I don’t really like chocolate cake.
So sue me. But I LOVE chocolate itself, chocolate brownies, chocolate chips, hot chocolate… but chocolate cake and chocolate ice cream, I could normally take or leave. But everything changed this weekend.
You remember Talia and Julia that I introduced in my last blog post about book club. (Still time to enter my giveaway for supplements–just leave a comment–or to join my bay area foodie book club, email me at pancakesandpostcards at gmail dot com!).
Well, Sunday Funday started out with a day at the races…
And ended with this.
The girls love to bake, so we set out to make a delicious layered chocolate cake, recipe hailing from somewhere out there via Julia’s baking class that she took recently. (Who else would die to take a real baking class? *points thumbs to chest* THIS girl!) We were at Julia’s house in Oakland, and the view from the kitchen wasn’t so bad.
We prepared snacks for baking.
We divyed up responsibilities. Talia got the cake.
I got the buttercream frosting. And I’ve never really made buttercream before, so this was exciting.
Julia prepared the caramel sauce. No pictures because making caramel is stressful.
My sister helped frost the masterpiece.
It wasn’t the most beautiful cake you’ve ever seen. But this recipe creates THE fudgiest, moistest cake EVER. I hate dry cakes so much, this was more like the love child of a devil’s food cake and a fudgy brownie. With the frosting and the caramel drizzle it was almost too good. The buttercream from scratch can take a while, but the cake recipe itself is SO easy. There’s coffee in the mix, which you do NOT taste, but which perhaps adds a distinct richness to the flavor. And the fleur de sel on top and in the caramel creates the best tiny hint of salt that balances the intense chocolate perfectly.
I most highly recommend this recipe for a very decadent, moist, fudgy chocolate cake that is sure to please pretty much any chocolate fanatic. And I think if you’re in a pinch, a can of Betty Crocker icing would do just fine. : )
Layered Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting & Caramel Sauce
- 1 ¾ cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- ¾ cup good quality cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup buttermilk, well shaken
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs, room temp
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
- 6 ounces good quality semi-sweet or bitter-
- sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 sticks butter, room temperature
- 1 egg yolk, room temp
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso, dissolved in 2
- teaspoons hot water
1 teaspoon fleur de sel (to sprinkle on top of the frosted cake)
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons butter
- ½ teaspoon fleur de sel
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pans, then line them each with a circle of buttered parchment paper.
For the cake, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Take the bowl off the mixer and stir in the coffee just to combine, using a rubber spatula to scrape any dry bits from the bottom of the bowl. Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out without any wet crumbs. Cool the cakes, on a rack, for 30 minutes in their pans then turn then out onto the rack and cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the frosting. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pot w/ 1-inch of barely simmering water. Stir gently until the chocolate melts and remove it from the heat. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium high speed until it is light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add the egg yolk (if using) and vanilla and beat 3 minutes more. Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. When all the sugar is in, increase the heat to medium, scraping down the bowl as needed, until the mixture is light and fluffy. At low speed add the chocolate and coffee and mix just until combined.
To make the caramel sauce, combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan. If any of the mixture is on the sides of the pan, brush it down with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Cook the sugar over medium-high heat until the sugar has dissolved, without stirring.. Continue cooking, without stirring, until the syrup is a dark golden color. Remove pan from heat and slowly add cream and butter. The mixture will bubble up quickly at this point so be sure your pan is big enough. Stir to combine and let sit for a few minutes to thicken.
Frost the top of one cake, spreading about 1/2-inch layer of frosting all over the top, leaving about 1/4-inch border around the edge. Top the cake with the second cake and use the remaining frosting to cover the sides and the top. Sprinkle the cake with the fleur de sel, cut, and serve with a drizzle of caramel sauce.
MAKE THIS CAKE! You will not regret it. And enter the giveaway if you want some free superfoods. : )
Have a great Tuesday, everybody!
What’s your go-to dessert?