Are you ready to make ridiculously simple Salted Caramel Death by chocolate cake !!!
This might be a very long post as lot of tips and elaborate description is given since the beginning – so sit back , sip up some coffee and enjoy reading it.
Birthday without a cake is incomplete and whats more satisfying than baking and decorating it all by yourself for your loved ones.
This cake is special to me because I made it for my Husband’s birthday last week .
Truly speaking this wasn’t what I had planned for . I had planned to make two tier cake with elaborate decorations and filling but just 2 days before his birthday I badly sprained my wrist . It was so bad that I couldn’t even hold a spoon with my right hand 🙁
Why oh why it has to happen with me always 🙁 I had a special dinner planned too , but all this seemed broken . So I gave up the idea of preparing a meal , we went out for dinner . But birthday without a cake is unacceptable . I know I could have just ordered a cake but no one bakes an egg less cake at such short notice and I have been baking cakes myself on all special occasion so how could I let this go. I re thought everything and sorted with what I could make that is super-duper easy to do but tasted as good as an elaborate one . I split the work in two days , took it slow and the result was moist chocolate cake with ooyey gooey chocolate mousse filling, ganache glaze and subtle hint of salted caramel . This cake will just put you in chocolate coma where you wish to never come back from.
So finally decided to make this rustic chocolate cake – with my trusted no fail chocolate cake recipe which I have baked 100 times , with no special trip to the grocery store . All ingredients were there at home. You can find its recipe here.
Frosting – Chocolate mousse filling with ridiculously easy , decadent and heavenly – the chocolate ganache – with just two ingredients. Recipe can be found here for chocolate ganache -3 ways.
Standard ratio of chocolate to heavy cream is 2:1 but –
This time I have used 1.5 : 1 chocolate : heavy cream ratio – used 3 cups roughly chopped semi sweet chocolate and 2 cups heavy cream plus stirred in 1 tablespoon room temperature butter after chocolate and cream was mixed well and smooth.
Kept aside ¼ cup of set ganache and whipped the rest.
This was enough to whip and pipe 3 layers of 6″ cake with a bit left for later use .
Chocolate mousse as a filling for cake has to be airy but pretty sturdy , hence it is nothing but lightly whipped ganache. See how light and fluffy it looks. Whip until the chocolate ganache turns lighter in color , do not over whip or else cream will separate.
And decided at the last moment to go for Salted caramel drizzle – as we both are a fan of caramel .
With a badly sprained wrist , I could not think of making the traditional caramel sauce . No doubt its super simple but needs really quick action.
So made this wonderful 3 ingredient caramel sauce – no cream added , super simple and works like a charm – I love using cheat / shortcut recipes , they really work well too.
When I started imagining the cake , something was missing .. hmmmmmm .. some simple decoration is needed at least .
So decided to melt some chocolate in microwave and make chocolate curls – yes I didn’t temper the chocolate this time and it worked like magic.
Inside out totally chocolaty with a hint salted caramel – hence named it salted caramel death by chocolate cake
I felt a sense of accomplishment when I successfully put together the entire cake – got emotional too.
I am so glad to share this one with you as I will never ever forget making it.
All pictures on this post are clicked by my phone as I could not handle the camera.
I have tried to cover every step – In reality the cake decoration after cooling down comes together under 2 hours . I took way more time as I worked really slow .
Let me walk you through a step by step pictorial tutorial below –
Firstly started with – taking a pain killer ( you don’t have to do this 🙂 )
baked the cake previous day – click here for the recipe and pictorial instructions – chocolate cake recipe and pictorial instructions .
I love making tall cakes so split the batter into two 6″ pans and baked for 34 minutes .
Start by pre heating the oven – atleast 20 minutes of pre heating.
Now prepare the pans – preparing the pan is one of the most important steps of baking which is often overlooked
brush the bottom and sides of pan with oil , then dust the pan with flour .
cut parchment for lining the base of the pan .
Bake until toothpick comes out clean or with few crumbs , not with batter.
and then transfer on cooling rack to let it cool completely .
Cover it with kitchen cloth to prevent drying.
Once cooled completely , carefully wrap each one in plastic wrap and then foil .
