Chocolate caramel cake is one of the best desserts out there. The rich, gooey chocolate perfectly complements the rich caramel to generate a delicious medley with just the right amount of sweetness.
Even better, not only is the treat incredibly tasty, it is also simple to make. In this guide we will explore two different styles of chocolate caramel cake so you can enjoy it whenever you want in exactly the way you want.
Gooey Chocolate Caramel Cake
Though both of the following recipes are similar in taste, they differ greatly in both texture and mouth feel. The first we'll cover is a gooey concoction that has a rich consistency much more akin to rich fudge brownie than a traditional cake.
Even so, that does not lessen its incredible flavor. This cake may not look like a cake at first glance, but some desserts are made to be enjoyed in different ways. Rather than slicing through it with a fork (that's for recipe number two) you rather want to dip into this gooey mess with a spoon.
It is great right out of the oven and it's also fantastic after resting for a day or two.
Gather Your Ingredients
Before we begin, you need to put together the items you'll need to make this.
For the cake, you need to collect 2 cups of flour, 1 and a half cups white sugar, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup softened, unsalted butter, 1 cup salted butter, 2/3 cup butter flavored shortening, 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 and a half teaspoon baking soda, 1 and 3/4 teaspoon salt, 2 cups packed light brown sugar, 1/2 cup light corn syrup, and 1 cup chocolate chips (dark or light).
Once you have the above ingredients, you next need to put them all together.
Making the Cake
First, you need to put together your cake mix. This is going to be done by combining the dry ingredients and then adding in binding agents to get a creamy consistency.
Mix the flour long with the sugar, cocoa, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Combine everything together until they are well mixed.
Once that's done, you should cut shortening into the flour mixture. You can use any mixing utensil for this step, but your hands work as well. The goal is to turn it until everything forms fine crumbs like you would see with any other cake mix.
To finish the batter, add in the unsalted butter and milk. Combine everything together until the crumb-like consistency forms a thick, cohesive dough.
Crafting the Caramel
Once your batter is assembled, you can set it aside while you create the caramel sauce.
Melt the salted butter over medium low heat and then add in brown sugar, corn syrup and a teaspoon of salt. Stir everything together and bring it to a low boil. Make sure to constantly mix this substance. You want it just slightly bubbling up. Anything beyond that can create problems.
The goal of this step is to slightly thicken the caramel. Cooking it for too long may cause it to harden once it gets in the cake. Boil for roughly 10 minutes, and then take it off the heat and mix in 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.
That last step should cause the mixture to bubble. Whisk the finished substance until it is smooth and thick.
Assembling the Layers
Now that you have your chocolate cake and caramel done, you next need to put them together. Layering is a simple process, but if you do it wrong your cake won't cook right.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, spread half the batter on the bottom of the dish and cover it with both chocolate chips and caramel (roughly 2/3 of the sauce should be enough for this step). That will serve as your middle.
For the top, rather than trying to spread your dough over the sticky sauce, you want to drop it down in big spoonfuls. Once the area is mostly covered, you can go back over with a spoon or spatula to fully spread it out.
Once everything is covered and your oven is ready, pop it in.
Cooking and Final Steps
Depending on what size dish you used, as well as your desired final consistency, you're going to keep the cake in the oven for roughly 25 to 30 minutes.
Those who like their brownies a bit undercooked should go for a shorter time, and those who like a tougher consistency should bake longer. Also note that certain pans will give you a different thickness and you should account for that in your cooking time.
When finished, take the cake out of the oven and let it sit for a few minutes before serving. However, it is best served hot so you want to make sure you get it onto the plates sooner rather than later.
You can pass it out with vanilla ice cream, or it can be enjoyed on its own.
Once everyone's finished, cover and store the cake at room temperature. While it is possible to keep in the fridge, that will affect the consistency and cause it to harden.
Traditional Chocolate Caramel Cake
The above recipe gives you a delicious blend of chocolate and caramel inside a gooey, oozing dessert. However, if you want something a bit more traditional, or you simply prefer a treat that's easier to handle, you can always make a standard chocolate caramel cake.
The Layers of Cake
For this recipe, which includes both frosting as well as the cake itself, you want to collect nonstick vegetable oil spray, 2 and 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 and 3/4 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder, 3 large eggs, 1 and 1/2 cups sugar, and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract.
Once you have everything, you're ready to make the cake.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly coat a couple cake pans with nonstick spray. Though you do not need to, it helps to line the bottom of the pans with parchment powder and spray them again.
After preparation, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Then use an electric mixer to combine the eggs and sugar until they have doubled in volume (this will roughly take 4 minutes). Once light and fluffy, mix in the vanilla.
Using the mixer on low speed, you next want to add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with 1 1/3 cups of lukewarm water in two additions. In this way, you should start and end with the dry.
After adding everything to the bowl, scrape the batter into your cake pans so that they are roughly even. Bake them for about 25 to 30 minutes and then test if they're done. If you stick a fork into the middle and it comes out clean, they're ready.
Set them out to cool for about twenty minutes while you assemble the frosting.
Once you've baked the cake, the next step is to get the ingredients for the frosting. They are as follows: 12 ounces of chopped bittersweet chocolate, 1 tablespoon light corn syrup, 1 cup heavy cream, 3/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt (optional), 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) softened unsalted butter, and 3/4 cup sugar.
Start by putting the chocolate into a medium bowl. Next, bring the sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir until the sugar is fully dissolved and the entire mixture turns a deep amber. That will take about 10 to 12 minutes.
Once you get the desired color, bring the mixture back down to medium heat and cook it for about 2 more minutes.
That will give you a rich caramel that you should pour over your chocolate and stir until the whole mixture is smooth.
Use an electric mixture to beat the chocolate as you add in butter. That will allow it to thicken up. Once at the right consistency, chill for roughly 20 to 25 minutes.
The Finishing Touches
Now that the cooking is out of the way, you just need to assemble the cake.
Put one piece one a plate, spread frosting over it to just beyond the edges and place the next layer on top. Repeat that process until you have a fully assembled dessert. Frost around the edges of the cake until everything is smooth and cohesive.
If you wish, you can also sprinkle some sea salt over the top to complement the chocolate/caramel flavor.
A Perfect Flavor Medley
Regardless of how you enjoy chocolate caramel cake, it is always delicious. The dessert is one of the easiest recipes to follow, but the deep, rich flavor comes with enough flair to provide a fresh dining experience.
Each of the above recipes will satisfy any sweet tooth. You can always make the one that sounds more to your liking but baking them both isn't a bad idea either.
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