Salted Caramel Ding Dong Chocolate Cake
The cake base is my absolute go to chocolate cake, it’s absolutely perfect. I have been making it for years without a single fail. It’s a one bowl chocolate cake which makes it a snap to make, and best of all easy for cleanup. It’s perfectly chocolatey, incredibly moist, and stays fresh for days. It’s perfect as cake or cupcakes.
Salted Caramel Ding Dong Chocolate Cake
For the Cake
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cups cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup hot coffee, or 1 cup boiling water and 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the cake
- Adjust oven rack to the middle position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and line 2, 9-inch baking pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add in the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until well combined.
- Add in the buttermilk, hot coffee, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until well combined. About 1 to 2 minutes.
- Divide batter among cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted comes out almost clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let cake cool in pans about 10 minutes then remove from pans and cool on a cooling rack until completely cooled.
For the Salted Caramel Ganache
- Place the chocolate in a medium bowl.
- In a medium heavy bottomed pot, combine the sugar and water, and stir to combine. Heat the mixture over medium high heat, without stirring, but swirling occasionally if the sugar is colouring unevenly. Heat until the sugar turns amber in colour. Remove from heat immediately and slowly add the heavy cream while whisking. If there are any clumps of sugar, return the pot to low heat and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and fleur-de-sel (or other coarse salt). Pour the caramel over the chocolate. Allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes, then gently stir until the ganache is well combined. Set aside to thicken, about 1 to 2 hours. *If the ganache becomes to thick, warm it over a double boiler until more workable to in the microwave for 10 second intervals.
For the Vanilla Bean Filling
- Add the cold water to a small bowl, then sprinkle the gelatin over it. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes, until it has set.
- In a small skillet, add about 1/2-inch of water, and heat over medium-high heat. Place the small bowl with the gelatin directly inside the skillet. Stir the gelatin until it is melted, about 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the skillet.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla bean seeds, and beat on high speed until soft peaks have formed. Slowly add in the melted gelatin mixture and continue to beat until stiff peaks have formed.
- Take the first cake layer and place it on a cake board or cardboard round slightly smaller than the cake layers. Spread a layer of ganache (a spreadable consistency) over the cake, about 1 cup. Top with the vanilla bean whipped cream. Top with the second cake layer. Refrigerate the cake for about 2 hours until the filling has set.
- Heat the remaining ganache over a double boiler until it is a pourable consistency.
- Set a cooling rack over a clean baking sheet. Remove the cake from the fridge and set it on top of the cooling rack. Pour the ganache over the cake so that it covers the tops and sides of the cake. Pour any ganache that has gone onto the baking sheet back into the bowl. If you have enough ganache, give the cake a second coating. Sprinkle the top of the cake with additional fleur-de-sel, or coarse sea salt. Refrigerate cake.
Remove cake 1 hour prior to serving. Because the vanilla bean filling is a stabilized whipped cream, it will be stable at room temperature. This cake will keep for up to 3 days well covered.
Recipe and Photo: Portuguesegirlcooks.com