At this point you can freeze the sponge / cake base for later use – freeze upto 3 months
or place it in the fridge for upto 5 days .
I had placed it in the fridge as I was going to use it the very next day.
I always bake a day before frosting as it gives the cake enough time to settle down .
Refrigerating cakes help smooth slicing and leveling with very less dry crumbs .
Lets talk slicing and leveling the cake like a pro.
Tools needed – long serrated knife , turn table – do invest in them to make your life easier.
Place the cake on the turn table and always keep the cake at eye level . With one hand gently on the top of the cake Slowly start slicing the cake in half while rotating the turn table . You can find various tutorials on the same on Youtube.
I did not feel the need to level the top as luckily I always get pretty flat top cakes . If you have domed up cakes , just trim off the top to level it. Split neatly into two .
I have used a marble round as a base , you can use a cake board of same size as the cake . Just smear some frosting on it before placing the first layer so that the base of the cake remains intact .
Now all set for the filling
tools used – piping bag or offset spatula
Piping bag gives a neat filling especially when you are making a naked cake meaning rustic and you won’t be covering it with frosting .
Alternately an offset spatula can be used .
Fill and stack up the layers
press firmly but gently on the top so that the layers stay intact
place the cake in a cake box or cover it with plastic wrap or foil and place it in the fridge to rest and firm up a bit .
Meanwhile I made chocolate decorations
I always temper chocolate , but this time I didn’t . Tempering gives a nice shine and snap to your chocolate and your decorations wont melt at room temperature .
Off late Seattle is getting cooler so I knew untempered curls won’t melt and I didn’t have to carry the cake elsewhere , so didn’t temper the chocolate , but I strongly suggest you do or use candy melts- artificial chocolates .
But let me tell you these curls were sitting on the cake at room temperature for 6 hours in a cool dry place away from sunlight and it didn’t melt.
I will be doing elaborate posts on chocolate making in future , meanwhile you can refer to youtube tutorials for tempering chocolate. Tempering chocolate is a pretty standard process.
Making chocolate curls is pretty easy , however with a sprained wrist it was a bit challenging and uncomfortable for me . I could barely manage to scrape the chocolate , hence not very smooth curls , but worked well on the cake.Managed to chop chocolate with one hand and using elbow support of another – believe me was so tricky .
Lets start with the process
tools and ingredients needed – a pan/ plate , chocolate , butter , offset spatula , knife , bench scraper
Chop the chocolate – I have used 2 oz semi sweet chocolate
Place a baking sheet or a flat dish which you will be using to make curls on , in the freezer for 5 minutes.
In the mean time melt chocolate on a double boiler or in the microwave on 50 percent power stirring every 20 seconds until the chocolate have melted. Now add 1 teaspoon of butter to the warm melted chocolate and stir well to incorporate – butter makes it sturdy and won’t let it melt at room temperature . Alternatively you can use vegetable shortening/ margarine too.
Now remove the pan from the freezer and wipe it clean . Spread melted chocolate as thin as possible on the pan .
Now pop it in the freezer again for 3-5 minutes . It shouldn’t set completely or else you won’t get curls . The chocolate should lose shine but when you press on it , should feel a bit soft . You will get a hang of it once you start making them.
Start with marking squares – markings as in how long you want the curls . Then start scraping , firmly holding the sheet with one hand and scraping by another.
Soon you will get lovely curls. If the curls aren’t forming
chocolate too soft – pop it back in the freezer for a minute
curls are breaking – chocolate too hard – just let sit at room temperature to soften a bit.
Immediately place it in a container lined with wax or parchment paper .
these can be made weeks ahead of time and stored in the freezer in an air tight container .
Now for the final touches – ganache glaze and Salted caramel drizzle .
time to make ganache glaze .
I simply melted ¼ cup thick ganache in the microwave on 50% power for 20 seconds , stirring once in between . Viola , the ganache was ready for glaze and drizzle.
placed plastic wrap all around the edges of the cake to catch any spilled ganache or caramel sauce .
scooped ganache in the center .
and gently spread it with an offset spatula and let it drip along the sides unevenly .
See how shiny and lovely it looks
Placed it back in the fridge for 15 minutes to set.
Now best part – Salted caramel sauce- this cant get easier .
