Here we go!
I have a few pictures of food that I have made over the past year, so in order to get started I am going to revisit a cake I made in May of 2010.
Dark Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting
Please excuse the photo quality, it was taken with my camera phone. Digital camera pictures on future posts.
Earlier this year I went on a baking frenzy courtesy of my new stand mixer. Flourless tortes, cookies, Guinness bundt cakes, but the crowd favorite was a Dark Chocolate layer cake (basic dark chocolate cake recipe ) with a Salted Caramel Frosting (recipe adapted from a Chow recipe http://bit.ly/igJjoM ).
Admittedly I am not a baker. After working in a bakery many years ago, I learned that the precise measuring & science behind it was not my strong suit. However, inspired by a shiny new stand mixer & friends who love dark chocolate, I decided to try baking again.
The cake was successful. The frosting, however tasty, was a recipe meant to ice 12 cupcakes so I came up short even after doubling (the recipe below is the original recipe & makes 2 cups). As you will see in the picture at the bottom there were a lot of crumbs in the icing (due to spreading it to thin), but all was cleverly disguised by strawberries.
So below are the recipes I used. I did locate the original frosting recipe which makes 2 cups of frosting. I made a double layer 8” cake so I think it should be plenty.
Dark Chocolate Cake
(enough for 2 8” or 9” cakes)
* 3 ounces semisweet chocolate ( I use Scharffen Berger, but use your favorite good quality dark chocolate)
* 1 ½ cups hot brewed coffee
* 3 cups sugar
* 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
* 1 ½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch process)
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* ¾ teaspoon baking powder
* 1 ¼ teaspoon salt (please use sea salt or kosher salt)
* 3 large eggs
* ¾ cup vegetable oil
* 1 ½ cups buttermilk
* ¾ teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 300F & grease the cake pans ( I use butter & flour) & line the bottom of the pans with a round of greased parchment paper
Finely chop the 3 oz of chocolate & melt with the hot coffee. Stir until combined & smooth
In a large bowl sift together all of the dry ingredients
In another bowl ( or stand mixer) beat eggs until slightly thickened (about 2-3 minutes). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, sugar & coffee/melted chocolate mixture. Now add the flour mixture (I added it about a ½ cup at a time). Beat on medium until just combined.
Divide batter evenly between 2 pans (using 8” pans you may have a little leftover). Bake in the middle of your oven ( I switched the pans around & rotated about ½ way through) for about 50 minutes (test cake with a skewer or toothpick after about 45 minutes)
When the cake tester comes out clean remove the cakes from the oven & allow to cool. Run a knife around the edge of the pans and turn the cakes out. Remove the wax paper.
Now according to people who bake often, its best to let the cakes sit for a few hours or overnite before you ice them (lightly covers with foil or plastic wrap). I did not, so I think not letting the cakes dry sufficiently & not having enough frosting made for a lot of crumbs.
I am not an icing expert, so I can say that I globbed frosting on 1 cake, spread it out with an offset spatula, topped it with the second layer and proceeded to frost. I am sure there is a much more precise way to do it, but I will let you figure it out.
Now I did sprinkle a bit of fleur de sel on the cake as a finish which I thought was a nice addition
Salted Caramel Frosting
* ¼ cup granulated sugar
* 2 tablespoons water
* ¼ cup heavy cream
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt ( I used flake sea salt instead)
* 1 cup powdered sugar ( I sifted first)
Briefly stir together granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture turns dark amber in color, about 6 to 7 minutes.
Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring with a wooden spoon until completely smooth. Set aside until cool to the touch, about 25 minutes.
Combine butter and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment ( I used the whisk attachment for my stand mixer) and beat on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar, and mix until completely incorporated.
Turn off mixer & scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add cooled caramel. Beat frosting on medium high until airy & throughly mixed. Cover & refrigerate for 45 minutes to an hour