I saw this cake in the November Martha and knew it was destined to be my birthday cake. I have made my own birthday cake for the last several years – baking a cake is pretty rare in my house, so I really enjoy the task. If you’ve been reading my blog you might remember the last Martha cake I made. I think I may have said I would never do it to myself again, but somehow when I saw these six layers swathed in fluffy chocolate frosting and oozing salted caramel my ability to reason went out the window. Here is the photo from the magazine (how could I resist?):
The first step is to bake the cake. It called for three round pans, but I only have two cake pans, so I divided the batter into two pans and baked it a little longer. This of course gave me four layers instead of the six that the recipe called for after splitting the layers. Once the layers are baked the caramel is made by cooking sugar and then adding cream and butter. The recipe made a huge amount of caramel. Way too much for the cake. The frosting was extremely light and fluffy and delicious. It hardens when the cake is chilled. The recipe said to stack the layers with the caramel and then chill it in the fridge for an hour to allow the caramel to set up before frosting it. Here is what the cake looked like right before I put it in the fridge:
Here is what the cake looked like when I took it out:
Martha, you have got to be kidding. I tried to scoop up as much of the caramel as I could from the platter. I was able to get the layers stacked up again, though they were a little mangled. I used three bamboo skewers to hold the whole thing in place. Most of the caramel had oozed out from between the layers, but there was nothing I could do. I decided to go ahead and frost the cake. I had so much caramel left over, and knowing that the inside of the cake was lacking caramel, I did the only sensible thing: I poured a bunch of that caramel over the top! I looked at the cake that was going to be my beautiful birthday cake, and it looked like a big brown blob.
I couldn’t just leave it. I had to do something to make it look finished. So, I smeared a little more frosting on top and sprinkled it with some flaked pink salt.
The salt and chocolate combination was really quite special. The contrast of the smooth frosting with the crispness of the flake salt was especially nice.
This cake was too rich to eat very much of. I had a full half of the cake left after the party. I feel a little like an abused puppy that just keeps going back for more. Will I ever learn not to attempt these Martha recipes?
If you would like to see the entire recipe click here. She laughingly includes it as a great idea for a Thanksgiving dessert. Because, you know, you don’t really have enough going on with that brined turkey and homemade chestnut stuffing. You might want to also make a six layer cake.
Or you can check out another bloggers excellent play-by-play of her experience making this cake at Sara’s Sweets.