My baby sister turned 23 yesterday, she is often the inspiration for cakes that I become quite well known to make. For the last two years she requested an Oreo cake, that cake evolved a bit and has turned into one of my most requested cakes to make for people. It ended up in the Health and Happiness Society Cookbook, and was part of the cookbook series on Katie's website where we shared the recipe for it.
This year though, she requested a Salted caramel cake. She loves all things salted caramel right now, so it was only natural she would want a cake that was loaded with it. I was pretty excited that she was choosing a different cake, I love the Oreo cake, but I have made it so many times this last year that I was really wanting something to express creativity with.
As I was thinking about this cake and how to set it all up, my husband had the great idea to put the white chocolate and dark chocolate shavings on top. I think it added that great texture and contrast to the smooth caramel dripping off the cake. A little tip for adding embellishments on top, is it is always better to go with odd numbers then even. In a design perspective it also is more ascetically pleasing. It is pretty neat that things I learnt while getting my Interior Design education has played into designing food and cakes.
Stay with me during the instructions, I know it is long and has many steps, but it is so worth it!
The Ultimate Salted Caramel Cake
3 cups of all purpose flour
2 cups of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
3/4 cup of butter
2 cups of hot water
2 teaspoons of vanilla
3 tablespoons of vinegar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups of salted butter, softened
1 cup of brown sugar, packed
6 tablespoons of whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon of pink Himalayan sea salt
1 - 1 kilogram bag of icing sugar
2 cups of sugar
3/4 cups of salted butter, room temperature, cut into 1 tablespoon cubes
1 cup of whipping cream, room temperature
1 tablespoon of pink Himalayan sea salt
For the cake
Preheat oven to 350F, grease and line two 8 inch round cake pans.
In a microwavable bowl, melt the butter and water together in the microwave, just until the butter melts. Add the vanilla and vinegar to the water and butter, set aside to cool while getting the dry ingredients ready.
In a large bowl, add the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa. With a whisk, mix it all together making sure it is all incorporated.
Crack the 2 eggs on top of the dry ingredients, while whisking slowly pour in the liquid ingredients. Whisk everything together, making sure there are no lumps or dry pockets.
You want to split the batter into four equal portions, bake two cakes at a time. If you have four pans then prepare them like previously stated, if you don't then you will have to re grease and line the two you have.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the center is cooked all the way through, when you poke the center with a toothpick it comes out clean. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes, using a offset spatula, gently go around the edges of the cake in between the pans to loosen it. Then gently flip it over and let it cool on a cooling rack completely. Repeat baking steps for the rest of the cakes, in total you should have 4 even sized cakes, or layers.
For the icing
To start you need to make a simple caramel. in a medium sized pot melt 1/2 cup of butter. Once it is melted add the brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of whipping cream. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, add the salt. Bring it to a bubble for 3 minutes, making sure to stir often. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes, or until it is no longer hot or warm.
In your stand mixer, add the rest of the butter. Beat for 1 minute, add the cooled caramel to the butter and beat for an additional 2 minutes, or until the butter and caramel have come together. Beat in half of the icing sugar, and 2 more tablespoons of the whipping cream. Once incorporated add in the rest of the icing sugar and whipping cream. Beat for 4 to 5 minutes or until the icing has gotten some air into it and is fluffy looking.
For the Salted Caramel
In a medium sized pot, add the sugar, melt the sugar on a medium high heat. You want to not over stir, but making sure to swirl the pot every 30 seconds or so, so the sugar does not burn.
Once the sugar has melted, it won't take long to turn an amber colour. You need to pay close attention or you can burn the sugar really quickly. Once the sugar is amber in colour, and liquid, add the butter. Whisk vigorously, the caramel will bubble up quite aggressively, I make sure to wear an oven mitt on my stirring hand so I don't burn my hand from the heat and steam.
Once the butter is melted and whisked in, remove from the heat and add the whipping cream while whisking vigorously again. Add in the salt, let the caramel cool for 20 minutes on the counter, then place it in a glass Pyrex liquid measuring cup and place in the fridge for 1 hour before using. This helps it to firm up a bit.
To Assemble the Cake
Level off the layer of cake, by cutting off the domed tops. If you have a cake stand, or a rotating cake stand for decorating, add some parchment paper on top. Start by placing one cake layer on the bottom, add a generous amount of icing and spread over the top. Then add another layer and repeat this until you get to the last layer of cake. With the top layer you want to make sure to use the bottom of the cake that has not been cut and is flat, for the top of your cake.
Use the remaining of the icing to first, do a crumb coat on the cake, so a thin even layer to trap in all the crumbs. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up the icing, take the rest of the icing and smooth it out all over the cake, if you want cake decorating tips you can find them on my post all about cake. Once cake is all iced, place in the fridge for another 30 minutes, once again to firm up the icing.
Using a cheese grater, shred some dark chocolate and white chocolate to make shavings, I did about 1/2 cup of shavings. Send off to the side.
Pour the firmed up and cooled down caramel sauce on top of the cake, slowly, you might not need to use all of the caramel sauce. I went and carefully added drippings to the edges to spots that were bare.
Sprinkle the chocolate shavings on top, cut three slits into the top, add three Ghirardelli milk chocolate caramel squares into the slits. Then place three Godiva creme brulee chocolates in front, you can add a few Rolo's as well.
Remove the parchment paper from the bottom, place in the center of a cake stand. Place back in the fridge until you are going to serve it. Unless you are going to eat it right away, then cut and serve and enjoy!
There you have it! A great way to start your Monday, or maybe a bad way if you are thinking to start a diet today! As you can tell the cake got consumed and cut pretty quickly once we sang happy birthday. Aren't those layers the most gorgeous looking layers of a cake you have ever seen! I was so excited with how this cake turned out, it just looked so beautiful!
My little sister will be sharing the leftover with her roommates today, which I was more then happy to release it into her hands to take home, I really don't need to be eating cake for the week. Plus the more the merrier, I just love sharing food with others.
A little warning with the caramel, it does continue to slowly, like a sloth, slowly drip down. Hence why some of the chocolate shavings started going down the side of the cake.
A little about me