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Sweet and Salty Cake

Sweet and Salty Cake

Ingredients

For the classic chocolate cake layers:

  • ¾ cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ¼ cups hot water
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For the salted caramel:

  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup sour cream

For the whipped caramel ganache frosting:

  • 1 pound dark chocolate (60 to 70% cacao), chopped
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into ½-inch pieces

Directions

For the classic chocolate cake layers:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust with flour, and knock out the excess flour.

In a medium bowl, combine the cocoa powder, hot water, and sour cream and set aside to cool.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a medium bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening on medium speed until ribbon-like, about 5 minutes. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add the vanilla and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds.

Add the flour mixture, alternating with the cocoa mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 35-40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the pans, and let cool completely. Remove the parchment.

For the salted caramel:

In a small saucepan, combine the cream and fleur de sel. Bring to a simmer over very low heat until the salt is dissolved.

Meanwhile, keeping a close eye on the cream mixture so it doesn’t burn, combine ¼ cup water, the sugar, and corn syrup together in a medium saucepan, stirring them carefully so you don’t splash the sides of the pan. Cook over high heat until an instant-read thermometer reads 350 degrees, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 1 minute.

Add the cream mixture to the sugar mixture. Whisk in the sour cream. Let the caramel cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the cake.

For the whipped caramel ganache frosting:

Put the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl and set aside.

In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer over very low heat.

Meanwhile, keeping a close eye on the cream so it doesn’t burn, combine ¼ cup water, the sugar, and corn syrup together in a medium saucepan, stirring them carefully so you don’t splash the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat and let the caramel cool for 1 minute.

Add the cream to the caramel and stir to combine. Stir slowly for 2 minutes, and then pour the caramel over the chocolate. Let the caramel and chocolate sit for 1 minute, then, starting in the center of the bowl, and working your way out to the edges, slowly stir the chocolate and caramel mixture in a circle until the chocolate is completely melted. Let the mixture cool, and then transfer it to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

Mix on low speed until the bowl feels cool to the touch. Increase the speed to medium-high and gradually add the butter, beating until thoroughly incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and beat on high speed until the mixture is fluffy.

To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a serving platter. Spread ¼ cup of the caramel over the top. Let the caramel soak into the cake, then spread ¾ cup of the ganache frosting over the caramel. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the fleur de sel over the frosting, then top with the second cake layer. Spread with caramel frosting and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the fleur de sel. Then top with the third layer. Spread with caramel. Spread a very thin layer of frosting all over the cake — a crumb coat — to seal in the cake and smooth the sides and put the cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up the frosting. Then frost the sides and top with the remaining frosting. Garnish with a sprinkle of fleur de sel.


Sweet and Salty Cake - Recipes

For the Dark Chocolate Cake

  • 3/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For the Salted Caramel

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

For the Chocolate-Caramel Ganache Frosting

  • 1 pound dark chocolate (60 to 70% cacao), chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

For Garnish

Make the Dark Chocolate Cake

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter three (or two) 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust with flour, and knock out the excess flour.

In a medium bowl, combine the cocoa powder, hot water, and sour cream and set aside to cool.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a medium bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening on medium speed until ribbonlike, about 5 minutes. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add the vanilla and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds.

Add the flour mixture, alternating with the cocoa mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the pans, and let cool completely. Remove the parchment.

Make the Salted Caramel

In a small saucepan, combine the cream and fleur de sel. Bring to a simmer over very low heat until the salt is dissolved.

Meanwhile, keeping a close eye on the cream mixture so it doesn’t burn, in a medium saucepan combine 1/4 cup water, the sugar, and corn syrup, stirring them together carefully so you don’t splash the sides of the pan. Cook over high heat until an instant-read thermometer reads 350 degrees F., 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 1 minute.

Add the cream mixture to the sugar mixture. Whisk in the sour cream. Let the caramel cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the cake.

Make the Chocolate-Caramel Ganache Frosting

Put the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl and set aside.

In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer over very low heat. Meanwhile, keeping a close eye on the cream so it doesn’t burn, in a medium saucepan combine 1/4 cup water, the sugar, and corn syrup, stirring them together carefully so you don’t splash the sides of the pan. Cook over high heat until an instant-read thermometer reads 350 degrees F., 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the caramel cool for 1 minute.

