1.16.2012

baked's sweet & salty cake [12in2012]

rich, sour cream chocolate cake. salted caramel. and salted caramel + chocolate ganache. i've had this cake bookmarked to celebrate my 30th birthday since before i made the cake to celebrate my 29th.

this is one of my worst cakes and best cakes in a long time. the cake is now my favorite chocolate cake, the caramel one of my favorite caramels, and the ganache is to die for. the problem: structural issues. one of my cake layers stuck to the bottom of the pan and i foolishly decided that should be the bottom layer of my cake. the result: a fault line almost exactly down the middle of the cake, so one half looks absolutely picture perfect and the other is falling off the plate. not so pretty, but delicious none the same. and don't let my structural issues sway you from making this cake. it was my own silly mistake - and next time, the not quite perfect cake layer will be the top, not the bottom.


there's only one tricky part to this cake: caramel. if you've mastered it before, you're set. there's no cooked frosting to worry about. no egg whites to beat. and the only hard part of the caramel is not burning it. once it gets nice and lightly browned, take it off the heat. i highly recommend a light colored pan - skip the non stick - so you can easily see when the colors change. and once it starts to ever so lightly brown, it goes from light brown to perfectly golden amber in about a minute, so don't walk away from it.

and yes, this cake isn't so good for you. a pound of chocolate. almost a pound and a half of butter. but this kind of cake is a once a year occurrence for me, so i'll take it. and while most layer cakes serve 12 to 16 you can easily get 20 pieces out of this one because it's so darn rich.

next time i make this cake, i am going to make one layer only, a full batch of caramel (leftovers store well in the refrigerator and are amazing over ice cream), and a quarter of the ganache frosting. then i'll lose some of the rich, over-the-top goodness, but still have all the flavor.


sweet & salty cake
adapted from baked: new frontiers in baking
makes 1 three tier 8 or 9 inch cake, serves 20+

i can't stress it enough: line the bottoms of your pans with parchment paper. if you don't have parchment paper, grease them really well, and dust with flour. when you take the cakes out of the oven, let them cool completely in the pans before turning them out. otherwise you risk only half the cake making it out of the pan.

i topped my cake with both maldon sea salt and silver sugar crystals. if you're only using salt, use about half as much as you see in the picture.

like most three layer cakes, this cake is too tall for my cake dome.

for the cake:
3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups hot water
2/3 cup sour cream
2 2/3 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

for the caramel:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fleur de sel or maldon sea salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup sour cream

for the caramel ganache frosting:
1 pound dark chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 cups (or 4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

~3 teaspoons fleur de sel or maldon sea salt for assembling and topping the finished cake
  1. make the cake. line the bottom of three 8 or 9 inch round cake pans with parchment paper. spray with non stick spray and dust with flour. set aside. preheat your oven to 325F.
  2. in a medium bowl, whisk the cocoa, hot water, and sour cream until smooth. set aside.
  3. in a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. set aside.
  4. in another bowl, mix the butter and shortening together until smooth and light, about 5 minutes. add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each one. add the vanilla, scrap down the sides of the bowl, and mix until combined.
  5. add about one third of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar and mix until combined. add half of the cocoa mixture and mix until combined. repeat alternating the flour and cocoa until it's all incorporated.
  6. divide the batter evenly between the three pans. bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. rotate the pans halfway through cooking.
  7. cool the cakes in the pan on a wire rack for about a half an hour. turn the cakes out of the pan and finish cooling on the wire rack. remove the parchment from the bottom of the cake before icing.
  8. while the cakes bake, clean up the cake dishes and make the caramel. place the heavy cream and salt in a small saucepan and heat just to a simmer. 
  9. in a separate, light colored pan, add the granulated sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water. mix with a spoon, being careful not to get the mixture up the sides of the pan. place the pan over medium high heat and cook without stirring until it's dark amber, about 8 minutes. turn off the heat and set aside to cool for a minute or two.
  10. slowly and carefully - the mixture will bubble up and release a lot of steam - pour the heavy cream into the sugar mixture. whisk until smooth. whisk in the sour cream until smooth. set aside until ready to assemble the cake.
  11. while the cakes are cooling, make the ganache frosting. place the chocolate in a large, heat proof bowl, preferably one with a pour spout or the bowl of your stand mixer and set aside. 
  12. warm the heavy cream in a small pan on the stove.
  13. in a separate, light colored pan, add the granulated sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water. mix with a spoon, being careful not to get the mixture up the sides of the pan. place the pan over medium high heat and cook without stirring until it's dark amber, about 8 minutes. turn off the heat and set aside to cool for a minute or two.slowly and carefully - the mixture will bubble up and release a lot of steam - pour the heavy cream into the sugar mixture. whisk until smooth.
  14. pour the hot caramel over the chocolate. let the mixture sit for a minute or two and using a rubber spatula, stir until the chocolate is melted. continue stirring until the chocolate and caramel are combined.
  15. let the chocolate caramel mixture cool  until it's warm to the touch.
  16. once cool, mix on low speed for a couple minutes until the bowl is cool to the touch. turn the mixture up to medium and add the butter, about a half tablespoon at a time, until it's all incorporated. once incorporated, turn the mixer up to high, and beat until light and fluffy. if the frosting is still too thin for your liking, place the bowl in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes to cool the frosting and whip it again until light and fluffy.
  17. to assemble the cake, place one layer on a serving platter. spread about 1/3 of the caramel over the top of the cake. spread about 1 cup of the frosting over the caramel and sprinkle lightly with salt. repeat with the remaining two layers, omitting the salt from the top layer. lightly coat the sides of the cake with the frosting and place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to set. frost the sides with the remainder of the frosting. sprinkle the top lightly with salt.
  18. store the cake in the refrigerator and remove it about an hour before serving to come up to room temperature.
check out more sweet treats at sweet tooth friday & sweets for a saturday!

8 comments:

  1. i have always enjoyed the sweet + salty combination. this cake looks beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh man, I've got to make this cake! It sounds amazing, my mouth is watering from reading about it and looking at the pictures, and I love all things sweet and salty. Thanks for the recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a gorgeous cake! It looks so rich and fudgy. I am pinning for future use! I'd love for you to join my linky, Crazy Sweet Tuesday. The linky runs through Friday each week. Have a wonderful weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ugh, yum I wish I had a slice of this right now. You had me at salty and sweet, and then cake! ;) I'm your newest follower, I can't wait to check out the rest of your blog! I'd love it if you could follow me back! http://bridgetbakes.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  5. In the ingredients for the caramel, you mention 1/4 cup sour cream, but then that sour cream is not mentioned in the instructions. I'm baking this cake right now and am probably going to have to guess on this one:P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You also don't mention when to add the eggs, but I assumed it was with the vanilla:)

      Delete
    2. ack! so sorry for both mistakes. yes, the eggs are added with the vanilla. hopefully you whisked the sour cream into the caramel at the end. and had an amazingly delicious cake!

      Delete
  6. Thanks for sharing this fruitful information with your visitors
    see more..

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...