Sunday 20 March 2022

Recipe - Chocolate sponge with salted caramel sauce and popcorn

Today I have a delicious recipe to share for a chocolate sponge with salted caramel sauce and popcorn. This recipe was created by Chef Holly Taylor for Kindling Restaurant in Brighton. The dessert is dairy free, suitable for vegans and also has a gluten free option. It would make an amazing Mother's Day treat! 

This recipe was created by Chef Holly Taylor.

Recipe - Chocolate sponge with salted caramel sauce and popcorn
Photo credit Jo Hunt

To make the sponge cake:

Ingredients required

75g oil
35g good quality cocoa powder
220g dairy free yogurt e.g. soya yogurt
30g oat milk
2 tsp (10ml) distilled vinegar
150g soft dark brown sugar
140g self-raising flour (gluten-free self-raising flour will also work here)
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp table salt


Line an 8-inch square cake tin with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 170C.

Place the oil and cocoa powder in a small pan and heat gently for a few minutes to help bring out the flavour of the chocolate, then set aside to cool.

Put the dairy free yogurt, oat milk, vinegar and sugar together in a mixing bowl or mixer and whisk until smooth. Then stir in the chocolate and oil mixture.

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt together in a clean bowl. Fold into the wet ingredients, mixing well to avoid any lumps.

Pour into the lined cake tin and gently level using a spatula, being careful to avoid removing too much air from the cake.

Bake in the preheated oven at 170C for 20 - 25 mins, until risen and springy to the touch.

To make the salted caramel sauce:

Ingredients required

200g vegan butter alternative
250g soft dark brown sugar
125g golden syrup
Large pinch of Maldon sea salt


Place all the ingredients in a medium sized pan and heat gently over a low heat, whisking until combined.

Whisk the sauce occasionally as it cools to ensure a silky texture.

To make the popcorn:

Ingredients required

A small handful of popping corn kernels
2 tbsp of oil
Fine salt for seasoning


Heat the oil in a large saucepan on medium high heat. 

Put 3 or 4 piece of popping corn into the oil and cover the pan.

When the test kernels pop, add the rest of the popcorn kernels in an even layer. Cover, remove from heat and wait 30 seconds.

Return the pan to the heat and gently shake it as the popcorn starts to pop. 

Try to keep the lid slightly ajar or use a lid with a vent hole in it to help release some of the steam.

Once the popping slows, remove the pan from the heat, remove the lid, and put the popcorn immediately into a wide bowl. Sprinkle with salt and toss to ensure it is evenly seasoned.

To serve: 

Cut slices of the cake into long fingers. Drizzle with the caramel sauce and top with salted popcorn. Serve with chocolate sorbet or dairy free ice cream. 

Chocolate sponge with salted caramel sauce and popcorn recipe
Photo credit Jo Hunt

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