • 500 g (4 cups) icing sugar
  • 120 g (1 cup) dutch-process dark cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup (optional, for shine)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp pure almond extract
  • pinch of sea salt

m e t h o d :

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom of three 6 x 2 inch (OR 8 x 1.5 inch) round cake pans and line with parchment paper.
  2. Add all dry ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt). Sift together with hand whisk or whisk attachment. 
  3. Whisk together the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large measuring glass with a spout. Slowly add hot coffee to milk mixture while whisking constantly. Turn electric mixer onto low speed and gradually add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and beat for about one minute, until the batter is smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again for 10 seconds if needed. Divide the batter evenly between all three baking pans. 
  4. Bake in the centre of the oven until a wooden toothpick is inserted into the middle of cake and comes out with a few or no crumbs, (between 35-40 minutes)
  5. Let cake layers cool in their pans for 10 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife or offset spatula and turn the cakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

Filling + Frosting

  1. While cakes are baking, scoop out dulce de leche into a bowl and add 1/4 tsp salt. Mix together and taste. Add more to your desired taste. Set aside.
  2. Add beater attachment to mixer. In bowl of electric mixer, add the butter and beat on medium for about 8 minutes or until very pale and creamy. 
  3. Meanwhile in another large bowl, add icing sugar and cocoa powder and sift together with whisk until evenly blended. When butter is ready, put the mixer on low speed and gradually add the icing sugar mixture. Then gradually add the milk, water, corn syrup, vanilla extract, almond extract and salt. Beat for 1 minute and then increase the speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes until the frosting is fluffy.  *will keep in airtight container in fridge for up to 3 days. If cold and not spreadable, beat on low speed until it reaches a good consistency.

*Unless I am using that day, I wrap my cake layers in plastic wrap and put them in the freezer. I remove them to defrost an hour or so before frosting the cake. When the cake layers are frozen, they are much easier to frost and less crumbs during the frosting process. 

*This cake and chocolate frosting come from Rosie Alyea's The Sweetapolita Bakebook. Rosie is AMAZING and knows everything about cake. She is always my go to for cake recipes because they are always moist with incredible flavour, (and I'm pretty sure she's magic). The cake is her Simple & Splendid Chocolate Cake" and the frosting is her Glossy Fudge Frosting". 

MERINGUE BONES

i n g r e d i e n t s :

  • 280 g (1.25 cups) superfine sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 6 large egg whites, room temperature

m e t h o d :

  1. Preheat oven to 250°F. Secure the whisk attachment to electric mixer. In the bowl for the mixer, add the lemon juice and egg whites and whisk on medium together until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar a tablespoon at a time and continue to whisk until firm peaks form. 
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the meringue into a piping bag and cut a hole or insert a icing tip (I used a Wilton 2A tip). Start making your meringue bone shapes onto the lined baking sheets. I started with a dot and continuing to pull down making an S shape with another dot at the opposite end. Add a dot beside each of the initial dots to finish each end of the bone. 
  3. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until set, moving pans around during baking if needed. One side of my oven is hotter so I switched them halfway through.
  4. Turn off the oven and leave meringues in the oven to cool for another hour or so. 

*I used this method from Lily Vanilli who is another cake genius and I was in awe when I saw her beautiful 3 tier creation. 

BANOFFEE BIRTHDAY PIE

Banoffee Birthday Pie || A classic British inspired dessert! Digestive biscuit crust, dulce de leche (or caramel), banana, whipped cream + shaved chocolate. Toffee + Bananas are a dream come true! Easy to make and only six ingredients. || creamandhoney.ca

This pie feels like humble celebrations. Only a few ingredients and finished with a billowing whipped cream–it is perfect for any day of festivities.

It was my best friend's birthday this week and I am sure we've known each other for many life times. We help balance one another in times times of need and madness. We all go a little crazy sometimes. And it's okay. Serendipitous coincidences happen to us on a regular basis. Without knowing–we will make the exact same dish for dinner, have the same idea or thought, apply for the same job, end up at the same cafes or bars without plans and we live in a city of millions of people. Even existential life crises have arose at the same time... Although it's better when they don't because it's a lot of obscure universal conversations with alternate crying. At least we take turns, I guess? 

I'm always excited to celebrate birthdays of the people I love–it makes me happy thinking of how they have changed my life and how blessed I am to know them. So this year a pie with some thick dulce de leche and a massive cloud of whipped cream was in order. I gave it to her alongside a bottle of tequila and a large green juice. Because it's all about balance, right?! 

