Friday, October 19, 2012

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Cake

Salted caramel is the new thing.  I had never even tried it until a few months ago and it was amazing! My boyfriends birthday was on the 17th of October so I went to visit the weekend before and made him a cake of his choice.  He very cleverly came up with this on his own... and man it was good.

Sorry for the bad photo quality... I had to use my iPhone again because I was out of town.

This is a dark chocolate cake with salted caramel icing and a chocolate ganache filling/decoration.  I recommend you make the ganache first if you decide to use it because it takes a little while to firm up.

I did have some issues with the consistency of this frosting.  It took a lot of fooling around with and for some reason it just did not want to thicken up.  I'd recommend just being prepared to add a little bit of this and that to reach the consistency you want.  The chocolate cake recipe I used for this is literally the best one I have ever had and I'm not even a huge chocolate person.  I also cheated and got store bought caramel because I didn't have time to make it but if you want to make it yourself check out my Snickerdoodle Cupcake with Caramel Filling recipe. 

Here we are with the finished product (4 or so hours later).  He was a good sport and did his homework patiently waiting for me to perfect it.  

I also made this cake at his Kappa Sigma fraternity house so it was legitimately gone in less than 24 hours.  I know where to go if I ever need happy customers.

I was inspired by the blogs Use Real Butter and Cucina Nicolina for this recipe. 


This recipe makes one 2-layer cake. 

For the dark chocolate cake: 
4 oz. dark chocolate chips
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 stick of softened unsalted butter
2.5 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 cup of buttermilk
1.25 cups boiling water

For the salted caramel cream cheese frosting (be prepared to have extra): 
16 oz. cream cheese (I'd recommend full fat because it will be thicker)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
8 oz. salted caramel (this is about 1 cup of caramel and about 1-2 tsp. salt depending on how much you want)
4-5 cups powdered sugar

For the chocolate ganache:
4 oz. dark chocolate 
5 oz. heavy whipping cream


For the dark chocolate cake:
Preheat the oven to 350.
Melt the chocolate and set aside. 
Combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. 

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, combine brown sugar and butter.  Add the vanilla.  Then add the eggs one at a time.

Stir in the melted chocolate. 

Add half of the dry ingredients and combine.  Then add the buttermilk followed by the other half of the dry ingredients. 

Add the boiling water and mix well.  Do not worry about it's very thin consistency- that means you are doing it right!

Pour into two 9-inch cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes in the oven. When they are done, remove from the oven, and allow to cool completely. 

For the salted caramel cream cheese frosting:
Beat butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until combined.
Mix in the salted caramel. 

Add the powdered sugar slowly until you reach a consistency you like.
Optional: add about 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream and beat on high speed for 3-5 minutes. 

Place in the refrigerator to let it firm up. 

For the chocolate ganache:
Place the heavy whipping cream on the stove until it reaches a simmer.  
Pour over the chocolate chips and let it sit for 30 seconds. 

Whisk to combine and let it sit until it thickens up.


Pour a layer of thickened ganache and a thick layer of cream cheese frosting on the top of one of the cake rounds, which should be placed on a platter.  This will act at the filling between the two layers of cake.

Place the second cake round on top of the first.  Frost the top and sides of the cake with the cream cheese frosting and place in the refrigerator to let it firm up.

I drizzled some caramel over the top and also put some writing and decorations around the base of the cake with the extra chocolate ganache that I had.  

Have a great weekend everybody and Happy Baking!

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