Brown Sugar and Salted Caramel Layer Cake

Brown Sugar and Salted Caramel Layer Caker Recipe

If you had access to TheFamilyFeed email inbox, you’d understand that about 50% of you are thrilled to death that I’m short on time and am going to pretty much dive right into the cake recipe today.  We love to hear from anyone who enjoys our blog stories, recipes, etc. and I have to say I’m super impressed with the level of sarcasm from some of you.  To us, it’s an artform with no less requisite skill than a fine oil painting.  One of my  favorite comments so far came from a woman who asked me  if I could work out a  way to link right to the recipes and past my “rather weird and kind of tiring” writing.  She went on to say the recipes are great and she’s very glad to she found us.  Aw shucks, thanks.  I’m all a flutter with a mix of…well, I’m not even sure how the hell to fell about that.  Truth is, it’s no problem.  We’re just happy to have you here and glad we can be of some use in your life, whether it’s engaging your brain or your belly.  I HAVE to open up the inbox to everyone for a post soon…some of you are hilarious and we love you for it.  Until then, enjoy this completely amazing Brown Sugar and Salted Caramel Chocolate Layer Cake recipe.  From the super moist chocolate cake to the maple tones of the brown sugar frosting and the sweet/savory (and oh so velvety) caramel sauce, this one is a 5 star drooler that just flat our surprises the pallet.  It’s a bit of work for sure, but if you have an event or a dinner party and you want to blow a few minds, this would have to be a consideration…it’s just so damn good.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (f)/180 degrees (c).  Prep , 2-6″ cake pans and postion a rack in the center of your oven.  Yields 2-6″ cakes and about 2 Cups of frosting, which is plenty for a 2 or 3 layer, 6″ cake.  The salted caramel filing yields about 2 cups, which will leave you extra that can be put in the fridge or frozen in an airtight container or freezer bag.  I split one of the cakes into three layers and froze the extra cake.  This single 6″, triple layer cake was ideal for 5-6 people.  For a larger group, stack the two 6″ layers atop of each other to create a (tall) two layer cake that will serve 8-10.  Time:  10 minutes for the frosting, 10 minutes for the caramel sauce, 15 minutes to prep the cake, 35 minutes to bake and 20 minutes to frost with rest times...about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Soundtrack:  Just can’t stop listening to Mumford and Sons, Babel.

Brown Sugar Frosting Ingredients

Ingredients:

Cake:

1 1/2 oz unsweetened bakers chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 Cups cake flour (we use, love and recommend King Arthur flours)
1/2 Cup unsweetened dutch-process cocoa
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 Cup organic, unsalted butter at room temperature
1 Cup firmly packed organic light brown sugar
1/2 cup organic granulated sugar
2 eggs (free range, hand held, organic, cage free virgos from nice homes)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Cup buttermilk (forgot the buttermilk? stir 1 tsp white vinegar into 1 Cup of milk and let sit for 5 minutes)

Brown Sugar Frosting: (from The Cupcake Project)

1/2 Cup organic, unsalted butter
1 Cup organic brown sugar, packed
1/4 Cup organic, 1% milk
2 Cups sifted organic confectioners’ sugar

Caramel Sauce:

1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
3/4 Cups water
2 Cups organic, granulated sugar
1 tsp. Kosher salt

Salted Cararmel Filling

Directions:

Cake:

In a heatproof bowl, over (but not touching) simmering water, or the top of a double boiler, heat the chopped chocolate on low, being careful not to overheat. Slowly melt the chopped chocolate until smooth and set aside to cool slightly. In a medium sized bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown and granulated sugars until smooth and creamy. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides as needed. On low, add the eggs one at a time until they are all mixed into the batter. Add vanilla and beat on medium for 1 minute. Lower the mixer speed and add the melted chocolate until completely blended and the color of the mixture is consistent. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides as needed.  On medium speed, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, alternately add the flour and buttermilk in 2 additions each. As soon as the flour is incorporated and the batter looks smooth, stop mixing.

Pour the batter in even portions into each 6″ cake pan.  Place in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes away clean and the tops spring back when touched gently.  Remove from the oven to a wire rack to cool for ten minutes.  With a straight edge knife, cut around the outside edge of the cake to remove any batter that may have baked onto the edge of the cake pan.  Turn the cake layers over on to the wire rack (remove the parchment paper and then place back on the bottom loosely) and allow to cool completely.  Level and cut cake into layers and prep the cake for frosting according to your portion needs (see beginning of this post for serving yields).

Brown Sugar Frosting:
In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the brown sugar and bring to a boil, lower heat to medium low, and continue to boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the milk and return to a boil, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.  Gradually add sifted confectioners’ sugar.   Beat until thick enough to spread.  If too thick, add a little hot water.  Set aside to cool completely or set in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble your cake.
Salted Caramel Sauce:
Put the cream in a small sauce pan over low heat to warm. You don’t want it hot so make sure your burner is adjusted to as low as you can get it.  Combine the sugar and water in a large, heavy sauce pan over medium heat.  This will be the pan that the sauce ends up in and you’ll have to have enough room in it for the when the cream bubbles pretty furiously (when it’s added to the hot syrup).  My point is, make sure you’re using a large sauce pan for the sugar and water.  Cover the pan and cook for about 5 minutes.  Keep the lid on to prevent sugar from sticking to the sides of your pan.  If you see some build up, take a wet pastry brush and brush the sugar back down into the mixture.  After 5 minutes, uncover and increase the heat to medium-high, bringing the mixture to a boil.  Boil until the mixture turns a dark amber, about 10 minutes.  As soon as you see the syrup turning to the proper color (see example) remove it from the heat.  While stirring with a with a wooden spoon, very slowly add the warm cream to the syrup.  It will bubble over furiously at first.  This is normal but be careful to keep the rising mixture from burning your hand (keep your hand high on the spoon while mixing).  Once the cream and syrup are completely combined and smooth, stir in the salt and vanilla and mix thoroughly.  Set the sauce aside at room temperature until it cools completely and is thick enough to cling to the cake (about 1 1/2 hours).

After

Dark Amber Syrup

Brown Sugar Buttercream Frsoting

Assembly:

Place your first cake layer on a decorating stand or plate.  Pour about 3/4 Cups of the salted caramel sauce on to the top of the layer and spread evenly with a spatula (top only).  Place the next layer of cake on top of the salted caramel sauce and repeat until you have your final layer.  Do not put sauce on the top of the final layer.

Place the remaining caramel sauce in the microwave for about 20 seconds, remove and stir.  With a pastry brush, brush a thin layer of caramel sauce on to all the exposed surfaces of the cake (top and sides).  This is a simple syrup layer that adds a little flavor and help keeps your cake moist until it’s served.

Place the cake in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes to allow the caramel sauce to set, then remove and frost the top and sides with the brown sugar buttercream frosting.  Sprinkle with a small amount of Kosher salt spread evenly across the top of the cake.  Store the cake in the refrigerator until 20 minutes before serving.  Enjoy.
Chocolate Layer Cake Directions

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