Add the cream to the caramel and stir to combine. Stir slowly for 2 minutes, then pour the caramel over the chocolate. Let the caramel and chocolate sit for 1 minute, then, starting in the center of the bowl, and working your way out to the edges, slowly stir the chocolate and caramel mixture in a circle until the chocolate is completely melted. Let the mixture cool, then transfer it to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

Mix on low speed until the bowl feels cool to the touch. Increase the speed to medium-high and gradually add the butter, beating until thoroughly incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and beat on high speed until the mixture is fluffy.

Assemble the Cake

Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Spread 1/4 cup of the caramel over the top. Let the caramel soak into the cake, then spread 3/4 cup of the ganache frosting over the caramel. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the fleur de sel over the frosting, then top with the second cake layer. Spread with caramel frosting and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the fleur de sel. Then top with the third layer. Spread with caramel. Crumb coat the cake (see page 22) and put the cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up the frosting. Frost the sides and top with the remaining frosting. Garnish with a sprinkle of fleur de sel.

This cake will keep beautifully in a cake saver at room temperature (cool and humidity free) for up to 3 days. If your room is not cool, place the cake in a cake saver and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.


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This Cake Proves Sweet and Salty Do Belong Together

Here’s how to have your cake, and eat potato chips, too!

If you've ever had a hankering for snack food but couldn't decide between chips or cookies, you're not alone. We've all been there. And if you're anything like us, you probably end up choosing both the sweet and the savory option. However, there are some people that fall strictly into the salty or sweet category.

While me and my dad prefer sweeter treats like chocolate, pudding cups and packaged cookies, my mom and sister can’t resist anything with the word “salty” printed across the front of it. So, naturally, whenever my family stocks up on snacks, we end up with way more than we actually need. Unfortunately, this means we end up with stale potato chips and freezer-burnt ice cream because we can't eat everything we buy. But I'm determined to change that.

When I found myself thumbing through the March 2020 issue of Food Network Magazine a few weeks ago, my eyes landed on the recipe for Food Network Kitchen’s Sweet-and-Salty Snack-Food Cake and I knew I found a crowd-pleasing snack for my whole family. An entire layer cake made up of crushed potato chips, chopped peanuts, shredded coconut flakes, melted chocolate and crumbled up oatmeal cookies — it was a sweet and salty miracle!

Now, if you’re thinking that this cake sounds a bit over-the-top, you're not wrong. But that’s exactly the point! Not only is it absolutely delicious, you can easily customize the crumble portion of the recipe to meet your own personal sweet and salty desires — I’m talking to you white chocolate and pretzel lovers! Plus, it's a great way to repurpose snacks you may have gotten tired of eating, but don’t want to throw away.

So, whether you’re trying to find a happy medium like my family and I are, or you’re just looking for a way to use up those broken potato chip pieces at the very bottom of the bag, this cake is sure to satisfy all your cravings with just one bite. Because, honestly, when it comes to snacks, why not enjoy the best of both worlds?!


Sweet And Salty Cake Recipe

I don't usually go for recipes with complicated preparations, but when I saw this one on Martha Stewart, the combination of sweet and salty in a chocolate cake was irrisistible. It was a lot of work, but worth it. Read more Recipe courtesy of "Baked" and made on Martha Stewart show on December 13, 2006 See less

  • chocolate
  • caramel
  • sweetampsalty
  • bake

Schedule your weekly meals and get auto-generated shopping lists.

  • CAKE Makes one 8-inch 3-layer cake
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla
  • ½ cup Caramel with Salt
  • Whipped Caramel Ganache Icing
  • Fleur de sel, for garnish
  • CARAMEL WITH SALT Makes enough for two to three 8-inch 3-layer cake
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • WHIPPED CARAMEL GANACHE ICING Makes enough for one 8-inch 3-layer cake
  • 1 pound dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces, softened but still cool

