Birthday Cake

When I looked through Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, one of the first recipes to draw me in was for their Sweet and Salty Chocolate Cake. I asked my husband G. Grod if he’d like it for his birthday. (OK, I may have said, “This is the cake I’m making for your birthday, OK?”) He graciously humored me, and the plan was on.

I began on Sunday morning; the morning and I were both bright and full of promise. First were the three cake layers:

cake layers

That took about an hour and a half to make and bake. I took a break for lunch and nap, then returned to the fray once they’d cooled.

Next step was the salted caramel filling for the biannual airing of my candy thermometer, finished around 4pm:

salted caramel

Immediately after, a SECOND batch of caramel, which I added to a chocolate ganache frosting (1 pound of dark chocolate, 1 pound of butter, 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream…) around 5 pm and whipped into frosting on my trusty Kitchenaid:

whipped chocolate caramel ganache frosting

Next was cake assembly. On my cake stand (a wedding gift from friend LAP) I topped a cake layer with the salted caramel, left it to sink in, then added a layer of frosting, a sprinkle of fleur de sel, another cake layer, another dousing of caramel:

salted caramel layer

and lather rinse, repeat. Once assembled, I frosted with a crumb coat, refrigerated and went to town with the rest of the frosting, and topped with a final sprinkle of fleur de sel, finishing about 6 p.m.:

Sweet and Salty 3-layer cake

Served, it was a little squashed, so hardly the picture-perfect slice from the book, but it was nonetheless a striking specimen:

sweet and salty slice

And, if I do say so, pretty tasty. Seven hours from start to finish, but worth it for a special event.

2 Responses to “Birthday Cake”

  1. thalia Says:

    So what did you make for your own birthday?

    Happy Birthday, the cake looks amazing.

  2. girldetective Says:

    I made…a salad. Bought a fancy cake, George cooked an easy supper. Then I packed three lunches for the boys. That’s when I knew the bday was over!