Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Sweet and Salty Cake

Happy Birthday to the huz! This post is actually pretty late. I blame the rainy Vancouver winter and its sensational ability to drain the energy out of me. But it’s been sunny lately and dare I say, the worst of the dreary weather is over (please please!)?


Sweet and Salty Cake
Adapted from the Highway to Heaven cupcake.  

Chocolate Cake
3 cups flour
2 ¾ cup sugar
1 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon + 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup buttermilk
1 ½ cups strong brewed coffee, warm
3 eggs, beaten and at room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 1/3 cup canola oil

1.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of 3, 8-inch pans with parchment and grease and flour the sides.
2.   In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Sift in cocoa powder and mix with the paddle attachment until combined.
3.   Add buttermilk, coffee, eggs, vanilla, and oil. Beat until completely mixed.
4.   Divide into pans and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While baking, make the coffee syrup:

Coffee Syrup 
½ cup strong brewed coffee
½ cup sugar

1.   Combine coffee and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil for 2 minutes.
2.   After taking the cakes out of the oven, drizzle with coffee syrup. Let cakes cool completely.

Caramel Sauce (can make ahead of time)
1 cup sugar
½ cup water
¾ teaspoon salt
A wedge of lemon
½ cup heavy cream, warmed
¾ teaspoon vanilla

1.   In a pot over high heat, combine sugar, water, and salt. Squeeze a wedge of lemon. Cook until very dark (almost burning) by occasionally swirling the pan.
2.   When you get to the desired colour, take off the heat and carefully add the cream (be careful of the steam!) and stir.
3.   Strain to get rid of clumps and stir in vanilla. Cool before using. Store in the fridge and heat in the microwave a little to loosen.

Ganache (can make ahead of time)
6 oz chopped dark chocolate
¼ cup + 3 Tablespoons butter, cubed
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoon light corn syrup

1.   In a double boiler over medium low heat, combine all ingredients until the chocolate melts. Stir to combine.
2.   Let cool before using. Store in the fridge and microwave a little to make pliable.

1.   Place first layer of cake on serving plate. Spread ganache on top. Drizzle with caramel.
2.   Top with next cake layer and repeat. Top with final layer and add remaining ganache and caramel.
3.   For added effect, pierce the top with ripple chips and drizzle with caramel. If not eating immediately, wrap the sides with acetate to prevent drying out.

Verdict: This cake was a show stopper! I loved the chips with the sweet cake – sweet and salty. And the huz definitely liked it. I served with a drizzle of extra caramel.

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