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Outcakes #1 – Chocolate Salted Caramel Layer Cake

Yum

I’m starting a new topic for my blog. See, I’ve posted many great recipes here for your baking pleasure, but I have a serious problem. Many of the cakes I feature where photographed last year, when I wasn’t any good at food photography! It just hurts my heart that some of my truly terrific cakes were not given the same treatment by the blog-viewing public as other because of my poor picture-taking skills.

As I was sitting down one evening talking this problem over with my friend Evy she was like “You need to have a series of outages, but for cakes. OUTCAKES!” And here we are, my first OUTCAKES post. This one is dedicated to my most requested cake of all time – the Chocolate Salted Caramel Layer Cake. This cake is so popular, it was requested by my friend Sarala, for her birthday, several months in advance.

As you can see this cake is topped with maraschino cherries. I hear you loud and clear: “MARASCHINO CHERRIES AREN’T KOSHER!!!” Well, that’s not totally true, and believe it or not the Kroger brand at my local Ralph’s grocery store had an OU certification, so BRING ON THE CHERRIES!

CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp anise liqueur (I use Arack)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Oil and flour 3 8-inch baking tins. Begin by filling a sauce pan with water. Set it on high heat until it boils. While you are waiting for the water to boil, whisk to gather the flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda until it is completely blended. You can begin to add in the wet ingredients, starting with the oil. Continue beating in each egg, one at a time, into the mixture. Next beat in the vanilla and the anise liqueur.

Ok, remember that boiling water? Beat 1 cup of boiling water into the batter. THE BATTER WILL BE REALLY THIN, don’t worry! (It is important to not here, that if you are using a spring-form pan, be sure to plan a baking sheet on the rack underneath it in the oven. The batter will likely seep through the pan.) Immediately fill you cake tins with the batter and put it in the oven.

If making cupcakes, bake for exactly 18 minutes, no more, no less. If making cake, start by checking them at 22 minutes, and continue to check on the cakes using the “stick a for in it test”. My cakes usually take between 25 and 30 minutes.

SALTED CARAMEL SYRUP RECIPE
(adapted from the Great Cake Company’s Recipe HERE)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1 stick of butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Sea salt to taste

In a medium saucepan with high sides, combine the sugar and corn syrup with 1/2 cup water. Stir the mixture gently so you don’t slosh any of it up the sides of the pan. Turn the heat to medium-high and continue stirring until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high, stop stirring, and allow the mixture to boil. Once it begins to turn a rich caramel color (if you don’t want to eyeball it, take the caramel to 300 degrees F on a candy thermometer), remove it from the heat, add the butter and cream, and a generous amount of sea salt and stir until combined.

SALTED CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM RECIPE
(adapted from the Great Cake Company’s Recipe HERE)

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups sugar 
  • 1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk 
  • 1⁄3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1⁄3 cup plus 2 tablespoons Salted Caramel Sauce (above), at room temperature

In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter and vanilla; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. Add 1⁄3 cup of the caramel and continue mixing until combined.

CHOCOLATE GANACHE FROSTING RECIPE
(adapted from Annie’s Eats recipe HERE)

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. good quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup very hot water
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Sea Salt for finishing


To make the chocolate ganache frosting, place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Set aside and let cool to room temperature. In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder and water and stir until smooth. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, confectioners’ sugar and salt. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, gradually blend in the melted and cooled chocolate until well incorporated. Blend in the cocoa powder-water mixture until smooth.

CAKE ASSEMBLY

To assemble the cake, level the cake layers if necessary. Place one of the cake layers on a cake board or serving platter. Top with half of the caramel buttercream and smooth in a thick, even layer. Place a second cake layer on top and smooth the remaining salted caramel buttercream over that. Place the final cake layer on top. Cover the top and sides of the cake with the chocolate frosting and smooth with an offset spatula. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, sprinkle with sea salt.

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  1. Pingback: Buttercream Flowers Just Got Real - Miri in the Village

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