By: Deanna Linder
Danya and I have worked together on several productions for the Israeli culinary magazine, Al Hashulchan , but when they asked us to do an article that would feature us as Matkonation, we were thrilled and honored.
The assignment was to shoot and style an article for the November (chocolate) issue. The concept was four baking blogs, each featuring their most delicious recipe for a chocolate cake. Danya let me run wild with my more American style of cake, a layered one, while she balanced it out with the idea of salted caramel.
The shoot ended up being a fun day of meeting (or re-meeting) some of Israel’s most talented bloggers (all in Hebrew): Chen from Metukim Sheli , Natalie from Oogio.net  and Inbal from the Cookie Fairy .
A big thanks to Inbal from Mom & Me Homemade  for the beautiful aprons I used to style the ladies for the shoot.
We think that the combination of chocolate and salted caramel goes perfect with this cake. The salted caramel balances out the sweet richness of the cake. We made 3 separate chocolate cakes, spread a layer of whipped chocolate ganache between them and then drizzled on the salted caramel. This is not a difficult cake to make, but it is time consuming and requires concentration, patience and some hard work. Make it for someone you really love.
Ingredients for an 8-inch round cake:
For the cakes:
1¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
¾ cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons instant coffee, dissolved in one cup hot water
¾ cup sour cream
½ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the whipped ganache:
14 oz./400 grams dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
7 oz./200 ml. heavy cream
For the salted caramel:
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons butter, softened
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sea salt flakes
- Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Butter an 8-inch/20 cm. round spring form pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and beaten eggs, until smooth.
- Add the coffee (with the water), sour cream, oil and vanilla extract to the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
- Pour ⅓ of the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Repeat with the remaining batter, until you have 3 cakes. Allow to cool completely.
- Prepare the ganache: heat the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water until melted. Add the heavy cream and stir until combined. Allow to cool to room temperature and then cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Remove ganache from fridge and using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the ganache on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until light and airy. Keep refrigerated until use.
- Prepare the salted caramel: Place the heavy cream in small pan and cook over low heat, until ready to use. It should be warm, but not boiling.
- Place the sugar, corn syrup and water in a large pot and cook on medium heat, while stirring until the sugar melts. Once the sugar has melted, stop stirring and allow to the mixture to boil for about 5-7 minutes, until it reaches a deep amber color. Remove immediately from heat once it reaches the desired color. If working with a thermometer, then it should reach 350ºF.
- Pour the warm cream into the caramel and whisk vigorously until a smooth and creamy. Add the salt, butter and vanilla extract and continue to whisk until smooth. Pour the mixture into a glass container and allow to cool to room temperature before closing.
- Assemble the cake: Place one cake bottom side up on a serving plate and using a small off-set spatula, spread an even layer of the whipped ganache onto the cake. Place the second cake on top of the ganache, bottom side up and repeat with the whipped ganache and third cake. Drizzle on the salted caramel on top of cake and top with sea salt flakes.
- Refrigerate cake for at least one hour before slicing.