I couldn’t let my dad & stepmom head back to SA without sampling at least a little baking. I’d seen a divine cake on Smitten Kitchen’s blog and had some leftover salted caramel in the freezer so I thought I’d adapt it slightly to suit. I’ll try the original recipe sometime too. Its simple but beautiful and sinfully rich!
Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting and Chocolate Glaze
Adapted only barely, from Smitten Kitchen’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Makes an 8-inch triple-layer cake.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cakepans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of baking paper and grease the paper.
2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.
3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. (note: These cakes are very, very soft. I following Smitten Kitchen’s notes and firmed them up in the freezer for 30 minutes before frosting. You’ll be glad you did this, trust me.)
4. To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup of the Salted Caramel Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. (Note 1: Making a crumb coat of frosting–a thin layer that binds the dark crumbs to the cake so they don’t show up in the final outer frosting layer–is a great idea for this cake, or any with a dark cake and lighter-colored frosting. Once you “mask” your cake, let it chill for 15 to 30 minutes until firm, then use the remainder of the frosting to create a smooth final coating. Note 2: Once the cake is fully frosted, it helps to chill it again and let it firm up. The cooler and more set the frosting is, the better drip effect you’ll get from the Chocolate Glaze.)
5. To decorate with the Chocolate Glaze, put the cake plate on a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Simply pour the glaze over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely. Remove about 1 hour before serving.
Salted Caramel Frosting
Makes about 5 cups
1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the icing sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Add the salted caramel and beat until thoroughly blended.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
225gr semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half
1. In the top of a double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate and corn syrup. Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth. Use while still warm.