Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Birthday cake

Birthday cake picture by Erine Solberg
I celebrated my birthday a little while ago and I couldnt resist making this amazing-looking chocolate cake from Kimberly Taylor.

To make sure I had a big enough cake, I doubled the recipe by 1,5 - since the recipe didnt tell me how many servings it would be. Well, rest assured, this was more than plenty for 13 girls. As a matter of fact, we didnt even eat half of it. Good thing I have a boyfriend to help me with leftovers like that... 
Since it made so much, I decided to leave the original measurements here.

Warning: this is a lot of work, but totally worth it! 

So, here we go; 
Salted Caramel frosted Chocolate Cake 
in four steps. 

Step #1: Bake a Chocolate Cake
(everything should be at room temperature)
160 grams unsalted butter
2/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 vanilla bean
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbs brewed coffee
1 3/4 cups flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Turn your oven to 180 C. 
Grease your cake pans. (I used two 28cm round ones)
How to: 
Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at the time. 
Add vanilla bean.
Whisk buttermilk, sour cream and coffee in a separate bowl.
In a third bowl, sift flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. 
Add the wet and dry ingredients to the sugar/butter, a little at the time. 
Make sure it is well mixed, but dont overdo it either!

Bake on 180 C for 20-30 minutes, depending on pan size and your oven.
Step #2: Make Salted Caramel
Making caramel sounds a little scary, but if you follow the recipe closely and dont look away for too long, you will be fine - dont worry. Remember that melted sugar gets very very hot.

4 Tbs water
2 Tbs syrup
1/2 cup cream
2 Tbs butter
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
How to:
Combine sugar, water, and syrup in a large pan on the stove, and stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
Cover the pan and let it cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.
Remove the lid and bring to a boil.
Swirl the liquid around the pan so that the caramel doesn’t burn. Continue to cook until the caramel turns an even amber color. Remove from the heat and let stand for about 30 seconds.
Pour cream into the mix. It will bubble a lot!
Add butter, lemon juice and salt. Stir until combined.
Pour the caramel into a bowl. It will thicken, just stir once in a while.

Step #3: Make Salted Caramel Frosting
225 grams cream cheese
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup salted caramel 
225 grams butter, room-tempered
How to:
Beat butter and cream cheese until creamy.
Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar and mix well.
Add caramel.
Add more powdered sugar until you reach desired taste and consistency.

4: Assemble your cake 
For the first time, I made a two layered cake, and it was really fun to have such a tall cake. Frosting cakes is not really my forte, but I had read about a crumb layer of frosting, and decided to try that at least. Basically you frost you cake once and then let it cool in the fridge for an hour or so to make it sit. Then you can frost it a second time (with or without fancy patterns) and dont have to worry about crumbs showing up on the outside. Easy!

And now: enjoy your deliciously rich cake!
Birthday girl enjoying the cake, picture by Erine Solberg

PS. If you have leftover caramel or frosting, or both, they taste wonderful by themselves or with other baked goods (for example on pumpkin cinnamon rolls). You can store them in tight containers in the fridge for a couple of weeks. 

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