I decided on Martha Stewart's Salted Caramel Six-Layer Chocolate Cake. As I do not possess two 9" cake pans, I made one in 9" and another in 8". And instead of six layers, I only have 4 layers. I didn't follow the recipe totally. I added buttercream and chocolate ganache and didn't frost the whole cake. The cake was really unique and special with the salted caramel taste. The chocolate cake was really moist and dense. Most of us like the sweet & salty taste including myself.
Recipe for Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake, adapted from Martha Stewart site.
Makes a 9" cake
For The Cake
375g Plain flour
380g Granulated sugar
129g Unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tbsp Baking soda
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
1 1/2 tsp Coarse salt
4 Large eggs
368g Buttermilk (I weigh 366g whole milk with 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice. Mix well and let it sit for 5mins)
90g Warm water
137g Vegetable oil
2 tsp Vanilla extract
For The Caramel (Half of original recipe)
250g Granulated sugar
40g Light corn syrup
238g Heavy cream
1 tsp Coarse salt
113g Liv unsalted butter, cut into cubes
For Chocolate Buttercream
For Chocolate Ganache
150g Semi-sweet chocolates, chopped (or 55% dark chocolate buttons)
150g Heavy cream (whipping cream)
Make the cake
1. Line two 9" round cake pans with parchment paper. (As I do not have two 9" round cake pans, I baked them in 9" and 8" pans)
2. Sift flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a mixer.
3. Beat on low speed until just combined. Raise speed to medium, and add eggs, buttermilk, cups warm water, oil, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.
4. Divide batter among the prepared pans.
5. Bake until cakes are set and a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes.
6. Let them cool in the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Then turn out the cakes onto the wire racks, and cool completely.
Make the caramel
7. Combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium saucepan over high heat.
8. Cook, without stirring, until mixture is dark amber, approximately 14 minutes. (I took longer than this, about 18 minutes)
9. Remove from heat, and carefully pour in cream (mixture will expand and spatter); stir until smooth.
10. Return to heat, and cook until a candy thermometer reaches 114°C, about 2 minutes. (I seemed to cook forever. My thermometer continues to read 104°C after 8 minutes, I stopped heating)
11. Pour caramel into a medium bowl, stir in 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and let it cool slightly, about 15 minutes.
12. Stir in the butter, a little at a time. Let it cool completely.
13. Refrigerate at this stage if you are not using immediately (just like me).
Make the Chocolate Buttercream
14. Whisk the egg whites and sugar over a double boiler until sugar has dissolved.
15. Remove from heat and whisk continuously until it's cooled and the peaks are stiff and glossy.
16. Add the butter in 3 batches, ensuring that it is well incorporated before adding another batch.
17. Continue beating until it becomes creamy and fluffy.
18. Lastly, sift in the cocoa powder and continue beating until the buttercream is uniformly smooth and chocky.
Make Chocolate Ganache
19. Heat whipping cream in a saucepan over low heat. Do not let it boil.
20. Before it boils, remove from the heat and pour over the chopped chocolates in a large bowl. Let it sit for 5 mins.
21. Stir and mix till all the chocolates are completely melted and smooth. (If it does not melt completely, heat it for a few seconds in the microwave.)
22. Cut each cake in half horizontally to form 2 layers.
23. Transfer 1 layer to a serving platter, and spread caramel generously over the top.
24. Add chocolate buttercream and spread evenly.
25. Top with another cake layer, and repeat with remaining caramel, buttercream and cake layers, with the top layer only covered in caramel.
26. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.
27. Pour the chocolate ganache on the top and let it flow down. (You can choose to frost the sides with chocolate ganache, or leave the sides empty with random chocolate drips.)
28. Decorate the top as desired.
I'm submitting this for this month's Cook like a Star, Martha Stewart, organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, Baby Sumo from Eat your heart out and Riceball from Riceball Eats.