This recipe is sooooooooooo long, but it's soooooooooo worth it when you taste the finished product!
For the Cake
- Adjust oven rack to the middle position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and line 2, 8-inch baking pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the dry ingredients & mix.
- Add in the buttermilk, hot coffee, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until well combined 1-2 mins.
- Divide batter among cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted comes out almost clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let cake cool in pans about 10 minutes then remove from pans and cool on a cooling rack until completely cooled. I froze mine at this point, overnight.
2 cups sugar
1 2/3 cups heavy cream
2 Tbsp salted butter
3/4 tsp coarse sea salt
Method to make the caramel sauce:
1. Spread the sugar in an even layer in a large metal pot, at least 6 quarts. Set over a moderate heat and cook without stirring, until the sugar near the edge just starts to liquefy.
2. Use a wooden spoon and begin stirring, encouraging the melted sugar around the edges toward the center, delicately stirring up any sugar melting on the bottom as well. The sugar will start to look pebbly as it cooks, but keep going until it is melted completely and an amber color. If you think it is cooking too fast, lower the heat and keep stirring. Be patient.
3. Continue to cook until the sugar turns deep brown. Once brown, take it off of the heat!!!!
4. Time to add the cream but here is my trick….only add a DROP at a time and stir, stir, stir. This will eliminate the seizing of your caramel and you will love me for this trick. Keep adding a drop at a time and stirring until all of the cream is mixed in. Be patient…you have a lot of cream so this will take a few minutes. Once smooth, add butter and salt. Let cool. Will store in fridge up to one month. HA! As if it will last that long…ever!!!! TOO delicious!!
NEXT, MAKE THE CHOCOLATE CARAMEL GANACHE. JUST MELT 10 OUNCES GHIRARDELLI DARK CHIPS IN THE MICROWAVE AND STIR IN YOUR 8 OUNCES OF COLD CARAMEL. WHISK UNTIL SMOOTH. SET ASIDE TO THICKEN (SPEED THIS IN FRIDGE OR REHEAT IF TOO THICK)
VANILLA BEAN WHIPPED CREAM FILLING:
- Add the cold water to a small bowl, then sprinkle the gelatin over it. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes, until it has set.
- In a small skillet, add about 1/2-inch of water, and heat over medium-high heat. Place the small bowl with the gelatin directly inside the skillet. Stir the gelatin until it is melted, about 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the skillet.
- In the mixer, use whisk attachment and beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla bean seeds. Beat on high to soft peaks. Add in the melted gelatin mixture and continue to beat until stiff peaks have formed.
- Take the first cake layer and place it on a cake plate. Spread a layer of ganache over the cake. Top with vanilla bean whipped cream. Repeat in between each layer you use. Chill cake.
- Make ganache to pour on top:
- Heat 1 c. heavy cream and pour over 8 ounces dark chips. Whisk smooth and pour over cake!
- Decorate with chocolate dipped Twinkies, chocolate dipped marshmallows or anything else you like!
NOW, WHO WANTS TO LICK THE WHISK?