Keep on Swimming. . .

everyday life inside the fishbowl

Tasty Tuesday: Salted-Caramel Six-Layer Chocolate Cake

on February 25, 2014

salted caramel 6 layer cake 1This cake recipe, for lack of a better description, takes the cake! 🙂 It is absolutely the most amazing, moist, delicious cake I have ever had. In fact, for Valentine’s Day, my husband requested this cake instead of cheesecake (which is saying a lot). And my 3-year old Calvin wants this for his birthday cake. It is that good.

The chocolate cake itself is good, but then you add between each layer a layer of homemade caramel. And then you top it with a layer of homemade frosting that hardens into perfection. And combined. . . Mmmmmmm!!

Now, this is a Martha Stewart recipe, so that usually means it takes a bit of time (which this does) and calls for a few ingredients I don’t have (or care to buy, for that matter). Even with a couple tweeks, though, it was DELICIOUS! This last time, I made the cake and caramel the day before I assembled the cake and made the frosting. I recommend doing that.

And now, for the recipe (from Martha Stewart  with my modifications noted in parentheses):

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CAKE

Unsalted butter, room temperature, for pans (I used cooking spray the first time, which was ok; the last time I used butter, and the cakes popped out perfectly)

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans

3 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (Mine didn’t say “Dutch-process,” and it was fine)

1 tablepoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Coarse salt

4 large eggs

1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk (I used 1-1/2 tbsp vinegar [or lemon juice] plus enough milk to equal 1-1/2 cups, which I let sit for at least 5 minutes)

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons safflower oil (I used vegetable oil)

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

FOR THE CARAMEL

4 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

2 cups heavy cream

Coarse salt

2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons

FOR THE FROSTING

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder (same as above)

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Coarse salt

1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped, melted, and cooled (I used choc chips)

Garnish: flaked sea salt, such as Maldon (I could never find flaked sea salt; the first time I made this, I tried coarse salt, but used way too much. This last time I sparingly sprinkled coarse salt, which was amazing!)

COOK’S NOTE : To make this cake ahead of time: The caramel can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature before using. Cake layers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days (they actually taste better when refrigerated and have a better texture for stacking). When finished, the frosted cake can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

DIRECTIONS

STEP 1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cake: Butter three 9-inch round cake pans, and dust with flour, tapping out excess. Sift flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt into the bowl of a mixer. Beat on low speed until just combined. Raise speed to medium, and add eggs, buttermilk, 1 1/2 cups warm water, oil, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.

STEP 2

Divide batter among pans. Bake until cakes are set and a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool in pans set on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks, and let cool completely.

STEP 3

Make the caramel: Combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Cook, without stirring, until mixture is dark amber, about 14 minutes. Remove from heat, and carefully pour in cream (mixture will spatter); stir until smooth. Return to heat, and cook until a candy thermometer reaches 238 degrees, about 2 minutes. Pour caramel into a medium bowl, stir in 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and let cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Stir in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Let cool completely.

STEP 4

Meanwhile, make the frosting: Whisk together cocoa and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water in a bowl until cocoa dissolves. Beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and a generous pinch of coarse salt in a clean bowl with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in melted chocolate and then cocoa mixture until combined. Let stand for 30 minutes before using.

STEP 5

Trim tops of cakes using a serrated knife to create a level surface. [This last time I wrapped my cooled cake in plastic wrap and frozen them overnight–so much easier to cut in half this way!] Cut each in half horizontally to form 2 layers. Transfer 1 layer to a serving platter, and spread 3/4 cup caramel over top. Top with another cake layer, and repeat with remaining caramel and cake layers, leaving top uncovered. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.

STEP 6

Frost top and sides of cake in a swirling motion. Sprinkle with sea salt.salted caramel 6 layer cake 2

SOURCE: Martha Stewart Living, November 2011

I recommend watching the tutorial on how to level and split a layer cake that is on the recipe page. It probably would have helped me a bit. It looked pretty scary before I frosted it. Even after, it didn’t look perfect, but it sure tasted perfect! 🙂

{On Tuesdays, I share a yummy recipe. Typically, my recipes will be super easy, because I’m a mom with littles. I try to be healthy and frugal as well. But I like good food, so it will always be delicious! }

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