Skip to content

Jim’s 30th bday cake: Salted-Caramel Six-Layer Chocolate Cake

December 19, 2012

I cake search a lot and came across this one on Martha Stewart’s website. I showed Jim the picture and he immediately requested this one be his birthday cake this year. It seemed like it’d be a bit of work, but I was up for the challenge and hoped to redeem myself from my last birthday cake failure.

The cake was super moist and delicious. I was worried about all the water the recipe called for, but it was prefect. The caramel was a bit of work to make. I unfortunately ended up burning it during the first heating. I heated it for maybe 18 minutes before it turned the “dark amber” color. When it finally turned I could smell that it burned. I wasn’t sure if this was because it wasn’t stirred and just the bottom burned or if I should have pulled it out at a “light amber” color. I tried adding chocolate chips to the caramel to hide the burnt flavor, but it didn’t work. Since I was pressed for time hate to admit I just used store bough caramel sauce and used that instead of making another batch.

The cake still turned out wonderful and I got tons of compliments on it. It was even voted my “best cake” by Bill, which says a lot since he usually has a slice of almost all of them. I’ll definitely make this one again.

Jim's 30th Bday Cake

Difficulty: Medium (due to caramel)
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 45 min
Total Time: 3 hour 20 min
Yield: 12 servings
Taste: Very Delicious!

Cake Ingredients:
Unsalted butter, room temperature, for pans
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Coarse salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons safflower oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Caramel Ingredients:
4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 cups heavy cream
Coarse salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons

Frosting Ingredients
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
Coarse salt
1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped, melted, and cooled
Garnish: flaked sea salt, such as Maldon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 9-inch round cake pans, and dust with flour, tapping out excess.
2. For cake: Sift flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt into the bowl of a mixer. Beat on low speed until just combined. Raise speed to medium, and add eggs, buttermilk, 1 1/2 cups warm water, oil, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.
3. Divide batter among pans. Bake until cakes are set and a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean, about 35 minutes (30 min for Heidi’s HOT oven). Let cool in pans set on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks, and let cool completely.
4. For caramel: Combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Cook, without stirring, until mixture is dark amber, about 14 minutes. Remove from heat, and carefully pour in cream (mixture will spatter); stir until smooth. Return to heat, and cook until a candy thermometer reaches 238 degrees, about 2 minutes (mine took more like 5+). Pour caramel into a medium bowl, stir in 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and let cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Stir in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Let cool completely.
5. For the frosting: Beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and a generous pinch of coarse salt in a clean bowl with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Whisk together cocoa and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water in a SEPARATE bowl until cocoa dissolves. Gradually beat in melted chocolate to butter mixture and then cocoa mixture until combined. Let stand for 30 minutes before using.
6. Trim tops of cakes using a serrated knife to create a level surface. Cut each in half horizontally to form 2 layers. Transfer 1 layer to a serving platter, and spread 3/4 cup caramel over top. Top with another cake layer, and repeat with remaining caramel and cake layers, leaving top uncovered. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.
7. Frost top and sides of cake in a swirling motion. Sprinkle with sea salt.

To make this cake ahead of time: The caramel can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature before using. Cake layers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days (they actually taste better when refrigerated and have a better texture for stacking). When finished, the frosted cake can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Source: Martha Stewart


From → Dessert

One Comment

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Chocolate Cupcakes – Ninja Style! | Elements of Wood

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: