Sunday, 15 January 2017

Chocolate Caramel Layer Cake

It was suggested to me that I might like this Chocolate Caramel Layer Cake from America's Test Kitchen.  I watched the vided and decided that I would give it a try.  It is a fairly complicated recipe, in that it has a number of different elements to it.  But certainly it promised to be wonderful, if it turned out ok.

So I decided that I would try it.  

Making the cake is quite simple.  The caramel filling is, in theory, easy enough,but it does require close attention or the caramel can easily burn during cooking.  It also needs to reach specific temperatures to make the correct consistency and flavour.  The third element is a lovely rich ganache which is also very easy to make.

The whole thing does have rather a lot of sugar in it, and for my taste was rather sweeter than I would like.  But it still tasted very good indeed.  The sweetness simply meant that I didn't eat too large a slice, which is no bad thing. 

For my attempt I converted the ingredients into metric measurements.
Chocolate Caramel Layer Cake


Chocolate Caramel Layer Cake - Video

Ingredients:
Cake:
  • 213g plain flour
  • 75g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 300g granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 180ml  buttermilk
  • 120ml water
  • 60 ml vegetable oil
  • 2 medium eggs (USA large)eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Caramel Filling:
  • 250g granulated sugar
  • 60ml golden syrup(or corn syrup)
  • 60ml water
  • 113g  unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
Frosting:
  • 227g unsalted butter, softened
  • 90g icing/confectioners' sugar
  • 50g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 120ml golden syrup(or light corn syrup)
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 170g bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt(optional)
Method:
FOR THE CAKE: 
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. 
  2. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper, grease parchment, and flour pans. 
  3. Sift flour and cocoa into large bowl. 
  4. Whisk in sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 
  5. Whisk buttermilk, water, oil, eggs, and vanilla together in second bowl. 
  6. Whisk buttermilk mixture into flour mixture until smooth batter forms. 
  7. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and smooth tops with rubber spatula.  
  8. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 22 to 28 minutes, switching and rotating pans halfway through baking. 
  9. Let cakes cool in pans on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, discarding parchment, and let cool completely on rack, at least 2 hours. 

FOR THE CARAMEL FILLING: 
  1. Lightly grease 8-inch square baking pan. 
  2. Combine sugar, golden syrup, and water in medium saucepan. 
  3. Bring to boil over medium-high heat and cook, without stirring, until mixture is amber colored, 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, swirling saucepan occasionally, until dark amber, 2 to 5 minutes longer. (Caramel will register between 190C-195C/375F and 380F degrees.) 
  4. Off heat, carefully stir in a little of the cream  (mixture will bubble and steam). 
  5. Add the remaining cream, and the butter, vanilla, and salt.
  6. Return saucepan to medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until smooth and caramel reaches 115C/240F degrees, 3 to 5 minutes. 
  7. Carefully transfer caramel to prepared pan and let cool until just warm to touch (38C/100F degrees), 20 to 30 minutes. 

FOR THE FROSTING:  (I did this in a bowl with hand mixer)
  1. Process butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. 
  2. Add golden syrup and vanilla and process until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. 
  3. Scrape down sides of bowl, then add chocolate and pulse until smooth and creamy, 10 to 15 seconds. (Frosting can be made 3 hours in advance. For longer storage, cover and refrigerate frosting. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before using.) 

ASSEMBLY:
  1. Using long serrated knife, score 1 horizontal line around sides of each cake layer; then, following scored lines, cut each layer into 2 even layers. 
  2. Using rubber spatula or large spoon, transfer 1/3 of caramel to center of 1 cake layer and use small offset spatula to spread over surface, leaving 1/2-inch border around edge. 
  3. Repeat with remaining caramel and 2 of remaining cake layers. (Three of your cake layers should be topped with caramel.) 
  4. 8. Line edges of cake platter with 4 strips of parchment to keep platter clean. 
  5. Place 1 caramel-covered cake layer on platter. Top with second caramel-covered layer. 
  6. Repeat with third caramel-covered layer and top with final layer. 
  7. Spread frosting evenly over sides and top of cake. Carefully remove parchment strips. 
  8. Let cake stand for at least 1 hour. (Cake can be made 2 days in advance and refrigerated. 
  9. Let stand at room temperature for at least 5 hours before serving.)
  10.  Sprinkle with coarse sea salt, if using.
  11. Cut and serve.

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