Thursday, March 23

SALTED CARAMEL LAYER CAKE


I don't know how it happened, but, slowly overtime, when our family celebrates a birthday I end up cooking for and entertaining our family. No complaints mind you.... in fact, my favorite part of our little celebrations of life is baking the birthday cake.

I always ask the birthday boy or girl which cake in my repertoire they prefer. I have a list of a few favorites. This wondrous cake is on that list.

Layers of brown sugar cake filled and topped with caramel frosting.... and drizzled with fresh caramel and fleur de sel make this Salted Caramel Layer Cake a decadent, delicious and almost sinful dessert everyone will love! I promise.

SALTED CARAMEL LAYER CAKE
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INGREDIENTS:
CARAMEL CAKE
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 12 Tbsp (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cubed & room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp fleur de sel, sea salt, crushed it down into smaller flakes
CARAMEL FROSTING
  • ½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 5 oz (approx 10 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
DIRECTIONS:
CARAMEL CAKE
  • Prepare 3 8in cake pans by buttering, lining with parchment paper and flouring.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars for about 3 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time and mix until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl often. Mix in the vanilla.
  • Add the flour and buttermilk alternating until just combined.
  • In a measuring glass, mix together the baking soda and vinegar then add to the batter. Mix just until incorporated. Do not overmix!
  • Separate batter evenly into the three prepared cake pans. 
  • Bake about 20 minutes or until the top and edges are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE
  • In a very large, heavy saucepan or pot over medium-high heat, pour the sugar in an even layer over the bottom of the pan. Whisk until melted. The sugar will clump up but will eventually completely melt. This will take about 4-5 minutes.
  • Once the sugar has melted, stop whisking and cook until the sugar has turned into an amber color and has a nutty aroma. Remove from the heat.
  • Add all the butter and whisk until combined. This mixture will bubble up, but keep whisking until all the butter has melted.
  • Slowly pour the heavy cream into the mixture and whisk until incorporated.
  • Stir in the fleur de sel.
  • Cool for about 10-15 minutes before using.
  • Store leftovers in a jar with a lid and reheat before using again. Refrigerate up to 2 weeks.
CARAMEL FROSTING
  • In a medium, heavy pot, whisk together the brown sugar and 2oz of butter over medium heat until melted. Bring to a boil for no more than 10 seconds. 
  • Remove from heat immediately and pour in the heavy cream and whisk until smooth. Cool to room temperature. 
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the remaining 3oz of butter and cream cheese until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl several times during this process.
  • Mix in the salt.
  • Turn the mixer to low and pour in a slow, steady stream the brown sugar mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix on medium speed until completely smooth and incorporated.
  • Add the sifted powdered sugar and mix on medium speed until smooth.The frosting will feel very soft - so refrigerate it for 10-15 minutes before frosting the cake.
ASSEMBLY
  • Once the cakes cooled, use a large skewer to poke holes across the top of the cake. Spoon a layer of caramel sauce over the top of the cake and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly.
  • Allow the caramel sauce to soak into the cake.
  • Repeat this process with a second layer of sauce.Once all the caramel has soaked into the cake, place one layer of the cake onto your serving platter.
  • Spread a thin layer of frosting over the top of the layer - no more than ½ a cup of frosting.
  • Place the second layer on top and spread another thin layer of frosting.
  • Drizzle the top of the cake with caramel sauce. Using a spatula, in a back and forth pattern, spread the frosting and sauce together until just incorporated and it looks like the caramel is oozing thru the top of the cake.
  • Using a disposable piping bag and a very small tip, fill the bag with caramel sauce. Pipe a layer of sauce around the top edge of the cake, stopping every inch or so to squeeze a little more so it drizzles down the side. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.
  • Refrigerate until ready to eat - but remove 15 minutes before serving.
Did you know that cake brings people together.... 
and when it does it's a beautiful thing!


The Domestic Curator 
Ronda

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