Thursday, August 27, 2009

Chocolate and Caramel and Sea Salt, Oh My!

I don't believe that you need a ton of gadgets, accessories and thingamabobs to be a good cook. But then just because a girl could get by on one pair of shoes does not mean she SHOULD.

I've had my eye on this little baby for a while. It attaches to your KitchenAid stand mixer and mixes all the batter that is usually left in the bottom of the bowl, unmixed. I luurve it! It's the SideSwipe Mixer Blade.

Previously, I'd been using this trick: attach your paddle but instead of pushing it all the way up, twisting it and locking it into place, just hold it there and raise your bowl. Now the bottom of the mixer bowl will be in contact with the bottom of your paddle attachment, thereby holding it in place and scraping the bottom of the bowl when you turn it on. Disclaimer: I'm sure Kitchen Aid doesn't endorse this method but it's worked for me. That being said, I think my new SideSwipe is less risky.

Here's something I made with my nifty new gadget. This cake has been responsible for many oohs and aahs around here. It's very rich so slice it small and feed an army.

Adapted from David Lawrence via The Vanilla Bake Shop

Serves 12

1 c sugar
1/4 c water
2 T light corn syrup
1/2 c heavy cream
1/4 c unsalted butter, diced
1/4 c sour cream or creme fraiche
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Large pinch of fine sea salt

3/4 lbs. chopped bittersweet chocolate (71 % cacao)
3/4 lbs. chopped semi-sweet chocolate (62 % cacao, not chocolate chips)
2 T corn syrup
2 c heavy cream

2 c sugar
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c whole milk
2 large eggs
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup hot, strong coffee

Directions for Caramel:
Stir sugar, water and corn syrup in deep saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Turn up heat to high and let mixture cook, undisturbed, until syrup turns an amber color. Do not stir the mixture or touch it. Take off heat and add cream. Mixture will violently bubble. Whisk in the butter, sour cream and lemon juice. Add a generous pinch of sea salt. Cool to room temp, then cover and chill.

Directions for Ganache:
Finely chop chocolate and place in a large bowl with the corn syrup. Heat cream in a saucepan until a few bubbles appear around edges of pan. Do not let boil. Pour hot cream over chocolate and let stand 1 minute. Whisk gently until chocolate and cream are combined. Cool to room temp.

Directions for Cake:
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350F. Line bottoms of 3 9-inch round cake pans with parchment. Spray with Pam Baking spray (or butter and flour).

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer until blended. Add milk, eggs, vanilla and oil and blend at low speed until well mixed. With mixer running, slowly add hot coffee until incorporated. Batter will be very thin. Divide among cake pans and bake until toothpick inserted into center come out clean, about 20-30 minutes. Cool cakes in pans for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of pans and turn out cakes onto cooling racks. Peel off parchment and cool completely.

To Assemble:
Place 1 layer of cake on cake plate. Spread 1/2 cup of room temperature ganache. Put 3/4 cup of ganache into a pastry bag or ziploc and pipe a ring of ganache around the edge of the cake. This will be your wall. Fill the center of the well with 1/4 cup of room temperature salted caramel. Top with second layer of cake and repeat with ganache and salted caramel. Top cake with 3rd layer and spread remaining ganache over the top and sides of cake. Drizzle top with some remaining caramel and sprinkle a large pinch of sea salt over the top of cake. Cover with cake dome and chill. Let cake stand at room temp 1 hour before serving.

Note: I made mine a two layer cake with only one layer of ganache and caramel in between.

1 comment:

Anonymous said... was wonderful to meet you this morning as you dropped your child off at school. I have heard so much about your catering business from Sarajane, and was most happy to get the link to your web site. As a "photograpy buff" I am so very impressed with the work you have done to capture your culinary treats. Next time SJ and John invite us up that way to take us out to dinner, I'm thinking it might be WAY BETTER to have dinner brought in to us!!!

Good luck with your business.

"Parpa" Denning