Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Chocolate caramel cake with sea salt

Guess what today is?  It's my birthday! I took the day off of work and plan on skating and shopping at the outlet mall so it should be a good day (fingers crossed that there are some awesome sales).

I had a difficult time deciding what cake to bake for my birthday this year. I scoured through recipes and pins but nothing jumped out at me. So I did the next logical thing - I asked Addie. Without hesitation, she said that I should bake a chocolate caramel cake. Now why didn't I think of that?


The cake took no time at all to bake, but the frosting was a little bit more complicated to put together. It required me to make caramel over the stovetop, and then I had to melt it into chopped chocolate for the frosting. The frosting, while extremely decadent, didn't have as much caramel flavor as I had hoped. But hey, I am not complaining because the frosting is still ah-mazing.

I visited my college roommate over the weekend and brought her and her parents a large slice of this cake for them to try. All of them agreed that it was phenomenal - especially the frosting. The cake itself is moist and chocolatey, and the frosting could have been a meal on its own. It's that good! I liked the sprinkles of sea salt on top of each layer to cut down on the overall sweetness of the cake.

If you need a bake a cake for a special occasion, this is it. Just make sure you save a slice for me.

Chocolate caramel cake with sea salt
Cake
  • 2 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 and 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/4 cups mayonnaise (full fat)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Frosting
  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon flaky salt, such as Maldon
Directions
Preheat your oven to 325°F.

Grease three 8-inch diameter cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, mix the eggs and sugar on medium speed until it is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the mayonnaise and vanilla and beat until just combined.

Turn the mixer down to low and alternately add the dry ingredients and 1 and 1/3 cups of lukewarm water in 3 additions, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.

Evenly distribute the batter into the 3 prepared cake pans and bake in your preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, place the chocolate in a medium bowl.

In a small saucepan set over medium high heat, melt the sugar, corn syrup, and ¼ cup water and bring to a boil. Keep stirring to dissolve sugar. Continue to heat until the mixture turns into a deep amber color, about 10–12 minutes.

Remove from heat and whisk in cream (the mixture will bubble vigorously). Return to medium heat and continue to stir until the caramel is smooth, about 2 minutes. Take the saucepan off the stove and pour the caramel over chocolate and stir vigorously until the mixture is smooth. Let the mixture cool and stir occasionally.

Transfer the chocolate-caramel mixture to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or simply use a handheld mixer). Beat the caramel on medium-high speed, and slowly add in the butter, until frosting has thickened. Transfer the frosting to the refrigerator for about 20 minutes until it is thick enough to frost.

To assemble the cake, place 1 cake layer on a cake stand or platter. Evenly spread about 1 cup frosting on top and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of sea salt. Repeat with remaining layers and frost the sides with remaining frosting.

Cake can be made a day ahead and should be stored, covered, and kept in the refrigerator. I kept mine at room temperature and it was fine and kept for at least 5 days.

Yield: About 10-12 servings

Source: Bon Appetit

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