Chocolate & Caramel

On this stormy wet Thursday, I’d like to share with you the chocolate and caramel cake I made for a friend’s birthday. This was a surprise cake, as I coordinated with her fiancé what her favorite flavors were, and went from there. He told me, chocolate and caramel. So I turned to my friend Google, and searched for cakes with those flavorings.

The BBC Good Food website showed me a promising recipe. And it was a layer cake! I’ve wanted to do one of those for a long time, so it seemed everything was coming together.

So first, I made the four layers:

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What I loved about this cake is that it’s just two cakes, not four. Each layer is halved, with one half receiving cocoa (to give it a darker shade) and the other not. I was afraid this cake would end up way too tall, but by using half-cakes for each layer, it was fine. Also, using Wilton’s aluminum cake pans is superb for getting even-topped cakes.

Then came the fun part of spreading yummy caramel on three of the four cakes, and layering them to get the gradient:

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This cake used a ganache covering rather than icing, and it was the first time I used that too. It was quite warm and humid outside and there’s no air-conditioning where we live, so I don’t know if the ganache refused to thicken because of that, or if it was the right consistency. Personally I thought it was a bit too runny, but since I’m used to working with actual icing, it could just be a warped point of view. Anyway, I was able to spread it, and I did so in three layers. After each layer, I put the cake in the fridge for at least an hour, for the ganache to harden before spreading the next layer. As a final touch, just before we left for the birthday dinner, I added three (store-bought) sugar daisies to spruce up the cake:

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The restaurant where the birthday dinner was held, was kind enough to take the cake and prepare it as the dessert, at no extra charge. I could hardly believe I had baked the cake when they brought it back out!

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The cake itself was fairly rich, so you wouldn’t want to serve big slices. This cake was 9″ in diameter, and served 15 perfect-sized slices. So, if you like chocolate and caramel, and you want a decadent dessert, this is the cake for you!

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