I used caramel chewys and milk for this to avoid making sauce from scratch .
I had purchased these chewys and caramel bites months back and they really proved handy and worked exactly the way I make sauce from scratch.
All I had to do is unwrap them , add some milk and microwave in intervals on 50% power just the way you do it for melting chocolate, stirring occasionally in between until a smooth sauce . You can use double boiler method as well. You can add more milk later for desired consistency , 1 teaspoon at a time . The caramel sauce is ready to use when its not warm to touch .
I have used – 10 chewy squares and 1.5 tablespoon milk
if using caramel bites – use ½ cup and 1 tablespoon milk
Pulled the cake out from the fridge . Drizzled caramel unevenly on the top and on the sides and let it drip. Sprinkled some sea salt . I was running out of patience here. So did some random uneven caramel sprinkle on top as it would be covered with chocolate curls.
Arranged the chocolate curls . .
Removed the plastic wrap , and cleaned edges with moist paper napkin.
At the end I felt so proud of my self , so satisfied and accomplished.
My husband was so surprised seeing the cake as he thought I would never attempt it because of the sprain.
Seeing the happiness in his eyes made it all worth the process.
And he says , this was the best cake he ever had in his life.
Makes me feel out of this world!! – worth all the effort 🙂
Happy Birthday darling once again – I find the strength in me because of you.
Hope you like this recipe and do give it a try.
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Thanks for stopping by.
Hi! This looks delish! If I am covering this cake with fondant, how long should I leave it in the fridge to settle after crumb coating. And I can use the mousse you’ve used here to crumb coat the cake,right?
Yes KD you use ganache without whipping to crumb coat and further to set as good crust. However it has to be thin coating After crumb coating place it in the fridge for 30 minutes . Then apply the final layer of frosting , smooth it all over.
Let it crust / dry , moisten with brush using a bit of water so that fondant can stick.
Yes KD you use ganache without whipping to crumb coat and further to set as good crust. However it has to be thin coating .After crumb coating place it in the fridge for 30 minutes . Then apply the final layer of frosting , smooth it all over.
Let it crust / dry , moisten with brush using a bit of water so that fondant can stick.
Hi khushboo…The cake came out super yummmmmm…..kids loved it…Thanks again for the osm recipe….😘
Wow Chandani, sounds great!
Thank you so much Khusboo for an amazing recipe… completely in love with the ganache and salted caramel combination☺
Could you post a tutorial on tempering chocolate?thanks so much !
Welcome Ambika 🙂 Glad you liked . Chocolate tempering is very standard process. I would suggest to look into you tube tutorials 🙂 I would surly blog about it soon!
Hii kushboo just happy to c the yummy recipe of yours ….will really learn from you many bakes ..I m a new baker …tried many recipes but always not a hit. ….surely going to try this one ….will revert you ..when baked with the picture …God bless you
Thank you for stopping by Rekha. Do try , I am sure you won’t regret 🙂
I made this cake for my husband’s birthday and it was amazing! My husband loved it! Really glad I tried this cake! Thanks khushboo!
I am glad you guys loved it. Happy birthday to your husband. Thank you for a lovely feedback.
Thanks to CAL, where i found you. I m beginner in baking. Making simple cakes nothing else. From last week i have gone through your website,,, i loveeeeee that no fail choclate cake. And me stopped on ? this cake… the name is enough for kill. I want to try someday… that day is today. Yesterday is my husband bday as like u i m also not well. But in afternoon i think i can try. If its not wrk no one will know. But as u mentioned its no fail recipe its true.. no fail. I got perfect cake soft, spongy, chocolaty…..
Aww Moushami , hope you are feeling better now. I am glad that you attempted it and happy that it turned out great for you. Thank you for a lovely feedback. Take care.
Made this cake for guests yesterday. It was sooooo yummy. Everyone loved it. I have sent you cake photo on fb page messenger.
We don’t like dark chocolate so I used Milk chocolate and Amul cream but not whipped cream. Ratio was 3.5 : 2 of chocolate : Cream. My ganache did not set even after 24 hours. It was manageable but not as stiff as yours.
What could have gone wrong? what should I change so that next time my Ganache is set properly as yours.
