Chocolate and Caramel Cake

Chocolate and Caramel Cake

Caramel
1 c (198 g) sugar
1/4 c (59 ml) heavy cream

Prepare a small bowl by rubbing it with shortening/butter or spraying it with Pam so that the cooling caramel will not stick to it completely. Set aside.

Cook the sugar in a heavy-bottom pan until a dark amber color (I don't know which temp is right... I got lucky, I guess!). Remove from heat and pour in the cream, stirring gently until combined and no longer bubbling. Pour into the prepared bowl and let rest until cool to the touch.

Be careful, hot sugar is.... Hot... It burns. lol. The goal is to have a very soft caramel that is a little runny when cooled. You'll be adding it to buttercream.

Caramel/Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Please click here for a step-by-step guide to making Swiss Meringue Buttercream and troubleshooting tips!

1 3/4 c (348 g) sugar
8 egg whites (save 2 yolks for the cake recipe!)
3 1/2 sticks (28 Tbls) unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
Resulting caramel from above recipe
1/4 c (40 g) dark chocolate, melted and cooled

Cook the egg whites and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved (test by rubbing some between your fingers. If it's completely smooth, it's done). Pour into another bowl (a stand mixer is preferable) and whip on high speed until room temp. Then, on a medium-slow speed, slowly add the butter, a few pieces at a time, waiting until each addition is fully incorporated before adding more. After it has all been added, whip it until it thickens up, about five minutes, and add the vanilla. Remove half of the buttercream, place in a separate bowl, and whip in the chocolate. Add the caramel to the remaining half. It may be necessary to heat the caramel slightly to make sure it is the correct consistency, but be careful it's not so hot that it will melt the buttercream!

Super Chocolate Cake
3/4 c (177ml) heavy cream
1 c (160 g) dark chocolate chips (I used 52%)
2 c (250 g) flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
3/4 c (177 g)butter, cubed and at room temp
1 c (142 g)firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs + 2 yolks, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350F (175C) then grease and line two 6 inch pans.

Heat cream until steaming, then pour over chocolate. Allow to set for 5 minutes, then whisk gently to combine. Allow to cool to room temp (put it in the fridge/freezer for a bit, if you like).

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then add both yolks plus the vanilla. Then, alternating between wet and dry (beginning with wet), add the flour and cream mixtures in 2 additions each. Be sure to scrape down the bowl!

Divide batter into the two prepared pans and bake 35-40 min.

Assembly
Level and split each layer of cake so you have four layers of equal height. Fill with caramel buttercream, crumb coat with either frosting, and then frost completely with the chocolate buttercream. I decorated very simply by drizzling chocolate over the edges of the [chilled] cake. Additional caramel would also be great :)
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