But this year, I saw a chocolate cake with salted caramel frosting, and, well, it's over.
I had a list of everything I needed to make the Ina Garten style chocolate cake, but then decided to make a cake from a box. I ended up with a fancy cake mix that came with a separate packet of ingredients to swirl into the batter. Whatever, cake mix. I sort of adapted that cake mix into the Ina one by simply substituting brewed coffee for some of the water. I'm hoping it'll add a bit of depth to the chocolate flavor. We'll see. The cake is currently within my reach, but not within my mouth until John gets home.
Did I mention I made 3 eight inch cake layers? No? Well, so, I did. I just divided the batter into three bowls and then baked two, washed a pan, baked the third. I really wanted to use the 6" cake rounds, but I didn't want to have to buy the pans. I liked the way 3 thin layers worked better anyway. So there.
Then I started making the salted caramel. It was waaaaay easier than I thought it would be even if the recipe was written by someone who made it all the time. "Amber color" can mean many things. My first batch had a distinct burnt sugar flavor, which works, but it came from waiting until the sugar was amber. I would say wait until the sugar starts to color a little bit, a light amber, then take it off the heat. In my mind it needed to be as amber in color as that dude's walking stick in Jurassic Park. And I remembered it being a rich, brownie-yellowish color. And then I remembered the door handle slowly moving up and down. Clever girl.
This is the light amber color:
After all that you kind of stir and stir until it cools. Then you put it in a jar and give some to Deborah.
Speaking of waking up before you go-go, the coffee really came through in the final cake. Hartwell took a bite and exclaimed, "Coffee cake?!" I asked him how much coffee he's been drinking and he said, "Two. But on the weekend."
The cake was delicious and we still have a bit of the caramel left for ice cream next week. It worked out perfectly because John didn't get a cake at work today. So the cake overload will be tomorrow. Morning, probably.