Shweta Mantri Chandak
Hey Shweta I saw you cake pictures. They are lovely. I hope I solved your ganache query there. If you have additional doubts do write to me. Thank you for a lovely feedback.
Your posts are quite elaborate..I would soon try.. please help me with my query..I use a microwave for baking cakes. I have seen that many a times you bake more than one cake for your recipe..I have many times baked a single cake on the lower rack in convection mode successfully. Could you please tell me how could I bake 2 cakes at the same time in convection mode of microwave. Please also let me know if you have tried this before. Thank you..
Hello Shweta , I love taller 6 ” cakes and hence bake in 2 tins. When in India I have baked the same cake in one 8 ” tin on convection mode in microwave. Then after cooling sliced it in half for filling.
I made this cake twice. Results were too good… .. don’t know how can I add pictures…thanks Khushboo.
Happy to know that Sudha, I would love to see it. You can send me on my facebook page carveyourcraving message section . Thanks .
Which oil should be used for cakes
Any flavorless cooking oil. I prefer canola oil .
Hi Khushboo!! Tried your death by chocolate recipe many time . I must say it’s an awesome recipe ..simple and delicious ?
I am happy that you have been enjoying this recipe. Thank you for a lovely feedback
I tried this cake it came out to be awesome. Everyone liked it. But I have one question. The chocolate mousse that you have created. Mine was more liquids then creamy like yours. I let it sit in the fridge for an hour but still it wasn’t as fluffy or creamy as shown. Can you tell me what could have gone wrong and also which cream are you exactly using.. name and brand for it.
Hi Srushti, thank you for the feedback . I like to set it at room temperature 7-8 hours preferably overnight. An hour in the fridge is too less for ganache to set. Don’t worry it will set in few hours may be 3-4, just keep checking every hour . I have mentioned in my ganache post about the same . Let me know if it worked out.
Hi Khushboo, i had a small query. The whipped chocolate ganache that u have used & the chocolate whipped non dairy cream which we get in market, are both same ?
I had no idea that you get whipped chocolate frosting non dairy too 🙂 thank you for the information . Whipped ganache is chocolate plus cream so I guess it must be the same.
Making this cake for my hubby’s Bday that’s tomorrow…with a frozen shoulder. So almost the same situation as yours. And if it turns out to be half as good as yours and I get half d appreciation u got, I will be a happy soul ?
Thanks a lot for this recipe! ?
Hope you feel better soon Chhavi , more power to you girl . Everything will turn out great.
Hii Khushboo. Can u tell me wat other ways can caramel be made. I hv some anjeer Chocolate can imelt tht and use? I hvnt made caramel sauce before this and it’s little tacky . I hv some left over Ganache from d previous cake so was thinking of doing this cake.
Caramel is made by melting sugar and butter on low heat, many other ways too. But they are pretty standard ones. I suggest you watch few videos on the same on youtube. That will help you. Anjeer chocolate for what purpose , may I know.
Hi Khushboo..loved this..
Can u please let me know about the soaking of cake! do we need to brush cake with any liquid without icing? If yes then can u please tell me more about the same.
I use simple sugar syrup sometimes , not necessary though . Its 1/4 cup water with 1 tablespoon sugar , mix it and bring it to a boil. cool it and then apply with brush on the layers before filling .
Wanted try this cake for no olste truffle cake just have query..whether I need to soak this cake with sugar syrup…thanks
this cake is pretty moist on its own , I do not soak in sugar syrup unless i have to infuse any flavors or alcohol , it depends on your preference .
Made it last night…. No fail as always…pls pls share your red velvet recipe… Thanks
Reena , glad you liked .. red velvet coming just in time for christmas , wanted to bake last week but we all were running sick , fall allergies, hopefully will bake this weekend . It will be an interesting post , stay tuned 🙂
Hi….me too made this cake on my annicersary….n it came super yummm….thanku so very much….love you
glad to hear thar Minni , do share pics. Happy Anniversary girl!
Hi Khushboo! Beautiful bolg and lovely recipes 🙂 Love your writeup’s. This cake was on my to do list since I saw it.
Today was one of my friends anniversary and I wanted to bake a cake for her. Had just about 2hrs to do it since its a last min decision to meetup.
