Milk Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Icing and Chocolate Ganache

Isn't chocolate cake just one of those divine desserts.  You know what I mean.  You just ate a full meal and are completely stuffed, but it's like there is always room for cake.  Especially when it's milk chocolate cake with caramel icing, chocolate ganache, and covered in toffee pieces.  It might just be the perfect dessert.  Sweet, creamy milk chocolate and caramel, slightly bitter semi-sweet chocolate, and crunchy, sweet toffee pieces.  So, so yummy.  This recipe actually came about with the combination of about four of my favorite cake recipes.  

This cake was actually made to celebrate my husband's birthday.  We had a fantastic dinner party with some of our best friends.  We ate too much, drank too much, and laughed all night long.   It was a great night.

Milk Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Icing and Chocolate Ganache

Yield: 12 servings

For the cake:
  • 2 3.5-ounce milk chocolate bars, chopped
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sour cream, full fat
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the icing:
  • 3 tablespoons milk chocolate toffee bits
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
For the ganache:
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. To make the cake:  Place the chopped chocolate bars in a small saucepan over low heat until chocolate is just melted. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter and 2 cups of light brown sugar and beat for 3 minutes at medium speed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add the melted chocolate and beat until just blended.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Gradually beat the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture at low speed, alternating with the sour cream. Next, add the hot water beating at a low speed until just blended. Stir in the vanilla.
  5. Grease two 10-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and coat with flour. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake for 25-35 minutes (mine cooked in exactly 30 minutes) or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then transfer the cakes to a wire rack until completely cooled.
  6. To make the caramel icing:  Add the dark brown sugar and butter to a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until just melted. Transfer to the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, add the heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla, and sea salt. Beat at medium-high speed for 4 minutes. Let the icing cool for 5 minutes to thicken.
  7. After the cakes are cooled and the icing has thickened, spread approximately 1/2 cup of the icing on top of one of the cake rounds. Add 1 tablespoon of toffee bits and top with the other cake round. Continue to frost the cake.
  8. To make the ganache:  Place the chocolate chips into a small bowl. Add the heavy cream and butter to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Whisk the cream and chocolate chips until smooth. Spread the ganache over the edges of the cake making some of the chocolate drip down the sides. Top the center of the cake with the remaining toffee bits.




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