Chocolate Salted Caramel Cake

I have my favourite chocolate cake recipe, and despite having tried multiple other recipes since then, I still go back to it as my number one. So these days, the purpose of my trying out other chocolate cake recipes isn’t to try to find a better one, it really is just to try different ones. I tried one this weekend that I quite enjoyed, and so have decided to share it with you guys.

The problem is, I wrote this recipe down over a year ago in my tattered recipe book, and can’t remember where I got it from. It was when I was going through my salted caramel phase (thanks to Tat Wei and his Forty Licks ice-cream), so was definitely quite a while ago. If anyone knows where this recipe is from, please leave a message and I’ll give give credit where credit is due. Cos seriously, this was a fun cake to bake. 
We celebrated Chinese New Year and were given a fantastic four-day weekend, so I had some time to try it out. Also, the siblings are all out of the country and my parents were away for a wedding… and you all know how much I love experimenting with messy, complicated recipes with multiple components when I have the house to myself. 
Chocolate Salted Caramel Cake
3×8″ layers
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder 
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water 
  • 2/3 cup sour cream 
  • 2 2/3 cups all purpose flour 
  • 2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 180g unsalted butter, softened 
  • 114g vegetable shortening 
  • 1 1/2 cups caster sugar 
  • 1 cup light dark brown sugar 
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and prepare 3 8″ round baking tins
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix the cocoa powder, hot water and sour cream, and set aside to cool
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt
  4. Cream the butter and vegetable shortening, then beat in the sugars and beat until light
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, and the vanilla and continue to beat until thoroughly mixed
  6. Add the flour and cocoa mix, alternating between the dry and wet mixes, beginning and ending with the flour
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted at an angle comes out clean
Salted caramel filling
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes 
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  1. In a small saucepan, heat the cream and sea salt flakes over a low flame
  2. Meanwhile, in another larger saucepan, heat the sugar, corn syrup and water over a medium-high flame until the mixture turns amber. Take this off the heat and allow to cool for a minute, then whisk in the heated cream and sea salt
  3. Whisk in the sour cream, then allow the caramel to cool to room temperature and refrigerate until ready to assemble the cake
Chocolate caramel ganache frosting
  • 450g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 450g butter, cubed and chilled (but not hard)
  1. Place the chopped chocolate in the bowl of your stand mixer
  2. Follow the same steps as the salted caramel filling for the cream, sugar, corn syrup and water. Once the cream has been whisked in, pour the mixture over the chopped chocolate and allow it to sit for a minute before stirring to melt the chocolate
  3. Let the mixture sit and cool then beat with the paddle attachment of your mixer on low-medium speed until the bowl has cooled to the touch. This will take 10-15 minutes depending on your climate
  4. When it has cooled, gradually add the butter and beat at medium-high speed until incorporated. Pop the bowl in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to bring it to a spreadable texture
Assemble the cake
Place a cake layer on your cake plate, pour the salted caramel filling over the layer and let it soak, then top with the chocolate ganache, sprinkle a tsp of sea salt flakes and cover with the next layer. Repeat, then coat the cake with a crumb coat of ganache and put the cake in the fridge to solidify for around 30 minutes. Then finish coating the cake with another layer of ganache, and sprinkle the top with sea salt flakes. 
I found this cake a little TOO sweet for my liking, and I think it’s the amount of sugar in the ganache. I generally don’t add that much sugar to my chocolate ganache, preferring a darker and more bitter frosting. I think in future, I’ll go back to a simple chocolate ganache and content myself with salted caramel filling. The cake texture is incredibly moist and dense, and I think if served with a simple coating of dark chocolate ganache and drizzle of salted caramel, would be quite perfect. 

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