Thursday, March 10, 2011

Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Icing and Chocolate Ganache


This recipe called for a made from scratch chocolate cake that was sort of a mousse/souffle type thing.  I made that version and it didn't work so I ended up with just a basic chocolate cake.  No worries though because the joy of this cake is in the frosting.

Salted Caramel Butter cream Icing
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons water
1/2 heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 sticks room temperature butter
3 + cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon good sea salt (or kosher salt, whatever you've got on hand)

First, you've got to make the caramel.  In a good and sturdy small sauce pot put the sugar and water over medium heat.  This is the base for your caramel.  You'll want to leave it alone (do not stir under penalty of law) and let it boil and bubble away until it is a nice medium amber color.  Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the cream and vanilla.  Set the caramel aside and let it sit and cool at leas 30 minutes.

Once the caramel is cooled, you can make the icing.  Cream two sticks of butter with a hand mixer.  Next add the sea salt and half of the powdered sugar.  Mix until combined and then add the caramel and the rest of the powdered sugar.  Depending on the consistency you're going for you might need to add a little milk or some more powdered sugar.

Chocolate Ganache
6 oz bittersweet/milk chocolate combination (mix it however you'd like.  I went 4 oz bittersweet and 2 oz milk)
6 oz heavy cream
dash of vanilla

While the caramel is cooling, make your ganache.  Heat the heavy cream over the stove on medium low heat.  As soon as the cream starts to boil pour it over the chocolate (made sure your chocolate is in a heat proof container).  Let stand about three minutes and then whisk the mixture until the chocolate is all melted.  Set the ganache aside.  If it doesn't thicken up enough on the counter top then put it in the fridge for five minutes at a time.  Check it because you don't want it to thicken up into a truffle consistency.

When you put the cake together, layer some butter cream and ganache between the two layers of the cake and add another layer of ganache to the top of the cake once you do your basic icing job.  Then drizzle some remaining ganache over the cake once it's all iced and ready to serve.

You'll have enough ganache to eat out of the bowl in your fridge a spoonful at a time for about three days after the cake is devoured.  That is my present to you.

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