I made this cake for a friend's birthday a couple of weeks ago. Last year her birthday cake looked like a panda bear head. As you can see, I'm not much of a cake decorator. Though it looked homemade, its taste was first rate.
I took the pictures of the cake slice at a restaurant so the lighting is a little poor.
The ancient Egyptians were the first culture in which we can see evidence of advanced baking. The English word cake dates back to the 13th century. It was derived from an old Norse word.
Medieval bakers would make gingerbreads or fruitcakes, both of which had long shelf lives. The first icing was made from boiling sugar and egg whites. The icing was poured over the cake, and sometimes the iced caked was returned to the oven to bake for more time. The result was a crisp icing shell.
The cakes we know today were developed in the 19th century with the advent of baking powder and fine sugar. In the early part of the 20th century, buttercream frostings replaced boiled frostings.
The chocolate cake recipe came from Food Network. The caramel frosting and ganache recipes came from a blog called Life Made Sweeter.
The ingredients for the cake are 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups sugar, 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 eggs, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 cup hot water. The caramel frosting ingredients are 1 cup butter, 1 cup cream cheese, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1/2 cup caramel sauce, and 4 - 5 cups powdered sugar. The ingredients for the ganache are 1/2 cups chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons milk.
I added the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a big bowl.
I whisked the dry ingredients together.
I added the milk, eggs, oil, and vanilla into another bowl.
I whisked these ingredients together well and then slowly mixed in the boiling water.
I added the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. I stirred everything together until the batter was smooth.
I lined the bottom of two nine inch cake pans with parchment paper and then thoroughly greased the pans. I poured the batter evenly between the two pans.
I baked the cakes for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. I let the cakes cool for a few minutes in the pans before letting them cool completely on wire racks.
For the caramel frosting, I creamed the room temperature butter and cream cheese together for around five minutes.
I added the caramel sauce and vanilla and beat until everything was combined.
I slowly added the powdered sugar while stirring on slow speed.
I stopped adding powdered sugar once the desired consistency had been achieved.
I frosted the cakes liberally once the cakes were completely cool.
For the ganache, I combined the milk and chocolate chips together.
I microwaved the ganache ingredients at fifteen second bursts. I stirred after each 15 second burst. I let it cool to room temperature before adding it on top of the cake.
The caramel frosting was too soft and the ganache too firm. The ganache didn't drip down the sides. I had to coax it to even cover the top.
This may not be the most beautiful cake you have ever seen, but it was delicious. The cake was tender and moist. The flavor of the cake was rich and deep.
The caramel frosting was creamy and smooth. It was sweet and velvety. It had a toothsome caramel flavor. It was a little tart from the cream cheese.
It was a decadent and satisfying combination. I'd make and it it again.