Saturday, March 24, 2012

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake

This cake was definitely . . . different.  The layer of liquid caramel we spread on top of the cake before adding the ganache ended up bursting through and leaking down the sides of the cake, which led us to think of names like Side Vent Erupting Volcano Cake among others.  The buttercream by itself is amazing, but the chocolate flavors overwhelmed it.  Next time I might skip the ganache and just do the cake, buttercream, and possibly a drizzle of caramel on top.  Though poorly executed here, it's fun to drip caramel designs onto parchment paper and freeze them, resulting in fancy (or ugly) cake decorations.

Tip: Make it a day in advance and refrigerate it for best results!

Make 1 recipe Best Chocolate Cake, then . . .

In medium saucepan make caramel for buttercream:
(Double this recipe to make enough for a layer of caramel on top of the cake)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp fine sugar 
1/4 cup water
Bring to boil
Cook undisturbed until caramel is dark amber
Remove from heat, add 1/4c cream, stir with wooden spoon until smooth
Whisk in pinch of sea salt
Let cool

Make buttercream recipe in stand mixer:
- 2 sticks room temp butter
- 3.5 cups powder sugar (1 box)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 tbsp milk

Switch to paddle
- on low, mix in caramel (3-5 min)

For chocolate ganache frosting:
- put 16 oz chocolate chips (preferably dark) in heat safe bowl
- bring 1/4 to 1/2c of cream just to boil, then add to bowl of chocolate, allow to sit 1-2min then mix gently until smooth
- let cool for a long while, then drizzle on top of cake

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