Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chocolate Cake with Fleur de Sel Caramel Filling

I found this recipe on and knew right away I wanted to make it for my New Year's Eve party.  It was a hit - the star of the show!  I could have served just the cake and my guests would have been completely content.

The first step is to bake the chocolate cake.  I baked the cakes Wednesday evening and kept them in the refrigerator until I was ready to assemble the cake Friday afternoon.  This made the cake nice and firm and easy to slice into four layers.

The next steps include making the chocolate ganache and the fleur de sel caramel sauce.  I made both of these Thursday night.  The ganache is super easy - Warm cream poured over bittersweet chocolate.  The caramel was a little more labor intensive, but well worth it.  The only thing I wish the recipe would have included was what temperature the sugar should be before removing it from the heat and adding the rest of the ingredients.  The recipe says to cook the sugar until it's an amber color.  I think I took mine a bit too far past the "soft ball" stage as the sugar started to harden when I added the cream and butter.  It ended up working out okay but next time I will take the sugar off the head a bit sooner.

The final step is assembling the cake.  Each layer consists of cake, ganache, caramel sauce, a sprinkling of fleur de sel and toasted almonds.  The cake comes together fairly quickly.  A huge thing I learned was to leave the ganache out for a long time in order to bring it to room temperature and be able to easily spread it.  This took me three times to realize that it takes hours (seven, in fact) for the ganache to be spreadable.  This made my life much easier!  After assembling the four layers, you frost the cake with the remainder of the ganache.  Once frosted, you decorate the sides of the cake with the rest of the toasted almonds.

I put this cake out as the centerpiece of the table on New Year's Eve and my guests could hardly wait for it to be dessert time!  The cake was a hit and not one person left a crumb on his plate!  I highly recommend making this cake.  It does have a lot of steps, but it is well worth it!

Enjoy and happy eating in 2011!

Source: Bon Appetit

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