Homemade Dulce de Leche || Banoffee Birthday Pie || A classic British inspired dessert! Digestive biscuit crust, dulce de leche (or caramel), banana, whipped cream + shaved chocolate. Toffee + Bananas are a dream come true! Easy to make and only six ingredients. || creamandhoney.ca
Homemade Dulce de Leche || Banoffee Birthday Pie || A classic British inspired dessert! Digestive biscuit crust, dulce de leche (or caramel), banana, whipped cream + shaved chocolate. Toffee + Bananas are a dream come true! Easy to make and only six ingredients. || creamandhoney.ca
Homemade Dulce de Leche || Banoffee Birthday Pie || A classic British inspired dessert! Digestive biscuit crust, dulce de leche (or caramel), banana, whipped cream + shaved chocolate. Toffee + Bananas are a dream come true! Easy to make and only six ingredients. || creamandhoney.ca

I love how easy it is to make dulce de leche from sweetened condensed milk. If you haven't done it, you are in for a massive sugar high and tooth-achey ride of your life!!!! Because I don't believe you can resist eating this straight from the can if you are human.                                                                                        If you resist, you are officially a non-human. And you should try it because all the humans are doing it, dude.

Boil the can of condensed milk in a pot of water and then like magic you peel open the top and voila! Dulce de leche! Alchemy at it's finest. Simmering time varies depending on how dark you want yours. I like mine dark. Real dark, with intense caramel notes and richness. You can make a bunch of cans at once which store in your cupboard for months. Then you have dulce de leche on hand to top over your ice cream, spread on cookies, or eat by the spoonful. Dangerous? Yes. Do I regret it? Never. 

(note: for more detailed instructions on boiling, see recipe at the bottom of the post)

Homemade Dulce de Leche || Banoffee Birthday Pie || A classic British inspired dessert! Digestive biscuit crust, dulce de leche (or caramel), banana, whipped cream + shaved chocolate. Toffee + Bananas are a dream come true! Easy to make and only six ingredients. || creamandhoney.ca
Homemade Dulce de Leche || Banoffee Birthday Pie || A classic British inspired dessert! Digestive biscuit crust, dulce de leche (or caramel), banana, whipped cream + shaved chocolate. Toffee + Bananas are a dream come true! Easy to make and only six ingredients. || creamandhoney.ca
Homemade Dulce de Leche || Banoffee Birthday Pie || A classic British inspired dessert! Digestive biscuit crust, dulce de leche (or caramel), banana, whipped cream + shaved chocolate. Toffee + Bananas are a dream come true! Easy to make and only six ingredients. || creamandhoney.ca
Homemade Dulce de Leche || Banoffee Birthday Pie || A classic British inspired dessert! Digestive biscuit crust, dulce de leche (or caramel), banana, whipped cream + shaved chocolate. Toffee + Bananas are a dream come true! Easy to make and only six ingredients. || creamandhoney.ca
Homemade Dulce de Leche || Banoffee Birthday Pie || A classic British inspired dessert! Digestive biscuit crust, dulce de leche (or caramel), banana, whipped cream + shaved chocolate. Toffee + Bananas are a dream come true! Easy to make and only six ingredients. || creamandhoney.ca

Things to know about banoffee pie:

1. Banoffee = banana + toffee".

2. It's a messy pie–gooey, sloppy and doesn't stay together very well. Kids will love it.

3. It's a classic British dessert aka pudding. 

British food is one of my favourites. Not enough people give credit to this cuisine in my opinion and I've even heard people say British food is terrible. And when they do I say,

ARE YOU F*$KING CRAZY!? Have you had an English roast dinner?! It's literally one of the most delicious things on the planet! And what about meat pies? Cornish pasties?! Ummm SCONES! HELLO! Yorkshire pudding! Scotch eggs?! F*&KING FISH AND CHIPS MOTHERFU*%ER!!!" Then they start looking scared because I'm apparently being too intense.                                                         So then I'm all, Just kidding. Ha. Ha.😬 Because it's awkward. But I wasn't kidding guys. I wasn't.

Is anyone else obsessed with The Great British Bake Off?! If you are, then you'll be familiar with the brilliance that is Banoffee. 

