Makes 1 8-inch cake Prep Time 30 minutes Baking Time 15 minutes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose fl our 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup butter 2 cups white sugar 4 eggs 1 cup buttermilk (No buttermilk? See tip below) 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 cup hot water 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
For the caramel filling 1 1/8 cups butter 3 cups confectioners' sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice 2 cups sugar 1 cup milk
For the chocolate frosting 250 grams semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces 3/4 cup heavy cream 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Preheat oven to 325ºF. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.
2 Make the cake: In a bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3 With an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk until smooth.
4 Place cocoa powder in a small bowl. Pour hot water over chocolate, and stir until melted. Mix chocolate, vanilla, and lemon juice into the buttermilk batter. Divide batter evenly among the prepared cake pans.
5 Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
6 Make the caramel filling: Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil, and cook until temperature reaches 225ºF on a candy thermometer. Remove saucepan from heat, and set in a large bowl filled with ice water. Beat with a hand mixer until spreadable. It will start to thicken as it begins to cool. Transfer filling to a clean bowl.
7 Make the frosting: Place chopped chocolate in a medium stainless steel bowl. Set aside. Heat cream and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth.
8 Assemble the cake: Spread caramel filling over one cake layer. Stack the other cake over it. Ice cake with chocolate frosting and pipe with more caramel if desired.
Substitution tip: No buttermilk? For 1 cup of buttermilk required, use 15 tablespoons milk plus 1 tablespoon acid (vinegar or lemon juice).