Salted caramel is not very well known in The Netherlands, which is where I live. However, it makes such a nice addition to a sweet chocolate cake that I could not ignore it. Usually, a ganache has a 50:50 ratio of cream and chocolate, but I prefer using more cream, as this helps the filling to be a bit softer, especially in cold weather or if you place the cake in the fridge (which you don’t need to do but I always do it for leftovers) the ganache can become rather crumbly. Tasty but crumbly.
For the cake:
- 100gr cacao powder
- 180ml boiling water
- 200gr butter
- 100ml milk
- 200gr sugar
- 350gr flour
- 1 tbs baking powder
- 6 large eggs
For the whipped ganache:
- 400ml heavy cream
- 300gr dark chocolate
For the salted caramel sauce:
- 100gr sugar
- 2 tbs water
- 200ml cream
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
Makes a 25-27cm springform, serves 12-16
Make the cake:
Line a spring form bottom with baking paper.
Combine the cacao powder and the boiling water in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and stir until the butter is mixed in well. Now add the remaining ingredients except the eggs and stir to combine well. Add the eggs now (if you add them on the hot chocolate mixture you might get scrambled eggs) and mix to combine everything.
Pour the batter in the spring form. Bake for 50-60 minutes on 175°C. A skewer should come out just dry.
Leave the cake to cool for 5 minutes, then remove the springform and the baking paper and let it cool further on a cooling rack.
Make the ganache:
Combine the cream and chocolate and heat either in a bain marie or in the microwave while stirring every 30 seconds. When the chocolate has melted and the mixture is well mixed, set it aside to cool.
Make the salted caramel sauce:
Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan. Make sure all the sugar is moist. If it is not, add an extra tablespoon of water. It will not affect the final result, it will just take a bit longer for all the water to evaporate. Heat until the sugar has become a lovely golden caramel colour. Be careful once it starts to colour, it can easily burn from that point on, especially on high heat. Pour the cream in. Don’t be careful with it but pour everything in at once. This will drop the temperature quickly and will avoid any spluttering of boiling hot caramel. Leave to simmer until the caramel has dissolved and the sauce has thickened some, about 2 minutes. It will thicken while cooling as well. Stir in the salt. Leave to cool.
Slice the cake horizontally in half. Whip up the chocolate ganache until soft peaks form. Do not overwhip. Spread half of the whipped ganache on top of each of the halves immediately afer you finish whipping. Especially in cold weather the ganache has the tendency to stiffen up really quickly (in warm weather you could use the standard 50:50 ratio of cream to chocolate as well). Spread 4 tablespoons of the salted caramel sauce on the bottom layer.
Place the top half back on. Just before serving, drizzle some extra salted caramel sauce over the cake.