A few years ago one of my girlfriends and I took a little girl’s trip to visit our friend in California. It was then that I found out about this cake. I never actually tasted this cake on that trip, but my friend told me all about it and about the cookbook it comes from.
Well we all know that I am a sucker for a good cookbook, so of course I bought it.
Now about this cake, it’s simply amazing! Actually, amazing doesn’t even begin to describe it.
It’s completely naughty, rich and purely delectable. The balance of the sweet & salty flavors is perfection. This cake is in a league of it’s own. Let me just try and and paint the picture for you; three layers of chocolate cake soaked with salted caramel and frosted with a caramel chocolate ganache. The caramel chocolate ganache frosting is out of this world, and it should be because it has a pound each of butter and chocolate and then you throw in some whipping cream. Evil. Pure evil.
Now with all that being said, you also need to know that this is cake is a true labor of love to make . . . buut completely worth every. single. second. Just don’t be fooled into thinking you can whip this baby up in an hour or so. It takes time, but you can also prepare it in steps ahead of time.
I like to make the first batch of salted caramel the day before. Then I put it in a container and put it in the fridge. I also make the cakes a day ahead and just wrap them in saran wrap and put them in a cool place. By doing this, it doesn’t seem so overwhemling and impossible to make.
Get out your fat pants because you’re going to need them after making this cake, but trust me when I say it’s completely worth the extra 387 miles you’re going to have to run to burn this off!
Hope you have a great weekend!
- For the cake:
- 3/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/4 cups hot water
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter , softened
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs , at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- For the salted caramel:
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon fleur de sel
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- For the whipped caramel ganache frosting:
- 1 pound dark chocolate (60-70% cacao), chopped
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 2 cups unsalted butter , soft but cool, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 teaspoons fleur de sel , plus more for garnish
To make the cake: Preheat oven to 325°. Butter three 8-inch round cake pan, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust with flour and knock out the excess flour.
In a medium bowl, combine cocoa powder, hot water, and sour cream. Set aside to cool.
Sift flour, baking power, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and shortening on medium speed until ribbon-like, about 5 minutes. Add both sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition, add vanilla and bean until incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix again for 30 seconds.
Add flour mixture, alternating with cocoa mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Divide batter evenly among prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake 35-40 minutes, rotating pans halfway through the baking tim until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the pans and let cool completely. Remove the parchment paper.
To make the salted caramel: In a small saucepan, combine cream and fleur de sel. Bring to a simmer over very low heat until salt has dissolved. Keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine 1/4 cup water, sugar, and corn syrup, stirring carefully so as not to splash the sides of the pan. Cook over high heat until an instant-read thermometer reads 350° or until the mixture is a medium-light amber color, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 1 minute.
Add the cream mixture to sugar mixture. Whisk in sour cream. Let caramel cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the cake.
To make the whipped caramel ganache frosting: Put the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl and set aside.
Bring the cream to a simmer over very low heat. Make sure cream does not burn.
In a medium saucepan, combine 1/4 cup water, sugar, and corn syrup, stirring them together carefully so you don't splash the sides of the pan. Cook over high heat until an instant-read thermometer reads 350° or until the mixture is a medium-light amber color. Remove from heat and let caramel cool for 1 minute.
Add the cream to the caramel and stir slowly for 2 minutes, then pour the caramel over the chocolate. Let sit for 1 minute, then, starting in the center of the bowl, and working your way out to the edges, slowly stir in a circle until chocolate is completely melted. Let the mixture cool, then transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Mix on low speed until the bowl feels cool to the touch. Increase speed to medium-high and gradually add butter, beating until thoroughly incorporated. Scrape down sides and beat on high speed until mixture is fluffy.
To assemble the cake:
Place one cake layer on serving platter. Spread 1/4 cup of the salted caramel over the top. Let the caramel soak into the cake, then spread 3/4 cup of ganache frosting over the caramel. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon fleur de sel over the frosting, then top with the second cake layer. Spread with caramel ganache frosting and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon fleur de sel. Top with the third cake layer. Spread with salted caramel. Crumb coat the cake withe the frosting and put cake in refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up the frosting. Frost the sides and top with the remaining frosting. Garnish with a sprinkle of fleur de sel.
Cake will keep at room temperature (cool and humidity-free) for up to 3 days. May be place in a cake saver and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Allow cake to sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.
When making the caramel, be sure to stir it until the sugar has dissolved before it comes to a boil. I didn't use a thermometer, I just watched it closely and as soon as it turned a medium-light amber color, I removed it from the heat. The color will darken a little more even after you remove it from the heat.
Recipe Source: Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
I linked up over at: Buns in My Oven