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Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake

Enjoy this decadent chocolate and salted caramel cake. It's easy-to-make and definitely a great choice to share with your chocolate lover friends!
Course Cakes, Dessert
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 6 hours
Yield 6 Inch Cake

Ingredients

Cake

  • 9 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 185 g cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 115 g butter
  • 300 g sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup water + 1/2 cup milk

Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 225 g sugar
  • 60 g water
  • 90 g butter cut into 6 pcs
  • 115 g whipping cream
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp salt

Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 3 egg whites room temperature
  • 168 g sugar
  • 203 g butter slightly softened
  • pinch of salt
  • 1.5 - 2.5 tbsp salted caramel sauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line 3 x 6" cake pans.
  2. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar together till fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat till fully incorporated.
  4. Mix together water and milk. Stir 1/2 of dry ingredients into butter mixture, then add in the milk mixture. Mix well before adding the remaining dry ingredients, followed by milk mixture.
  5. Split the cake batter among prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven at 180C for about 15-20 mins, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven and cool cakes in the pan for 5 mins. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Salted Caramel Sauce

  1. Heat sugar and water in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly with a spatula.
  2. Sugar will boil and may form clumps and will eventually melt into an amber-colored liquid as you continue stirring. Be careful not to burn the sugar.
  3. Once sugar is melted to amber color, immediately add the butter. Watch out as the caramel will boil and bubble rapidly here.
  4. Stir the butter till completely melted, about 2-3 mins.
  5. Drizzle in 1/2 cup of whipping cream. Allow to boil for about 1 min. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the salt. Allow to cool down before using or storing in bottle or jar.

Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  1. Whisk together sugar and the egg whites in your mixing bowl, over a pan of simmering water (about 1 inch high).
  2. Whisk till warm and until sugar is dissolved, about 2-3 mins. If you are using candy thermometer, the temperature should be between 65-67C.
  3. Remove from heat. Immediately beat the egg white mixture for about 5 mins on the mixer at medium speed. Increase speed to medium-high for a couple of mins, and then eventually to high. Beat till stiff peaks form, and mixing bowl is cool to touch.
  4. Reduce speed to medium-high and add in butter, 1 pc at a time, ensure to beat well after each addition. Continue beating until a silky buttercream form. You may see some curdling before this stage. Just keep beating. If your buttercream is soupy, place into fridge for 5-10 mins and beat on high again.
  5. Add in vanilla extract and salted caramel. Mix till well combined.

To Assemble

  1. Ensure the layers of cake are flat on top. You may use a serrated knife to remove any "peaks".
  2. Place a small dollop of buttercream on your cake board and spread using offset spatula. Place 1 cake layer on it. Top with frosting and smooth into even layer, using the offset spatula.
  3. Repeat till all layers of cake are done. Using your offset spatula, smooth a thin layer of buttercream all over the cake. This is the crumb coat, to seal in any crumbs. Let set in fridge for about 10 mins.
  4. Remove cake from fridge and smooth more buttercream on the cake using offset spatula. You can smooth the sides of the cake using the offset spatula or bench scrapper. For a rustic finish, hold the offset spatula at an angle against the side of the cake. Turn the cake on the turntable as you move the offset spatula upwards.
  5. Set the buttercream in the fridge for about 30 mins. Meanwhile place about 1 tbsp of salted caramel sauce in piping bag.
  6. Once cake is set, snip off a small corner on the piping bag, drizzle the salted caramel around the circumference of the cake, followed by any patterns on the top surface of cake.
  7. Pipe or decorate as desired. I am using 1M Wilton tip.
  8. Refrigerate cake until ready to be served. Serve at room temperature for best taste. (Thaw cake in room temp for about 10 mins before eating)

Recipe Notes

For better tasting cakes, I always use Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract. You can use Van Houten or Ghirardelli cocoa powder. I also love using Bob's Red Mill baking powder.

 

The total time includes cooling and assembly time, estimated.

 

Make Ahead Tips: The chocolate cake layers can be baked the day before, cooled, and covered tightly with cling wrap. You can also make the buttercream on the day before. Store both in the refrigerator. On the day of frosting, thaw the buttercream on the counter top 1 hour ahead; the cake about 15 mins ahead.

 

To Serve: Best served in room temperature. Let cake stand and thaw for about 10-15 mins.