Have I told you how much I love long weekends? :) Nate and I took the 3-day weekend opportunity and headed down to PA to visit his mom and get some R&R.
One of the nice parts about vising Nate’s mom is that my childhood friend, Nicole, lives only about an hour drive from her. So when we get a long weekend, I can take half a day and go spend time with her, her husband and her new ADORABLE baby boy, Luc. He is a seriously cute baby.
Nicole loves to cook but told me that she hasn’t had that much experience with baking and was hoping to bake something with me. She’s been asking me this for a while but the last couple times I visited, we just didn’t have time.
But this time we prepared ahead of time. She wanted to bake a big cake for her hubby. She said he loves dark chocolate and caramel, so I scoured the internet for some cakes that made use of this flavor combo and came across this recipe from the blog Sugar Pies.
I copied the recipe below exactly from their site. It was good…not the best cake I ever had. But I think it could get there with the following changes:
- Triple or quadruple the amount of Caramel Cream Frosting. It didn’t even make enough to go between the layers and on top and sides of cake. I think this is because it was supersweet and it would have been overkill with the ganache.
- Third or halve the Chocolate Ganache, and don’t spread it but simply allow it to cover the top and drip down the sides of the cake.
- Definitely pop the cakes in the freezer before icing them, and again before pouring on the ganache.
- Serve the cake at room temperature.
Personally, I think it would be perfect with the cake completely frosted with the Caramel Cream Frosting and then with a thin layer of ganache on the top and dripping down the sides.
I’ll give it this, though- it’s quite impressive/massive looking. I think it could look even more impressive with the changes I made with the ganache dripping down the sides :)
Caramel Cream Cake
Adapted from Sugar Pies Food
Makes one 9″ 3-layer cake
Caramel Cream Cake
1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, separated
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 tsp. cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk
5 tsp. strong coffee
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°. Cut parchment paper circles to fit bottoms of 3 9-inch round cake pans. Grease and flour bottoms and sides of pans.
In mixer fitted with whisk attachment beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and egg yolks and beat until incorporated. Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the mixture alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Add the coffee and vanilla and beat well.
In a clean bowl and with a clean whisk, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold into batter. (Note: If you have only one bowl for your mixer, beat the egg whites first and transfer them to another bowl while you mix the batter.)
Divide the batter evenly among the 3 pans and bake for 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes then remove from pans and allow to cool completely on wire racks. When completely cool, ice with Caramel Cream Frosting.
Caramel Cream Frosting
1 pound confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp. cocoa powder
1 egg yolk
8 tbs. unsalted butter, softened
1 tbs. strong coffee (liquid)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Sift together sugar and cocoa. In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolk until pale on low speed. Add the butter and beat well. Add the liquids and the sugar/cocoa mixture and beat until light and fluffy.
Spread frosting between layers of cake and on top and sides. Place cake in refrigerator or freezer to chill thoroughly and allow frosting to set.
Whipped Chocolate Ganache
2 cups heavy cream
16 oz. good bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tsp. instant coffee crystals
Place chopped chocolate and coffee in large heat proof bowl.
Heat heavy cream in saucepan until it begins to simmer. Pour over chocolate and allow to sit about 10 minutes to melt the chocolate. Stir with rubber spatula and then whisk chocolate until it is smooth.
Set bowl over another bowl filled with ice water and beat chocolate with electric mixture until about the consistency of sour cream (about 3-10 minutes depending on temperature). Be sure not to over beat the chocolate. You just want it nice and spreadable but not too liquid.
Remove cake from refrigerator and place on wire rack set over baking sheet. Pour chocolate over cake and using offset spatula spread the chocolate over top and sides of cake.
Return cake to refrigerator or freezer to allow the chocolate to set up then allow cake to come to room temperature to serve.