Yesterday, my son asked me to make a cake and instead of making regular box cake, I wanted to make something different. But I was pretty much short of ingredients such as fresh fruits or nuts to make something different. I searched high and low for inspirations but all called for some kind of fruit or syrups to make it different. Finally I settled for a chocolate cake since I had some chocolate chips remaining from Christmas cooking. I found this recipe on FoodNetwork.com for Salted Caramel Chocolate cake and decided to give it a try.
I was short on some ingredients but decided to give it a try with substitutes. I have included step by step pictures. Read along to see some of my tips and what could have been better! The cake and the frosting is amazing (frosting especially!) But like the comments on the website says the cake was little too moist and crumbly. So when I tried to put it together, it didn’t fully stay intact. But never the less, the frosting is the icing on the cake (literally!). Maybe next time I will use this icing on a box type cake.
For Chocolate Cake:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups yogurt
1. Sift the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder together. In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time.
2. Next, add flour mixture and yogurt to this. Alternate the flour and yogurt so that you end with flour mixture. Tip: The original recipe calls for buttermilk and I have seen other chocolate cake recipes using buttermilk. But since I didn’t have buttermilk on hand, I used the next best substitute – yogurt. Replace equal quantities of buttermilk with yogurt.
3. The batter is enough to make two 9 inch cakes. I have to say, thanks to one of the review comments on the website, I did it twice. Else I would have ended up pouring the whole batter in one pan and resulting in overflowing batter during baking.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake the cakes for 30 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let it cool completely before frosting.
3 milk chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 sticks room temperature unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1. In a saucepan, mix the sugar with 1/2 cup of water and stir it till it comes to boil over medium heat. Once it starts boiling, do not stir any more. Let the sugar boil till it turns dark amber color. Tip: It is very important not to stir else the sugar will crystallize. I learned it the hard way. However, even if it crystallizes, just add another half cup of water and bring it to boil again.
2. Once the sugar syrup turns dark amber, add the cream and quickly stir to combine. Mine immediately seized up and turned into a ball but put it back on heat and keep stirring till it is combined.
3. Pour it over the chocolate and whisk to combine. The original recipe calls for more chocolate and some bittersweet chocolate. But since I didn’t have bittersweet chocolate, I stuck with milk chocolate but reduced it to 3 cups so that it is not too sweet. Chill this mixture for an hour.
4. Add cubed butter and whisk the chilled mixture till it is combined. Return it to the refrigerator for another hour. Since I used less chocolate, I chilled my mixture a little longer.
5. Time to assemble the cake – Place one cake, flat side up on your cake platter. Spread about 1 1/2 cup of the frosting on the top. Place the second cake over it with flat side up again. I failed at this point since my second cake gave away! It was moist and crumbly and I wasn’t able to handle it quickly. But I continued with the cake no matter what! Spread more frosting to ice the top and the sides of the cake. Original recipe calls for sea salt which I think is brilliant in the way how sweet and salt would taste together. But I didn’t have any so I omitted that. Also you will have more frosting than that is required. I just use the rest for mixing hot coco for the kids or spread it on bread etc.
6. Chill the cake and enjoy! By the time I got photograph the final cake, the frosting started to melt!. But nonetheless this is one delicious moist cake with an incredibly delicious frosting.