Ingredients

    Makes one 8-inch 3-layer cakeshopping list
  • ¾ cup cocoa powdershopping list
  • 2/3 cup sour creamshopping list
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans shopping list
  • 2 teaspoons baking powdershopping list
  • 1 teaspoon baking sodashopping list
  • ½ teaspoon saltshopping list
  • ¾ cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans shopping list
  • ½ cup vegetable shorteningshopping list
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugarshopping list
  • 1 cup dark brown sugarshopping list
  • 3 large eggsshopping list
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanillashopping list
  • ½ cup caramel with saltshopping list
  • Whipped caramel Ganache icingshopping list
  • Fleur de sel, for garnish shopping list WITH salt Makes enough for two to three 8-inch 3-layer cakeshopping list
  • 1 cup sugarshopping list
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrupshopping list
  • ½ cup heavy creamshopping list
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel shopping list
  • ¼ cup sour creamshopping list
  • WHIPPED caramel GANACHE icing Makes enough for one 8-inch 3-layer cakeshopping list
  • 1 pound dark chocolate, chopped shopping list
  • 1 cup sugarshopping list
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrupshopping list
  • 1 ½ cups heavy creamshopping list
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces, softened but still cool shopping list

How to make it

  • Cake: Preheat oven to 325°. Butter three 8-by-2-inch round cake pans. Line each pan with a parchment paper round, butter parchment paper and flour set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa, 1 1/4 cups hot water, and sour cream set aside to cool, about 10 minutes.
  • In another large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together until smooth and it appears to create strings inside the bowl, about 7 minutes. Add both sugars and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until well incorporated. Add vanilla, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and mix again for 30 seconds. Add flour mixture alternating with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  • Divide batter evenly among the three prepared pans. Bake until cake is just firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 18 to 24 minutes. Let cool completely.
  • Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to make level. Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy Susan. Place the first layer on the cake plate. Using about 1/4 cup of the caramel, spread a thin layer on the cake, allowing some of the caramel to soak into the cake. Follow the caramel layer with a layer of about 1 cup of the ganache icing. Place the second layer on top and repeat process with another layer of caramel followed by a layer of ganache icing. Place the remaining layer on top of the second layer bottom side up. Spread entire cake with remaining ganache icing. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.
  • Caramel with Salt: Combine 1/4 cup water, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the mixture reaches 350° on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in another small saucepan, mix together cream and salt. Bring cream to a boil and cook until salt has dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • When the caramel mixture has reached 350°, remove from heat and allow to cool for 1 minute. Carefully add the hot cream to the caramel stir to combine. Whisk in sour cream. Cool, and store in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 3 days.
  • Whipped Caramel Ganache Icing: Combine 1/4 cup water, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the mixture reaches 350° on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.
  • In another small saucepan add cream and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • When the caramel mixture has reached 350°, remove from heat and allow to rest for 1 minute. Add the hot cream to the caramel stir to combine. Let cool 5 minutes. Place chocolate in the bowl of an electric mixer and pour caramel sauce over chocolate. Let sit 1 minute before stirring from the center until chocolate is melted.
  • Attach bowl to electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low until the bowl feels cool to the touch. Add butter and increase speed to medium-high until mixture is well combined, thickened, and slightly whipped, about 2 minutes.

Sweet and Salty Cream Cake

Do you have a sweet tooth? Try our Sweet and Salty Cream Cake, courtesy of Jen from Warren Clinic!

Sweet and Salty Cream Cake

Servings:
2 Nutritional Supplements
1 Bar

Suitable for all Freedom meal plans

Ingredients:
1 MWLC Chocolate Fudge Cake Nutritional Supplement (Prepared)
1 MWLC Vanilla Pudding Shake Nutritional Supplement (Prepared as Pudding)
1 MWLC Sweet and Salty Bar (Melted)

Preparation:
Spread the prepared Vanilla Pudding on the prepared Chocolate Fudge Cake and let stand for 5-10 minutes. Spread the melted Sweet and Salty Bar on top of the Vanilla Pudding. Enjoy!

*Results may vary.
When you enroll in a Medical Weight Loss Clinic program, the length of your program will be determined by you and the staff based on the amount of weight you want to lose and how quickly you want to lose it. Your actual weight loss will be determined by many factors, including, but not limited to: your medical circumstances, the plan you choose, adherence to the meal plan and use of nutritional supplements. Your goal and program duration information will be given to you in writing at the time of enrollment. As your program progresses, the rate you lose weight may change and you will have the opportunity to discuss this at every daily visit with your weight loss consultant, where changes to your meal plan and/or program can be made.


Method

Make the Classic Chocolate Cake Layers

In a medium bowl, combine the cocoa powder, hot water, and sour cream and set aside to cool.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a medium bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening on medium speed until ribbonlike, about 5 minutes. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add the vanilla and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds.