I baked the cake,made the mousse filling and the Ganache 🙂 Had no time for the caramel sauce and the chocolate swirls.
The 1:1.5 measure for the mousse was perfect. Had just an 8″ pan so made a shorter cake 🙂
Thank you loads for this recipe and this is definitely for keeps sake 🙂
you sound like a super girl:) glad you pulled it off in such a short time, would love to see the final outcome Thanks for a lovely feedback.
I just made the chocolate cake ystrde and want to thank you for sharing d 100% no fail recipe of urs.. Seriously, the cake s just superb.. I have also stored it in the fridge and will be frosting it tode.. Trying my hands on ganache for the first time but m confident enuf coz I have ur recipe!!! 🙂 :).. Thanks again khushboo!!!
you are welcome Priyanka, I am glad my recipes are helping you .. Do share pictures of the same, happy baking! thanks .
I Totally loved your recipe and such simple ingredients and instructions..
I tried my own Death by chocolate with butterscotch ooze.
The cake was a super hit. Only thing i couldnt replicate the swirls but made Chocolate wafers instead..
Thanks so much.. Keep baking and sharing.. helps a lot for beginners like me 🙂
welcome deepika, thanks for a nice feedback, yeah caramel and butterscotch are so similar ,I can imagine the taste.. more goodies to come on cyc for christmas .. stay tuned 🙂
Hey khushboo kothari ji normally I don’t like chocolates and chocolate cakes but seeing your death chocolate I am in love with it ??and want to make one!!plz advice me as I would be doing frosting for the first time I want to try on a small cake also I have never made ganache before so how do I start with??i will follow your nofail chocolate cake recipe do I Need to half all the ingredients sorry for being such a question mark ??
thank you.You can easily half both recipes, they are really simple , don’t be nervous
Beautiful post ….. Enjoyed with cup of tea …. And happy belated birthday ? to your better half
Claudia | The Brick Kitchen
I am so impressed that you made this with your arm in a splint, it looks incredible!! SO much chocolate going on, I just wish I could grab a piece (or 2..or 3…) out of screen. Salted caramel and chocolate has to be my favourite flavour pairing ever – just beautiful!
Thanks a bunch Claudia . I had a bit of discomfort during the entire process , but all is well that ends well .I consider it as one of my achievements now. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
Stunning cake and beautiful write up! Your idea of caramel suace has caught my imagination, on my must try list now!
Thank you Neelima , yes do try t .. Its the best no worries salted caramel ever
Beautiful cake…have bookmarked it for my hubby’s bday…hatsoff to ur dedication to bake with sprained wrist…I hve jst started venturing into baking n you are a true inspiration. ..your husband is a lucky man..hope you get well soon.
Thank you for your wishes Prisha , I am absolutely fine now that is why I could write this post.
Khushboo Darling…yet another amazing masterpiece from u…Hope the Birthday boy was elated..wishes for him…
I m gonna try something like this sooner…Lots of love..
haha.. thanks Dipti dear , he was on cloud nine 😉
Have been off FB for some reasons…and hv a urgent query…
Can the ganache be made using Amul Fresh Cream…i m not able to fine Heavy cream…
Are thr any alternatives…??
its a short notice for me…i hv a Christmas carnival and my daughter is eager that i make something like this..!!
a quick response wud be great…
All the love to u…
hi Dipti, yes , amul cream can be used for ganache glaze or directly piping – no issues , however it wont make a great whipped ganache. If in India , troplite riche frozen one works perfect too
Beautifully written and awesome cake presentation. I am planning to bake a layered cake for my son’s birthday with some butter cream frosting. Have tried your chocolate cake and loved it. Definitely will be using it as the base. Very nice.
Happy to know that Indira , do give a feedback . Thanks
You are simply amazing Khushbu… What a beautiful description..just Perfrct as your cake!
Would love to give it a try soon.
Appreciate your each and every effort starting from making the cake to clicking such detailed pictures and then perfectly writing it for us. Indeed Sabar ka fal meetha hota hai.
Thank you so much once again 🙂
Thanks Sonal , I love to write simplified and elaborate posts so that my readers can benefit most out of it . Thanks