Eeeekkkk you guys! What do you think??? Do you like it?? I love it. I’m absolutely obsessed with my new look. Thanks so much for Aaron over at RFE Hosting for making the transition to wordpress.org super easy. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m loving experimenting with wordpress.org and all the fun plug ins.
Ok, ok. Now on to the good stuff. This cake. Sometimes a good, old fashioned, salted caramel layer cake is just want the doctor ordered.
Like, would you look at those layers?? The cake. Yeah, it’s pretty much the best chocolate cake recipe ever. And that beautiful light brown awesomeness in the middle there? It’s salted caramel swiss meuringe buttercream. Not a big deal. That chocolate frosting coating the whole thing like it’s it’s job? It’s of the chocolate fudge variety. Whatever.
This cake is worth every second it takes to put together. From start to finish it took me two hours in the kitchen on a lovely Saturday afternoon (not bad, right?) and could even be broken down in to a few days.
I’m not kidding you when I say even if this cake took 12 hours to make, I would do it again like, tomorrow. It was a labor of serious, undying love.
I mean. I just can’t even.
- ~For the cake~
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2¼ cups sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2¼ tsp. baking soda
- 1½ tsp. baking powder
- 1½ tsp. salt
- 6 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. brewed coffee*
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- ~For the filling~
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- Generous pinch of sea salt, such as fleur de sel
- 4 large egg whites
- 1½ cup (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ~For the frosting~
- 12 oz. good quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- ¼ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- ¼ cup very hot water
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. (18 tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup plus confectioners’ sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat your oven to 350˚ F. Grease and flour three 8 inch baking pans and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the dry ingredients (from the flour to the salt). Add the wet ingredients (vegetable oil through vanilla) and mix on low speed until well blended and completely incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans (it will be running, but that’s a good thing) Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the center is set. Set aside to cool.
- To make the caramel buttercream filling, place ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and mix in the water. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Once the mixture is boiling, stop stirring and let the caramel cook, gently swirling from time to time, until it is a deep amber color (watch is carefully so that it doesn’t burn!). Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in the cream and then the salt. Set aside to cool.
- Combine the egg whites and the remaining ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer and place over a pot of simmering water. Heat, whisking frequently, until the has dissolved. Place the bowl back on your stand mixer and, with your whisk attachment, beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature. The outside of the bowl should be cool to the touch. This may take almost 10 minutes.
- Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time. Make sure to wait until one addition of butter is completely incorporated before adding the next. Whisk on medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth and has completely come together (about 5 minutes). It may look a little chunky in the middle, but be patient, it will come together! Blend in the cooled caramel until completely incorporated.
- To make the chocolate frosting, mix the chopped chocolate, cocoa and hot water together until the chocolate is completely melted. Set aside and let cool. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter, confectioners’ sugar and salt. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Slowly add in the chocolate mixture and mix until completely incorporated. Set aside and let cool.
- To assemble the cake place the first layer on your desired serving platter. Top evenly with half of the caramel buttercream. Place a second cake layer on top and cover with the second half of the buttercream and cover with the third cake layer Cover the top and sides of the cake with the chocolate frosting. Sprinkle with fleur de sel. Best stored in the fridge and brought to room temperature before serving.