Add the flour mixture, alternating with the cocoa mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Make the Salted Caramel

In a small saucepan, combine the cream and fleur de sel. Bring to a simmer over very low heat until the salt is dissolved.

Meanwhile, keeping a close eye on the cream mixture so it doesn’t burn, in a medium saucepan combine ¼ cup water, the sugar, and corn syrup, stirring them together carefully so you don’t splash the sides of the pan. Cook over high heat until an instant-read thermometer reads 350 degrees F., 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 1 minute.

Add the cream mixture to the sugar mixture. Whisk in the sour cream. Let the caramel cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the cake.

Make the Whipped Caramel Ganache Frosting

Put the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl and set aside.

In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer over very low heat.

Meanwhile, keeping a close eye on the cream so it doesn’t burn, in a medium saucepan combine ¼ cup water, the sugar, and corn syrup, stirring them together carefully so you don’t splash the sides of the pan. Cook over high heat until an instant-read thermometer reads 350 degrees F., 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the caramel cool for 1 minute.

Add the cream to the caramel and stir to combine. Stir slowly for 2 minutes, then pour the caramel over the chocolate. Let the caramel and chocolate sit for 1 minute, then, starting in the center of the bowl, and working your way out to the edges, slowly stir the chocolate and caramel mixture in a circle until the chocolate is completely melted. Let the mixture cool, then transfer it to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

Mix on low speed until the bowl feels cool to the touch. Increase the speed to medium-high and gradually add the butter, beating until thoroughly incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and beat on high speed until the mixture is fluffy.

To Assemble the Cake

Assemble the Cake

Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Spread ¼ cup of the caramel over the top. Let the caramel soak into the cake, then spread ¾ cup of the ganache frosting over the caramel. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the fleur de sel over the frosting, then top with the second cake layer. Spread with caramel frosting and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the fleur de sel. Then top with the third layer. Spread with caramel. Crumb coat the cake and put the cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up the frosting. Frost the sides and top with the remaining frosting. Garnish with a sprinkle of fleur de sel.

This cake will keep beautifully in a cake saver at room temperature (cool and humidity free) for up to 3 days. If your room is not cool, place the cake in a cake saver and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.

Baked Note

Fleur de sel, or sea salt, is readily available at grocery stores however, there is a whole world of specialty salts now available online and at specialty food markets (see Sources). Gray salt (sel gris), Hawaiian sea salt, Italian sea salt, and smoked sea salt will all work well in this recipe, though with slightly different (but always delicious) results.


Sweet and Salty Cake

A few years ago one of my girlfriends and I took a little girl’s trip to visit our friend in California. It was then that I found out about this cake. I never actually tasted this cake on that trip, but my friend told me all about it and about the cookbook it comes from.

Well we all know that I am a sucker for a good cookbook, so of course I bought it.

Now about this cake, it’s simply amazing! Actually, amazing doesn’t even begin to describe it.

It’s completely naughty, rich and purely delectable. The balance of the sweet & salty flavors is perfection. This cake is in a league of it’s own. L et me just try and and paint the picture for you three layers of chocolate cake soaked with salted caramel and frosted with a caramel chocolate ganache. The caramel chocolate ganache frosting is out of this world, and it should be because it has a pound each of butter and chocolate and then you throw in some whipping cream. Evil. Pure evil.

Now with all that being said, you also need to know that this is cake is a true labor of love to make . . . buut completely worth every. single. second. Just don’t be fooled into thinking you can whip this baby up in an hour or so. It takes time, but you can also prepare it in steps ahead of time.

I like to make the first batch of salted caramel the day before. Then I put it in a container and put it in the fridge. I also make the cakes a day ahead and just wrap them in saran wrap and put them in a cool place. By doing this, it doesn’t seem so overwhemling and impossible to make.

Get out your fat pants because you’re going to need them after making this cake, but trust me when I say it’s completely worth the extra 387 miles you’re going to have to run to burn this off!


Sweet & Salty Millionaire’s Layer Cake

Hello, hello! After many, many months of devoted book creating, I’m excited to be back here with you, blogging on a regular basis! I’m also incredibly eager to share my book with you all, once it’s printed and released–it has been, wow, an incredible learning experience. It’s still kind of surreal to me that a book with my name on it will actually exist. A dream come true, for certain.

