Sunday, February 17, 2013

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake

I know, Valentines Day has passed but this cake has been on my mind for sometime now.  The only thing that was holding me back was infact the additional steps needed to make this cake.  I am telling you, as I was making the frosting and the filling....I was almost like slathering the whole cream on my face.  Its so delicious and velvety smooth.

I finished making this cake about 10 pm....and I am so happy with the results. for a big piece

Although I must say, I had a little set back with the caramel. The liquid evaporated before the sugar turned to amber color. I discarded it and made another batch but this time omitting the water and just letting the sugar melt on a very low heat and when it melted and the color was amber, I took it off the heat and add the heavy cream and salt, Then back to the stove for couple of seconds and then off the heat and let it cool.

Follow step by step and I am sure you can make this wonderfully delicious and decadent chocolate cake in no time.

Ingredients for the Chocolate Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup hot brewed coffee
2 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons

Preheat oven to 350° F (180°C). Prepare three 6-inch round cake pans with butter, parchment paper rounds and cocoa powder. Tap out excess.
In bowl of electric mixer, sift all dry ingredients and add all remaining ingredients to bowl with the dry ingredients and with paddle attachment on mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splash-guard that comes with mixer) and pour into prepared pans.
Bake for 20 minutes and rotate pans in oven. Cakes are done when toothpick or skewer comes clean–approximately 30 minutes. Try not to over bake.
Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes, then loosen edges with a small palette knife and gently invert onto racks until completely cool.

Salted Caramel Swiss Buttercream (filling)


1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup heavy cream
generous pinch of sea salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 large egg whites
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Place 130 grams of the sugar and the water in a medium saucepan to a boil over medium heat. Brush down the sides of the pot with a dampened pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Stop stirring and cook until caramel is dark amber, gently swirling from time to time. Remove from heat, and slowly add cream, whisking by hand until smooth. It will be splatter, so be careful. Whisk in sea salt and vanilla. Let cool.
Place butter in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (flat beater) and beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.  In another bowl place the egg whites on top of boiling water, whisk the egg whites and sugar till the sugar has melted.
Remove the bowl from heat, and place back onto the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed for 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high, and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form (about 5-6 minutes). Once the bottom of the bowl is neutral and no longer warm to the touch, reduce speed to medium-low, and add beaten butter, one cup at a time, whisking well after each addition.
Switch to paddle attachment. With mixer on low speed, add cooled caramel, and beat until smooth (about 3-5 minutes).

Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream


150 grams chopped semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted, and cooled
2 large, fresh egg whites
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp  sugar
1 1/5 stick butter, cut into cubes and cool, but not cold
2 teaspoons (10 mL) pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt


Melt chocolate in heatproof bowl over pot of simmering water, or in a microwave-safe bowl in 25 second intervals, stirring in between until smooth. Set aside to cool (you can scrape it out into a new container to speed up cooling).
Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with paper towel and lemon juice, to remove any trace of grease.
Add egg whites and sugar, and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 150°F, or if you don’t have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
With whisk attachment of mixer, begin to whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl feels neutral to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes or so). *Don’t begin adding butter until the bottom of the bowl feels neutral, and not warm.
Switch over to paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed, add butter cubes, one at a time, until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth). *If mixture is too runny, refrigerate for about 15 minutes and continue mixing with paddle attachment until it comes together.
Add vanilla and salt, continuing to beat on low speed until well combined.
Add melted chocolate and mix on medium-low speed until combined.

My little one loves the buttercream...yummy !

Assembly of the Sweet & Salty Cake

Trim any doming from the tops of your cake layers with a sharp, serrated knife and place first layer, face up, on your cake board, pedestal, or plate.
Using a small offset palette knife, spread approximately 3/4 cup of the caramel buttercream evenly on the top.
Repeat this 1-2 until you come to the final layer, which you will place face down on the top of the cake.
Frost the cake with the chocolate buttercream frosting.
Chill cake to set. *Bring to room temperature before serving–about 2+ hours. Never serve Swiss Meringue Buttercream until it is soft and room temperature.
Sprinkle with Fleur de Sel.

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