Homemade Dulce de Leche || Banoffee Birthday Pie || A classic British inspired dessert! Digestive biscuit crust, dulce de leche (or caramel), banana, whipped cream + shaved chocolate. Toffee + Bananas are a dream come true! Easy to make and only six ingredients. || creamandhoney.ca
Homemade Dulce de Leche || Banoffee Birthday Pie || A classic British inspired dessert! Digestive biscuit crust, dulce de leche (or caramel), banana, whipped cream + shaved chocolate. Toffee + Bananas are a dream come true! Easy to make and only six ingredients. || creamandhoney.ca
Homemade Dulce de Leche || Banoffee Birthday Pie || A classic British inspired dessert! Digestive biscuit crust, dulce de leche (or caramel), banana, whipped cream + shaved chocolate. Toffee + Bananas are a dream come true! Easy to make and only six ingredients. || creamandhoney.ca

I was way too eager this time and didn't let the pie crust set in the fridge so this happened. But it's important to embrace the imperfections and messiness of life. It's also important to be patient... But that's something I'm not that good at.

Homemade Dulce de Leche || Banoffee Birthday Pie || A classic British inspired dessert! Digestive biscuit crust, dulce de leche (or caramel), banana, whipped cream + shaved chocolate. Toffee + Bananas are a dream come true! Easy to make and only six ingredients. || creamandhoney.ca
Homemade Dulce de Leche || Banoffee Birthday Pie || A classic British inspired dessert! Digestive biscuit crust, dulce de leche (or caramel), banana, whipped cream + shaved chocolate. Toffee + Bananas are a dream come true! Easy to make and only six ingredients. || creamandhoney.ca
Homemade Dulce de Leche || Banoffee Birthday Pie || A classic British inspired dessert! Digestive biscuit crust, dulce de leche (or caramel), banana, whipped cream + shaved chocolate. Toffee + Bananas are a dream come true! Easy to make and only six ingredients. || creamandhoney.ca

BANOFFEE PIE

t h e   m a g i c

i n s p i r a t i o n :                    it's a celebration bitches!

f e e l s :                                      crunchy + soft + gooey

e a t   w i t h :                            coffee, espresso, tea, lemonade, margaritas! 

m i g h t   l i k e   i f   y o u ' r e   i n t o :           retro pies, stone cottages, rolling hillsides, small town fairs,                                                                                     balloons, bouncy castles, playing in the mud.

t h e   s c i e n c e

i n g r e d i e n t s :

  • 400 g digestive biscuits
  • 156 g butter (11 tbsp)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (or 1 can of pre-made dulce de leche)
  • 3-4 ripe bananas
  • 2 cups of whipping cream
  • dark chocolate, for grating

m e t h o d :

Dulce De Leche        

*Takes 2-3 hours*  Make one or many at a time. They will keep in your cupboard for a few months.

  1. Remove label from can(s) of sweetened condensed milk. Place can on it's side in a large pot (so it doesn't bounce around and make annoying sounds while simmering for hours). Fill pot with water so that it comes 2 inches or more above the can. 
  2. Turn on the stove to high heat until the water comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and continue to let it simmer for 2-3 hours depending on how dark you want your dulce de leche. I let mine simmer for 2 hours and 45 minutes. *make sure to keep checking your pot and adding water so that the cans are ALWAYS covered with water, apparently they can explode if not. 
  3. Remove cans from water carefully with tongs and place on a wire rack to let cool. Do not open them while they're hot, the caramel may spurt out because still hot. I refrigerated mine overnight to get a nice thick texture when spreading it into the pie. 

Pie

  1. Use a food processor or mortar and pestle to turn digestive biscuits into fine crumbs. Place in a medium bowl.
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan over the stove on low heat. Pour butter into biscuit crumbs, 1/3 at a time while mixing until evenly distributed. 
  3. Press biscuit dough into a tart or pie pan between 9" to 11.5" in diameter. 
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm it up.
  5. Open dulce de leche and spread into the pie shell with a spatula or off set frosting knife.
  6. Cut bananas into even slices about 1 cm thick and place across the dulce de leche.
  7. Whip the whipping cream until thickened. Sweeten slightly if desired. I left mine plain because the dulce de leche and bananas are very sweet together so the cream helps balance the dessert.
  8. Spread on the whipped cream thickly with a spatula.
  9. Grate dark chocolate on top to amount desired. 

*Will keep in refrigerator for another day or two.