So . . . cake! And not just cake–the most decadent sweet & salty cake you could ever imagine. I call this layer cake “Sweet & Salty Millionaire’s Layer Cake” because it is my take on those ridiculously addicting Millionaire’s Bars–you know the ones: buttery shortbread topped with gooey caramel and a layer of rich, shiny chocolate. If that doesn’t beg to become a layer cake, I don’t know what does.

So I baked up 3 layers of dark, moist chocolate cake, torted them into a total of 6 thinner layers, and then filled them with vanilla bean Swiss meringue buttercream, homemade salted caramel, buttery shortbread crumble and dark chocolate ganache frosting. To finish it off, we smother the whole thing in a generous layer of more dark chocolate ganache frosting and a sprinkling of Fleur de Sel. I find that the satiny vanilla bean buttercream really balances out the intensity of the dark chocolate and sweet and salty caramel, and the shortbread adds an amazing melt-in-your-mouth textural surprise.

The ganache frosting is essentially a typical ganache (an emulsion of dark chocolate and heavy cream), but with some corn syrup and butter added in to keep it luscious and glossy and a pinch of sea salt to celebrate our love for sweet & salty. I used a really dark chocolate this time, at 70% cocoa solids, but you could use any quality dark chocolate with at least 53% cocoa solids. I was almost out of the usual dark chocolate callets I love to use from Callebaut, so I bought 2 ginormous (300 grams each) premium chocolate bars, chopped them up and tossed in 100 grams of the chocolate callets I had left. With the super-sweetness of the caramel, I love the deep, dark chocolate frosting.

The 3-ingredient shortbread component is so quick and easy, and these bits & boulders of buttery love are just what this cake needed to really pay homage to the Millionaire’s Bars it was inspired by. Heck, they would even make an amazing little ice cream topping, along with the salted caramel perhaps? The salted caramel is so much easier to make than you might think and, as you might imagine, it can be used for so many things–pancakes, waffles, dipping apples, and more. You don’t have to “salt” it, but I feel it really heightens the natural caramel flavour and added vanilla.

One thing I’ve discovered is that when making ganache of any kind, an immersion hand blender (you know, the “stick” type hand blenders) works best to create perfectly homogenous ganache that won’t threaten to separate and become grainy. You can certainly use a whisk, but if you have an immersion blender I feel it works just that much better. I included 2 layers of ganache in the cake layers because I felt that 5 layers of caramel could be a little much, but maybe I’m crazy. So you could always keep the ganache as the frosting and fill all of the layers with the buttercream, caramel and shortbread. I’m thinking there’s no wrong way of doing this, you know?

So, here’s the recipe for this sweet & salty Millionaire’s Layer Cake along with a quick list of the layer-pattern of this cake:

cake
buttercream + caramel + shortbread
cake
ganache
cake
buttercream + caramel + shortbread
cake
ganache
cake
buttercream + caramel + shortbread
cake


SWEET AND SALTY CAKE

This recipe was shown on the Martha Stewart Show. The cake is from a bakery in NYC. I haven't tried it yet but plan on baking it over the holidays. Enjoy!

Ingredients You'll Need

3/4 cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup sour cream
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla
1/2 cup Caramel with Salt
Whipped Caramel Ganache Icing
Fleur de sel, for garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 325°. Butter three 8-by-2-inch round cake pans. Line each pan with a parchment paper round, butter parchment paper and flour set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa, 1 1/4 cups hot water, and sour cream set aside to cool, about 10 minutes.

In another large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together until smooth and it appears to create strings inside the bowl, about 7 minutes. Add both sugars and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until well incorporated. Add vanilla, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and mix again for 30 seconds. Add flour mixture alternating with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Divide batter evenly among the three prepared pans. Bake until cake is just firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 18 to 24 minutes. Let cool completely.

Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to make level. Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy Susan. Place the first layer on the cake plate. Using about 1/4 cup of the caramel, spread a thin layer on the cake, allowing some of the caramel to soak into the cake. Follow the caramel layer with a layer of about 1 cup of the ganache icing. Place the second layer on top and repeat process with another layer of caramel followed by a layer of ganache icing. Place the remaining layer on top of the second layer bottom side up. Spread entire cake with remaining ganache icing. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.

Questions, Comments & Reviews

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