recipe update: whipped caramel ganache & salted caramel topping

So… I just wanted to set things right today, after my vicious anti-caramel rant in the last post…ahem.  While the Sweet & Salty cake was a beast to put together – because everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong – I can’t blame the Baked boys.  The whipped ganache frosting and its salted caramel partner are seeeeeeeeeeeeriously good… and I can say that with authority because I’ve only just now dug in properly.  That’s right folks – I saved this behemoth for over a week (!) and it’s still decadently delicious.

So decadent that only one (moderately sized!) piece has done me in. one. that’s unheard of.  So I’m posting the recipe for the whole shebang now (seeing as its posted all over the place already), and I strongly encourage anyone who doesn’t plan to make charcoal out of the caramel or nuke the daylights out of the frosting to have a go.  You may curse me at first, but I’m guessing you’ll thank me later…

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Chocolate Cake *I used the Devils food cake from Sweet Melissa instead (which you can find here), so I can’t vouch for this one!

Makes one 8-inch 3-layer cake
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup sour cream
2 2/3 cups cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter three 8-by-2-inch round cake pans. Line each pan with a parchment paper round, butter parchment paper and flour; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa, 1 1/4 cups hot water, and sour cream; set aside to cool, about 10 minutes.
In another large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together until smooth and it appears to create strings inside the bowl, about 7 minutes. Add both sugars and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until well incorporated. Add vanilla, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and mix again for 30 seconds. Add flour mixture alternating with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Divide batter evenly among the three prepared pans. Bake until cake is just firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 18 to 24 minutes. Let cool completely.

Salted Caramel

1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fleur de sel
1/4 cup sour cream

Combine 1/4 cup water, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the mixture reaches 350 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in another small saucepan, mix together cream and salt. Bring cream to a boil and cook until salt has dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
When the caramel mixture has reached 350 degrees, remove from heat and allow to cool for 1 minute. Carefully add the hot cream to the caramel; stir to combine. Whisk in sour cream. Cool, and store in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

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Whipped Chocolate Caramel Ganache

1 pound dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 pound (4 sticks) butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces, softened but still cool

Combine 1/4 cup water, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the mixture reaches 350 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.
In another small saucepan add cream and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
When the caramel mixture has reached 350 degrees, remove from heat and allow to rest for 1 minute. Add the hot cream to the caramel; stir to combine. Let cool 5 minutes. Place chocolate in the bowl of an electric mixer and pour caramel sauce over chocolate. Let sit 1 minute before stirring from the center until chocolate is melted.
Attach bowl to electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low until the bowl feels cool to the touch. Add butter and increase speed to medium-high until mixture is well combined, thickened, and slightly whipped, about 2 minutes.

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To assemble the cake

Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to make level. Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy Susan. Place the first layer on the cake plate. Using about 1/4 cup of the caramel, spread a thin layer on the cake, allowing some of the caramel to soak into the cake. Follow the caramel layer with a layer of about 1 cup of the ganache icing. *The caramel didn’t really soak in for me, so I just popped the cake + caramel layer in the freezer before topping with ganache, just so the second layer didn’t slide everywhere leaving me with a sloppy mess on my hands… Place the second layer on top and repeat process with another layer of caramel followed by a layer of ganache icing. Place the remaining layer on top of the second layer bottom side up. Spread entire cake with remaining ganache icing. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.

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getting messy... and way too heavy handed with the middle layer

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the finished product.. that finished me...

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “recipe update: whipped caramel ganache & salted caramel topping

  1. I’m not surprised one slice was enough – it looks like one serious cake!

    You know, although ‘prodigal’ now mostly means the cake that returned for the party, originally it refers to extravagance and lavish giving. If dictionaries were illustrated, that last photo would be right there under P!

    Gorgeous as ever,
    Rosie of Books And Bakes

  2. This cake looks so decadent, and I love it!The caramel oozing from the middle is almost hypnotic 🙂 I came across your blog from the foodieblogroll and I’d love to guide our readers to your site if you won’t mind.Just add your choice of foodista widget to this post and it’s all set, Thanks!

  3. Hello! I found this blog in Foodista and followed it here. This cake made my day. By the way you can place more Foodista widget in your past and future blogs so that other Foodista readers can follow and see your blog too. Just search for a related recipe or food in Foodista and use its widget. I hope to read more from you. Cheers!

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