A week ago I made a Snickers cake. When I posted that video, a lot of people were telling me I need to make a Twix cake next.
I have made a Twix cake before, I made one almost a year ago but I looked back at that recipe and felt like I could make such a better one. So here we are.
This cake has 2 layers of a shortbread base, 2 layers of chocolate cake, a layer of milk chocolate ganache and salted caramel in the middle. The flavours and textures are amazing. If you like Twix, you will love this!
There are 4 different parts to this cake, the ganache, the shortbread base, the cake layers and the caramel.
Even though the ganache is the last thing we need, we are going to make this first. Just because it needs some time to set.
When it comes to leaving the ganache to set, you can do 2 things:
- You can leave it to set at room temperature overnight.
- Or you can leave it to set in your fridge for a few hours.
Personally, I think ganache sets much better at room temperature. But if you don’t want to wait until the next day, you can let it set in the fridge to speed up the process.
Whipping the ganache
I love using whipped ganache for cakes, it’s just so nice, light and fluffy.
So once this ganache has set, we are going to whip it. You will know your ganache has set once it is thick and a lot firmer. It won’t be liquid anymore.
To whip….you just need to whip it. It easier with an electric mixer, but you can also just aggressively whisk it with a whisk.
You don’t need to whip it for long at all. As soon as it becomes fluffier and lightens in colour, it is done!
The shortbread base
Twix has shortbread in it, personally I think this is the best part of a Twix. So I couldn’t make this cake without adding some kind of shortbread into it.
So I was debating if I should bake a circle of shortbread, then put this in between the 2 cake layers.
My only issue with this is that I felt like this layer would be too hard. Which would make the cake difficult to cut into, and also I felt like the textures wouldn’t be as nice.
You would have a soft fudgy cake, with a hard crunchy layer of shortbread. It didn’t sound that good to me.
So instead, we’re making a shortbread base, the same kind of base that a cheesecake would have.
I loved this so much more because it added a nice texture to the cake, but this texture wasn’t super hard. It was easy to cut into and it went well with the softness of the cake.
To make it all you need to do is crush some shortbread biscuits and mix this with some melted butter. Then just press this down into your cake tins.
You of course can use any biscuit or cookie for the base, but I used shortbread so that it is more like a Twix bar.
Ingredients for the chocolate cake batter
Here are the ingredients you are going to need to make the cake batter:
- Cocoa powder – you want to use unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Hot water mixed with coffee – the hot water is going to hydrate the cocoa powder, which will bring out the chocolate flavour. The coffee is also going to bring out the chocolate flavour.
- Oil – for moisture. I use vegetable oil but any flavourless oil works.
- Buttermilk – also for moisture.
- Plain flour – also known as all-purpose flour.
- Sugar – we’re using a mixture of both granulated and brown sugar. The brown sugar is going to add extra flavour and moisture.
- Baking soda – to make the cake layers rise.
- Vinegar – this will react with the baking soda, giving you a lighter fluffier cake.
There are a few ingredients that I use in my chocolate cake, that I typically get asked if there are any substitutes for.
Let’s talk about them:
When coffee is used in chocolate cake batter, it does not add a coffee flavour to your cake. It is just there to intensify the chocolate flavour.
So if you’re worried about the cake tasting like coffee, you don’t need to be.
But if you did want to leave the coffee out, you absolutely can. Just make sure to still add the hot water.
I like to use oil instead of butter in my chocolate cake. It just makes the cake a lot more moist.
If you wanted to use butter instead, you can. Use 200g of unsalted butter and melt this in your microwave, then use this instead of the oil.
The buttermilk is going to add moisture to the cake, and also the acidity in the buttermilk will react with baking soda as the cake bakes, which helps the cake rise.
If you didn’t have buttermilk, the best substitute is plain natural yoghurt. Most of the time I just use yoghurt to be honest.
Or instead, you could make a buttermilk substitute by mixing together 120ml of whole milk and 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar. Leave this aside for 10 minutes, then it’s ready to use.
But I do think buttermilk or plain yoghurt are the best 2 ingredients to use.
The last step in making the cake batter is to mix together some baking soda and vinegar together. Then you want to add this to your batter.
This is usually done when making red velvet cakes. The vinegar reacts with the baking soda which gives your cake an extra lift as it bakes, giving you a fluffy cake that has a nice velvety texture.
I always use white vinegar, but apple cider vinegar works great too. These 2 give the best results, but if you didn’t have either, lemon juice works too.
I decided to make a salted caramel for this cake, I know the original Twix doesn’t have salted caramel, it has regular caramel. BUT I LIKE SALTED CARAMEL, so I used this. But you can leave the salt out if you want.
Here are the ingredients you will need to make the caramel:
- Granulated sugar – caster sugar works too.
