We are still friends if this is what you're thinking right now: "*&#$! I have a real life. I don't have time to stand at my stovetop slaving over caramel sauce or hunt down fleur de sel from God knows where. Who does this girl think she is?!" I understand. That's me, half the time.
My parents were on their way from Leavenworth to Bellingham, and I said I'd make a birthday dinner for my Dad. My Mom offered to buy a cake from Macrina. I thought about taking her up on it, but I wanted to make something. That's how it goes with me--every once in awhile, I crave something a little more technical, something I can brag about on Facebook and give myself a big ol' pat on the back about. In spite of a very busy Saturday and Yancey being on shift, I managed to pull it off. Priorites, I guess. My kids can watch cartoons all day, and I'll be in the kitchen with my candy thermometer, cursing under my breath and hoping my investment in expensive salt and chocolate pays off. Put another $20 in their therapy fund.
I'm pleased to report that all the cursing and parental neglect payed off. My parents closed their eyes in rapture at first bite, and my Dad pronounced it the best chocolate cake he's ever eaten. And this is a man decidedly not prone to any kind of hyperbole. My Mom and I have that territory covered. How wonderful, to sit around the kitchen table, dying over my cake, Loretta's constant chatter as the backdrop and full from cioppino (recipe soon). Happy Birthday, Papa. I love you.
Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake
This is from my Baked cookbook, which Jordan gave me for my birthday last year. I'm directing you to my friend Dana's recipe, since she has done all the work of transcribing it already. (Can I call you my friend, Dana? We have yet to meet.) Follow all her warnings. And this warning from me: make sure your frosting is completley cooled before you start beating in the butter!! Mine was a little warm still (impatience is my biggest flaw, in cooking and in life), and my ganache ended up being much runnier than I would have liked. Thankfully, I was able to remedy the issue by putting it in the fridge for 30 minutes, stirring it every 10 minutes so it didn't harden too much. AND I found my cake did much better being refrigereated before cutting. Good luck! Tell me all about it.