Chocolate-Chip Cake w/ Salted Caramel Frosting

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After being chastised for not baking her a cake for her birthday last year, I hounded my wife leading up to her birthday this year for the specific type of cake that she wanted. I had a lot of ideas (chocolate cake with mint or salted caramel frosting, funfetti cake with chocolate frosting, banana chocolate-chip cake with butterscotch frosting). When it came down to it, she asked for a vanilla cake with chocolate-chips and salted caramel frosting, and I remembered my comment about this frosting after baking the Caramel Cream Cake:

“My wife thought it was so good that she was eating it out of the bowl (which she never does), and she kept the leftover frosting with no idea when or how she would eat it.”

To make it even more over-the-top (I mean, this is her 30th birthday after-all), I decided to pour chocolate glaze over the top and adorn it with some “3-0” birthday candles. It took two tries on the glaze, though, because we were in a little bit of a rush to get to dinner. The glaze was not set enough for the first attempt, so it just fell off the cake. It was better on the second attempt, though this time it might have been too firm (I had to use a spatula to tip it over the edge). Practice makes perfect…

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The frosting is still phenomenal. However, we decided that it’s not a frosting that can cover an entire layer cake. The Caramel Cream Cake that I made was good because the inner layers were frosted with cream and not this caramel frosting. It’s just a lot of a sweet frosting. It would be perfect for cupcakes (the original intent of the recipe) and possibly for a naked cake.

This cake is quite good, too, as it is perfectly soft and moist with the tenderest crumb. It will probably be made again in this household as the standby vanilla cake recipe (with variations). My wife thought that the cake became more moist over a few days, though the frosting also probably had something to do with this too.

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I’m not sure that I would make this exact cake again, but there are elements of it that I will use in other recipes.

CHOCOLATE-CHIP CAKE W/ SALTED CARAMEL FROSTING
Based on recipes found herehere, and here.

INGREDIENTS

Cake:
3 3/4 cups (431 g) all-purpose flour, sifted
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 3/4 cups (350 g) granulated sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
2 egg whites, room temperature
3 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
1 1/2 cups chocolate-chips

Caramel Frosting:
1 cup sallted butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups (400 g) dark brown sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. salt
4-6 cups (504-756 g) powdered sugar, sifted

Chocolate Glaze:
5 oz. (150 g) quality dark chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
Pinch of salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three 9″ cake pans.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer, beat butter on high speed for about one minute, then add sugar and beat on high speed for another five minutes, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. On medium-high speed, add one whole egg at a time, beating well after each addition until incorporated, then beat in the vanilla extract, and scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed.
  5. On low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk and mixing each addition until incorporated. Do not over-mix batter.
  6. In a small bowl, beat egg whites with a handheld mixer until thick and foamy, then gently fold into the batter.
  7. Toss chocolate-chips in 1-2 tablespoons of flour, then fold into the batter.
  8. Pour the batter evenly into each cake pan. Bake cakes for ~25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in the pans on a wire rack until completely cooled.
  9. For the frosting: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, then add brown sugar and cream, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved.
  10. Add salt, then allow mixture to boil for three minutes.
  11. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool (about 15 minutes).
  12. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time with a hand mixer on medium speed until the desired consistency is achieved (I added about 5 cups). Add 3-4 tbsp. of heavy cream to thin the frosting out (I added about 4 tbsp.).
  13. Frost the cakes as desired.
  14. For the glaze: Melt chocolate, butter, corn syrup and salt in a double boiler. Let mixture cool until thickened slightly (about 45 minutes, reheat as necessary). Pour over the top of the cake.
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