This decadent chocolate cake is flavored with whiskey, filled with layers of salted caramel buttercream and topped with a silky chocolate ganache.
Happy Halloween everyone! I can't tell you how excited I am to share this cake with you. It's no secret, that baking REALLY scares me. It's an exact science and I struggle with it. What do I do really well with? A good challenge. I had this cake orchestrated in my head for a while. I knew how I wanted it to look, how I wanted it to taste and how I wanted to photograph it. All three of these aspects of this cake were a struggle, but I did it, and I couldn't feel more accomplished.
Whiskey Chocolate Cake
The flavor of this cake is insane and brought to you by two special ingredients, whiskey, and coffee. The coffee intensifies the flavor of the chocolate and the whiskey pairs so well with both, it's unreal. This recipe will make two 8" cakes. I divided each 8" cake in half to make four total layers. You can also just make this cake with two thicker layers if you like or the batter will yield approximately 24 cupcakes.
Salted Caramel Buttercream
This buttercream is silky smooth and tastes divine with the chocolate cake. The recipe for this buttercream is simple. All you need is powdered sugar, butter, cream, and a special addition, salted caramel. I don't like it when frosting on a cake is overpowering and I wanted to make sure all aspects of this cake shined through. For this reason, I purposely made this a NAKED cake. That's right, you heard me, NAKED! It's a technique that leaves minimal frosting on the outside of the cake, thus exposing its layers. It's beautiful, rustic and allows all the beautiful flavors and textures to come through. This recipe allows for enough buttercream to naked frost this 4 layer cake. If you are wanting to fully frost your cake, I would double the recipe.
Salted Caramel Sauce
For my salted caramel sauce, I used a recipe that I love from Sally's Baking Addiction. This recipe is easy, turns out perfect every time and is the perfect addition to the buttercream. If you don't want to make caramel from scratch, you can buy a caramel sauce from the store, heat it up and stir in a teaspoon of salt. Whether you make your caramel from scratch, or you use a store-bought caramel, make sure it is completely cooled before adding it to the frosting.
Chocolate Ganache Drip for Whiskey Chocolate Cake
To really hit it home, I decided to top this cake with a rich chocolate ganache. It sounds super fancy, but in fact, a ganache is very simple to make. You only need two ingredients, chocolate, and heavy cream. Heat up your cream to just before it starts to simmer and then pour it over your chocolate. The heat of the cream will melt your chocolate and as you whisk the ingredients together, a silky ganache will appear.
Assembling a Layer Cake
Making a layer cake can seem like a daunting task. It's not a quick process and takes both time and patience. With a little perseverance and few tips for success, you can do this!
- Use room temperature ingredients when you're making your buttercream so you don't have lumpy frosting.
- Let your cake cool COMPLETELY before assembling to avoid melted frosting and sliding layers.
- Use a cake board or parchment paper to decorate your cake so you can easily transfer to a serving plate.
- Slice the top part of each layer of your cake off to ensure a flat surface and even layers.
- Chill your cake for at least an hour before adding your ganache drip to make sure it drips down the cake easily.
- Warm your ganache slightly if you want long melty drips, or leave it on the cooler side if you want short drips.
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I hope you guys enjoyed this recipe, I know I sure did. Remember to challenge yourself, you never know what delicious creations you will come up with!