My husband, gamely and somewhat foolishly perhaps, offered to make me a birthday cake when his family came over for my birthday. This Wilton giant cupcake pan was a gift from my parents. Although I am obsessed with miniatures, I am also fascinated by giant versions of things and this Wilton cake pan was on my radar from the moment I saw it.
I've tried caramel and salt before, indeed I made a salted caramel macadamia praline and it was a success so I wanted a caramel and salt cake. Unfortunately, despite buttering and flouring the pan well, the cake was steadfastly stuck in the pan. He did a great job cutting it out but the ridge detail was lost. The icing was a tad runny for the cake and even refrigerating it did not help a lot. He did enjoy doing the chocolate fondant, I told him it was like a "construction job"! I'm hoping he'll go for cooking rather than pining for a backyard and back shed.
Giant Caramel and salt cupcake
Courtesy of Baked bakery in New York City, this Sweet and Salty Cake will satisfy every chocolate lovers' appetite.
Makes one 8-inch 3-layer cake or fills the Wilton Giant cupcake pan
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 2 2/3 cups cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla
- 1/2 cup Caramel with Salt (see below)
- Whipped Caramel Ganache Icing (see recipe below)
- Fleur de sel, for garnish
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 325F/160c degrees. Butter three 8-by-2-inch round cake pans and line each pan with a parchment paper round, butter parchment paper and flour or butter and flour the Wilton Giant cupcake pan. Set aside.
Step 2 - In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa, 1 1/4 cups hot water, and sour cream; set aside to cool, about 10 minutes.
Step 3 - In another large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
Step 4 - In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together until smooth and it appears to create strings inside the bowl, about 7 minutes. Add both sugars and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until well incorporated. Add vanilla, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and mix again for 30 seconds. Add flour mixture alternating with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Step 5 - Divide batter evenly among the three prepared pans. Bake until cake is just firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 18 to 24 minutes. Let cool completely.
Step 6 - Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to make level. Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy Susan. Place the first layer on the cake plate. Using about 1/4 cup of the caramel, spread a thin layer on the cake, allowing some of the caramel to soak into the cake. Follow the caramel layer with a layer of about 1 cup of the ganache icing. Place the second layer on top and repeat process with another layer of caramel followed by a layer of ganache icing. Place the remaining layer on top of the second layer bottom side up. Spread entire cake with remaining ganache icing. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.
Caramel and salt
Makes enough for two to three 8-inch 3-layer cake
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon fleur de sel
- 1/4 cup sour cream
Step 1 - Combine 1/4 cup water, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the mixture reaches 350 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.
Step 2 - Meanwhile, in another small saucepan, mix together cream and salt. Bring cream to a boil and cook until salt has dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Step 3 - When the caramel mixture has reached 350 degrees, remove from heat and allow to cool for 1 minute. Carefully add the hot cream to the caramel; stir to combine. Whisk in sour cream. Cool, and store in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 3 days.
Recipe found on www.marthastewart.com
Whipped caramel ganache icing
Makes enough for one 8-inch 3-layer cake
- 75g butter, cubed
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 150ml thickened cream
- 1 pound dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 pound (4 sticks or 500grams) butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces, softened but still cool
- Place 75g butter, sugar and cream into a saucepan over low heat. Stir until butter has melted. Simmer gently for 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat. Allow to cool for 20 minutes or until thickened. Allow to cool 5 minutes.
- Place chocolate in the bowl of an electric mixer and pour hot caramel sauce over chocolate. Let sit 1 minute before stirring from the center until chocolate is melted.
- Attach bowl to electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low until the bowl feels cool to the touch. Add butter and increase speed to medium-high until mixture is well combined, thickened, and slightly whipped, about 2 minutes. refrigerate for firmer consistency.
Frosting recipe adapted from one found on www.marthastewart.com