Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake

This is a Martha Stewart, not a Kate, creation. 
I made it 4 layers instead of 6. 
I made it for Ryan's birthday.
It was amazing.

I'm married to a carb-aholic. He also happens to be a runner, golfer, and incredible athlete. 
And he's in the medical profession and would not counsel his patients 
to have the same "favorites" as he does. 
But in all honesty if you ask Ryan what his favorite foods are he will 
say, "cake, bread, biscuits, crackers, brownies, pizza, and cheese." yes.

I tell you these things because he is PICKY about his cakes, etc....and 
this cake is his new favorite, hands-down.

( from Martha:


  • For The Cake

    • Unsalted butter, room temperature, for pans
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
    • 3 cups granulated sugar
    • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
    • 1 tablepoon baking soda
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • Coarse salt
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
    • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons safflower 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
    • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
    • Coarse salt
    • 1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped, melted, and cooled
    • Garnish: flaked sea salt, such as Maldon


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 course 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.

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.

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.

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.

Trim tops of cakes using a serrated knife to create a level surface. 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.

Frost top and sides of cake in a swirling motion. Sprinkle with sea salt.

some notes from me:
-yes, use a candy thermometer

-make cake and caramel ahead of time (a day before)

-use floss and toothpicks to easily cut your 2 cakes in half to create your 4 layers
 (imagine each round cake is a clock. if your cooled cake 
is on a piece of parchment paper on your counter 
place 2 toothpicks on the outside of "12 o'clock", "3 o'clock", "6 o'clock", and "9 o'clock". 
toothpicks should be centered in a way that when you slide the floss through, 
the cake is cut into 2 even layers.
 put a long piece of floss in between each set of toothpicks. pull floss through.
your cake is cut evenly and without a mess!)

Make for someone you love and share with friends!