Monday, February 11, 2013

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake

I recently developed a taste for salted caramel desserts. I had the best salted caramel ice cream and salted caramel milkshake on my trip to England late last year . I instantly fell in love with the incredible combination of sweet caramel and salt . When I had the opportunity a couple of weeks ago to make a birthday cake for a teenager turning 18 , I thought a salted caramel chocolate cake would be just perfect . I made the cake in 3 steps- I started with the caramel sauce 3 days prior and kept it in the fridge. I made the cake the day before (which I strongly recommend as it makes it a lot easier to spread the caramel on) and on the day of , I made the frosting and finished with the decoration.
It is extremely important to wear kitchen gloves while making the caramel sauce as it will bubble and become very foamy when the cream is added. Do not panic ! Just add the cream very slowly , a little at a time while stirring continuously.
Use Maldon , Fleur de Sel or Himalayan Pink salt only. DO NOT USE table salt as it will be too harsh and salty for this recipe.

There will be leftover caramel sauce- Refrigerate - warm to loosen a bit and use on vanilla ice cream !

It is a time consuming cake to make but oh so worth it !





INGREDIENTS FOR CHOCOLATE CAKE :
2 Sticks unsalted butter softened
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
Pinch of salt
4 eggs
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate , melted over pot of boiling water and cooled
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

METHOD
  • Put a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F
  • Butter 2 x 9 inch non stick round cake pans and line each pan with parchment paper
  • Sift flour , cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together
  • With and electric mixer on medium-high speed , cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  • Add eggs one at a time mixing until completely incorporated before adding each additional egg
  • Mix in the chocolate and vanilla making sure to combine really well
  • Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk in 3 batches starting and ending with the flour mixture. Make sure to mix really well without over beating
  • Pour half the batter in each pan and spread it evenly
  • Bake until a toothpick comes out clean around 25-30 mins
  • Remove the pans from the racks and allow to cool for 10 mins
  • Loose edges of the cakes from the pan with a knife and then turn them onto racks
  • Remove the paper and let the cakes to cool completely

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CARAMEL SAUCE (Can be made up to 3 days ahead of time)

4 Cups of granulated sugar
1/4 cup of corn syrup
1/4 cup of water
2 cups of cream
2 sticks of cold unsalted butter cut into pieces
1 teaspoon of salt (Maldon, fleur de sel or Himalayan pink salt)

METHOD
  • Combine sugar, corn syrup and water into a saucepan over high heat
  • Cook until mixture is dark amber in color (Approximately 15 mins)
  • Remove from heat and carefully pour in cream very slowly (mixture will start to foam and may splatter - Be very cautious during this step and use protective kitchen gloves - Add cream very slowly - Do not rush)
  • Continue to add cream until everything is well incorporated
  • Return to heat and cook for about 2-3 mins
  • Pour into bowl and add salt and mix well
  • Let cool slightly and add butter 1 piece at a time
  • Allow to cool completely

INGREDIENTS FOR CHOCOLATE FROSTING
500 Grms good quality semi-sweet chocolate melted
2 sticks of unsalted butter room temperature
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder

METHOD
  • Whisk together cocoa powder with 2 tbs of warm water and set aside
  • Beat sugar and butter with a pinch of salt until light and fluffy
  • Gradually add melted chocolate and cocoa powder and mix until well combined
  • Let stand at least 30 mins before using

FINAL STEP :

Slice cakes horizontally so that you get 4 round slabs
Spread the caramel sauce on top of each layer and on top of final layer
Decorate with chocolate frosting as per your liking
Sprinkle some salt sparsely on top of cake
Refrigerate


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