- Unsalted butter – I like to control the amount of salt in the caramel. So I used unsalted butter and add the salt separately, but you could use salted butter. Just don’t add any extra salt…unless you want too.
- Double cream – also known as heavy cream.
- Salt – again this is optional. Also if you are using it, add as much or as little as you want.
A few tips when making the caramel
Heat the sugar slowly
The first step in making the caramel is to melt the sugar.
You want to melt it until it has all melted and turned an amber colour.
When doing this, make sure to keep the heat on medium – medium low. DON’T increase the heat to speed up the process.
This sugar can burn easily, and then the caramel will have a bitter taste. We don’t want this. So keep the heat low.
Constantly stir the sugar
Another tip to avoid burning the sugar, is to constantly stir it.
I know you might have heard not to stir the sugar when making caramel. Basically there are 2 different kinds of caramel sauce.
One is a wet caramel. For this, you heat sugar and water together until it turns amber. For this you don’t want to stir it.
But today we’re making a dry caramel. For this, you just heat the sugar on its own until it melts. I like this kind of caramel better, it tastes better to me.
For dry caramel, you want to constantly stir the sugar to stop it from burning!
Use room temperature butter and warm cream
Once the sugar has melted, you are going to add the butter into it, mix this, then add the cream.
You want to make sure that the butter and cream are not cold. If they are, when you add it to the sugar, the sugar will set up straight away. Leaving you with a caramel that has lumps of hard sugar.
So I recommend warming your butter in your microwave until it has softened., Then for the cream, warm it for about 30 – 6o seconds.
Leave this too cool completely before using
Please don’t add hot caramel to your cake.
It will melt the ganache, leaving you with a mess and also a lot of stress.
So let it cool completely before using.
- For the ganache:
500g milk chocolate
400ml double cream
50g unsalted butter
- For the shortbread base:
450g shortbread biscuits
120g unsalted butter, melted
- For the cake:
50g cocoa powder
80ml hot water mixed with 1 teaspoon instant coffee
200ml vegetable oil
200g plain flour
125g brown sugar
125g granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons white vinegar
- For the caramel:
300g granulated sugar
150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
180ml double cream, warm (just heat it in your microwave for 30-60 seconds)
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional (you can adjust this to taste)
- Making the ganache:
- In a bowl, add the chocolate, butter and cream. Heat this in your microwave for 1 minute, then take it out and give it a stir.
- Place it back into the microwave and heat for 15 seconds this time, take it out and stir again. Keep repeating this until all the chocolate has melted and you have a smooth ganache. At this point I like to sieve this, to get out any lumps.
- Cover and leave this to set. You can either leave it to set in your fridge for a few hours, or you can leave it at room temperature overnight.
- Making the shortbread base:
- Start by pre-heating your oven to 180c/350f. Also grease and line two 8 inch cake tins.
- Crush your shortbread biscuits until you get fine crumbs, you can either do this in a food processor or just add them into a food bag and hit with a rolling pin.
- Mix the crushed shortbread with the melted butter.
- Divide this between your cake tins and flatten it out until you get even layers. Leave these tins aside.
- Making the cake layers:
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water/coffee. Now add the oil, buttermilk and eggs, whisk until smooth.
- Add the flour and both sugars into this, whisk just until you get a smooth batter.
- In a separate small bowl, add the baking soda and then pour the vinegar over it. This will start bubbling, just give it a quick mix then straight away pour it into your cake batter. Whisk until incorporated.
- Pour this batter into your cake tins, on top of the shortbread bases, and bake at 180c/350f for around 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Once baked, leave to cool completely.
- Making the caramel:
- In a pot, add about 1/3 of the sugar. Place this pot onto medium heat.
- Heat this sugar, whiles constantly stirring, until the sugar starts to melts. Once it starts to melt, pour another 1/3 of the sugar into the pot. Again keep stirring until this starts to melt, then add the rest of the sugar. Make sure not to increase the heat during this process, you want to melt the sugar slowly, otherwise it can burn.
- Keep heating and stirring the sugar until it has all melted and turned an amber colour.
- Take it off the heat and whisk in the butter. Then slowly pour in the cream, whiles mixing. Now mix in the salt.
- Sieve this to get out any lumps, then leave this aside to cool completely.
- Assembling the cake:
- Once your ganache has set, the cake layers have cooled, and the caramel has cooled, you can assemble the cake.
- Start by whipping your ganache just until it lightens in colour and becomes fluffier.
- Place one of your cake layers down onto a plate or cake board, spread some of the ganache on top of this, then pipe a border of the ganache around the edge of the cake. Add some of the cooled caramel in the middle of this.
- Add the 2nd layer of cake on top and decorate however you want. I just used the rest of the ganache to ice the sides, then I added a drip with the leftover caramel, some more crushed shortbread on the sides, and chopped Twix on top.
- Now you can cut into it and enjoy!