Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jan 16, 2009 07:46 AM

Sweet & Salty Cake - Baked Cookbook

I made the sweet and salty cake from the Baked cookbook, but made it as cupcakes. My husband said it was the most perfect cupcake he ever had. I agree they were pretty good, but I did have some observations and issues.

The chocolate cake was a bit of a disappointment. In batter form, it is moussey, light as air, silky and delicious, so I had high hopes for it, but I felt it baked up a little dry and not very flavorful. However, the caramel and the ganache were sweet enough to make up for it. I will substitute another chocolate cake recipe for the base next time around.

The salted caramel sauce is divine and very easy to make! It will be my go-to recipe for caramel sauce from now on. In my opinion it is the best part of the recipe.

Now, the recipe calls for cooling the caramel and cake before application, but it also says to wait until the caramel sinks in before applying the frosting. I found that when the cake cooled, it formed a impenetrable layer, and the caramel was so thick it sat on top without absorbing in. I think next time I would add the caramel while it and the cake were both warm.

the caramel chocolate ganache is rich and delicious.

Now, this recipe took me the better part of a day to make. I think I finished icing them at about 11:00 at night, so it is not a quick project. The caramel sauce alone is worth the time investment though.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: cheetobrain

      In the cookbook they suggest adding an extra egg yolk when making cupcakes. That might fix the texture problem.

      1. re: bettycrocked

        ooh, thanks for the information! I was so busy getting down to baking I didn't read all the fine print :)

        1. re: cheetobrain

          Did you cut the tops off the cupcakes before topping them with caramel? The recipe says to do that with the cake layers and I would imagine the caramel would be able to soak in better that way.

          1. re: emily

            I did cut the tops off some of them (some were down below the paper line and couldn't be cut). I think because of the dry texture issues I was having, as well as the thickness of the cooled caramel it just kind of sat on top. Again, I think if i poured it warmer on warmer cake it might make a difference...

            1. re: cheetobrain

              I've read through the linked recipe a few times, and I believe that the use of the word "soaked" is a misnomer; there's no way you'll get cooled caramel to soak into cake, cooled or not. Some of the caramel flavor will flavor the cake, but won't soak in, like you expect and the word "soaked" implies.

              I have not seen the recipe in the book. Are the instructions in the book worded the same as in the link?

              I believe the caramel layer just functions as that, a layer. The caramel will set on top of the cake layer, and that's fine, it's sounds great to me. A nice layer of caramel in between cake layers is a thing a great beauty.

              I can't say this across the board, but I have noticed occasional editing or interpretational errors in recipes at Marth Steward's website. This may or may not have anything to do with the Baked cookbook instruction, however. \\

              That said, I have to agree that the whole thing sounds delicious.

        2. re: bettycrocked

          Thanks for the tip - can you tell me where in the book it suggests this? I have the book and can't seem to find it.

          Thanks, :o)

          PS this was supposed to be up there with adding the extra egg yolk, guess I don't know what I am doing!

      2. OMG I made this cake today and it is unbelievable. SOOOOO good. Was worth the effort for sure!

        1. Just made this and it was way too rich. Disappointing since it took forever. I dont understand why they put caramel in the frosting. It's a waste of time because the chocolate completely overpowers it. I am throwing the rest out. :(

          2 Replies
          1. re: Robinita

            small world Robinita ... I just made this today too ... I actually really loved the ganache/buttercream frosting. I found that using the caramel along with 70% chocolate created a really smooth, not overly sweet frosting. It is veeerrrry rich though, as you say ...

            1. re: CocoTO

              Okay, I didn't throw the cake out, and I like it alot more today. Maybe that's because I only tool a tiny sliver this time.

          2. Humm, when I made this, the caramel did sink in. I do not remember a distinct layer of caramel. I LOVED this cake and I will make it again. I will not use sel gris again, though, because the grains of salt I used were too big so you got a "hit" of salt that was too much---and I like salt. Next time I'll use fleur de sel. Oh, one more thing---this was the easiest frosting (in terms of applying it to the cake) I've ever worked with. It was the best looking cake I've ever made.

            1. Do you think this cake recipe would work in a bundt pan?

              5 Replies
              1. re: HillJ

                Hi HillJ,
                I think if you baked this as a bundt cake you would lose the "wow" factor---this is really an impressive cake with its six layers. I think slicing a bundt cake into that many layers would be a challenge and would look not-so-good.

                1. re: soccermom13

                  Oh I agree on slicing a bundt cake horitzontally, that would be an awful looking cake, right! ha!

                  I was wondering if the batter would transfer as a bundt (as written) without layering the cake and doing an icing/glaze over the top. I'm not much on layer cakes.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    Hi HillJ,
                    I see no reason why this cake would not be wonderful baked as a bundt cake. That being said, I feel that part of the "wonderfulness" of this cake is the caramel between the layers and the ganache between the layers (as well as on the outside as frosting).

                    1. re: soccermom13

                      Tomorrow I'll report back. I made the cake as a bundt late last night and it looks like the recipe held up just fine (15 inch bundt pan). I'm going to whip up the caramel and ganache later today and serve the cake tomorrow. My "plan" is to serve the cake sliced with a dollup of the caramel and whipped ganache as a pretty garnish. This helps me tone down the overall sweetness. We all enjoy just a touch of sugar but don't like giving "it up" altogether.

                      1. re: HillJ

                        What a nice way to serve this cake!