The “Close-to-Overdosing-on-Chocolate” Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Caramel Ganache

If the fact that I mentioned chocolate three times in the title of this post didn’t clue you in on how chocolatey this cake is then maybe the picture will. I ALMOST added mini chocolate chips. It may have pushed the cake over the chocolate edge but than again I’m not sure that is possible.

My baby brother turned 24 last week. I guess that would technically mean he’s not a “baby” brother anymore, I also just gave away the fact that I’m older than 24- just how much older I refuse to say. That being said, it was obvious that a cake was needed to celebrate the occasion. My side of the family is a one type of dessert kind of family. That dessert is anything and everything chocolate. They can turn their noses up at cheesecake, push away a plate full of freshly baked snickerdoodles and throw away a half eaten apple pie, but bring a batch of chocolate chip brownies into the house and the pan will be empty before breakfast the next day. It was obvious that only a chocolate cake would do- and this chocolate cake is the definition of the term.I used my go-to chocolate cake recipe for the base of this cake. It very easy to make and is mixed all in one bowl. The best part is that it doesn’t even use an electric mixer. You can make and bake this cake in less than hour. I’m pretty sure the recipe originated with the Wilton Chocolate Layer Cake recipe but I’ve made several changes over time. This is my version…

1 and 1/2 cups flour

1 and 1/4 cups sugar

1/3 (heaping) cup unsweetened cocoa powder ( I use Ghirardelli- do not use dutch process)

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup canola oil (can use veg. oil)

1 cup room temp. water

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 lightly beaten eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. (If using a convection oven you may want to turn down the temp about 10 degrees). Butter two round pans, line with parchment or wax paper and butter the paper.

Whisk the dry ingredients together until all lumps are broken up. Then, add the oil and half the water. Mix together until combined, then add the rest of the water, vanilla and eggs. Whisk together until smooth. Divide the batter between the two pans and bake 18-20 minutes until tooth-pick comes out clean. Let cool on wire racks before removing from pans.

Next up is the chocolate caramel ganache. The original recipe is from http://www.belleofthebakery.com/2009/02/aprhodisi-cake.html .

20 oz. semisweet chocolate chips or semisweet baking chocolate
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
2 TBS light corn syrup
1 ½ cups unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces (softened)

Place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl and set aside. Pour the cream into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer (be careful not to let it burn) stirring occasionally.

While the cream is being brought to a simmer, combine ¼ cup water, sugar, and corn syrup in a separate saucepan (medium size). Cook over high heat for 6-8 minutes until the sugar begins to turn an amber color.  Remove from heat and cool for one minute.  Slowly add the hot cream to the caramel mixture- stirring constantly. The mixture will boil up a bit so be careful not to burn yourself. Stir until smooth then pour over chocolate and let sit for one minute so that the chocolate can begin to melt.

Stir the mixture until smooth and let cool to room temp. Then, drag out the hand mixer and beat in the butter until the ganache gets fluffy. You can refrigerate the ganache for up to three days if you make it ahead of time. Just make sure you let it come back to room temp before frosting the cake. This recipe makes a TON of ganache. Frost it on really thick between the layers.