Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Wednesday, 20th April 2011
I spotted this Chocolate Cake with Caramel-Milk Chocolate Frosting recipe at Bon Appetit. The Caramel-Milk Chocolate Frosting recipe immediately caught my eye. My thoughts instantly turned to one of my all-time favourite childhood treats, Cadbury’s Caramilk. A scrumptious caramel-filled chocolate bar. I couldn’t stop thinking “Chocolate and Caramel in a cake – How good would that be?”
Thankfully I discovered the recipe first at Bon Appetit (1 review) rather than Epicurious (164 reviews). I would’ve missed out on one of the best Chocolate Chip Cakes ever with a Caramel-Chocolate Ganache frosting that is to die for. I’m still dreaming about it.
The recipe reviews were mixed, but many were far from favourable. And the reviews regarding the frosting were laced with complaints. I was quite surprised because I didn’t experience any difficulty in making the cakes or in making the frosting.
To be frank, the frosting recipe was quite forgiving. We had a bit of a family emergency and I couldn’t assemble the cakes for 24 hours. I was concerned because the frosting was quite thick – it’d been chilling for over a day. I simply let it come to room temperature and when whipping I added a teaspoon of heavy cream at-a-time, whipping after each addition, until I reached that sought after, smooth spreadable consistency.
In fact, the only change I would make – substituting chocolate chunks for the chocolate chips. Why? Not because they didn’t add to the flavour of the cakes, or because they sank to the bottom of the cakes, but because I would prefer that oozy, melted consistency speckled throughout the cake. You know the consistency I’m referring to, right?
The one achieved when baking chocolate chip cookies. The chocolate chips are slightly in tact but when you split the cookie in half the melted chocolate oozes out. All this talk of oozing chocolate has me craving just baked, warm out of the oven chocolate chip cookies. Hmm, I wonder what I’ll be baking this afternoon?
Are you looking for decadence on a plate? Want to impress? Look no further – three towering layers of moist chocolate cake, and the star of the show – the best ever thick and rich caramel-milk chocolate frosting.
The only issue I encountered? Finding a dome tall enough to cover the cake. Did it matter? Absolutely not! The cake disappeared faster than I could slice it.
Chocolate Cake with Caramel-Milk Chocolate Frosting
(Adapted from Bon Appetit)
- Chocolate Cake
- Caramel-Milk Chocolate Frosting
- Unsalted butter, softened, for greasing
- 22 to 44 g (3 to 6 tablespoons) unsweetened cocoa, sifted, for dusting
- 118 g (1 cup) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 200 g (2 cups) sifted cake flour (sifted, then measured)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 300 g (1½ cups) (packed) golden yellow sugar (light brown sugar)
- 255 g (1 cup + 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 267 ml (1 cup + 2 tablespoons or 9 ounces) buttermilk
- 118 ml (½ cup or 4 ounces) lukewarm water
- 180 g (1 cup or 6.3 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips or chocolate chunks
- Preheat oven to 180° C (350° F). Using a pastry brush, grease three 20-cm (8-inch) or three 23-cm (9-inch) round baking tins with softened butter. Line bottoms of baking tins with non-stick baking paper. Lightly grease paper. Dust with 1 to 2 tablespoons cocoa powder; remove any excess, set aside.
- Using a fine mesh sieve, sift cocoa powder into a medium-sized bowl 3 times. Add the sifted cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; whisk to well combine.
- Meanwhile in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl as needed.
- Add the eggs one at-a-time, beating well after each addition (scraping sides and bottom of bowl as needed). Beat in vanilla.
- Add the cocoa-flour mixture in thirds, alternating with the buttermilk in two additions (scraping sides and bottom of bowl as needed). Beat in the water.
- Reduce mixer speed to stir; add the chocolate chips and stir to just combine.
- Remove bowl from stand. Using a large spatula, scrape sides and bottom of bowl and give one final stir to combine ingredients.
- Divide batter equally between prepared baking tins (about 19 ounces or 2 1/3 cups for each tin). Using a small offset spatula, smooth the tops of each. Tap each tin lightly on the countertop to release any air bubbles.
- Bake cakes until a tester inserted in the centre of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes for 20-cm (8-inch) or 22 minutes for 23-cm (9-inch).
- Transfer cakes to a wire rack; cool completely in pans. Remove cakes from tins; peel off non-stick baking paper, set-aside until ready to assemble.
Caramel-Milk Chocolate Frosting
- 678 g (24 ounces) good quality milk chocolate (i.e. Lindt, Ghirardelli), finely chopped
- 85 g (3 ounces) bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 338 g (1½ cups) caster (superfine granules) sugar
- 118 ml (½ cup or 4 ounces) water
- 532 ml (2¼ cups or 18 ounces) heavy cream, 35%, room temperature
- Place the milk chocolate and bittersweet (or semisweet) chocolate in a large bowl, set aside.
- In a medium-sized, heavy bottomed saucepan set over medium heat stir sugar and water until sugar dissolves.
- Boil without stirring until syrup is a deep amber colour, occasionally brushing down sides of saucepan with a wet pastry brush and swirling pan, about 10 minutes.
- Carefully and slowly add the heavy cream (be cautious because the mixture will bubble vigorously). Stir over low heat until the mixture is smooth and any hard bits of caramel are dissolved.
- Pour the caramel over the chocolate; let stand a minute or two to allow the chocolate to soften. Whisk until chocolate is melted and smooth.
- Place the frosting in the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours.
- Remove from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment, beat the frosting on medium speed until the colour of the frosting resembles milk chocolate and frosting is easily spreadable. Do not over beat or frosting will become stiff and grainy. If frosting becomes grainy, set bowl with frosting over a saucepan of simmering water for 10-second intervals, whisking just until frosting is smooth and spreadable. If you find the frosting is too thick, add a tablespoon of heavy cream at-a-time, whisking in between additions until frosting is smooth and spreadable.
Assembling Chocolate Cake with Caramel-Milk Chocolate Frosting
- Place one cake layer on cake stand, flat side up. Using a large offset spatula, spread 1 cup frosting evenly over top.
- Place second layer on top of frosted layer, flat side up, pressing down slightly.
- Using offset spatula, spread 1 cup frosting over top.
- Top with remaining cake layer, rounded side up, pressing down slightly.
- Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake, swirling decoratively.
- Buon Appetito!
Tags: after school treat, afternoon tea, cake, cakes, caramel, chocolate, chocolate cake, chocolate cupcakes, chocolate dessert, chocolate frosting, chocolate icing, dessert, desserts, food, food photography, food photos, frosting, gourmet cupcakes, mini cakes, small cakes
Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Cakes & Cheesecakes, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Pastry Doughs & Batter, Recipes, Ricette di Base, Torte