There's no doubt about it: layer cakes impress. To make them can seem intimidating at first, so this straightforward recipe - but still with four levels of chocolate-caramel impressiveness - is a great place to start.
- 1 quantity chocolate fudge cake mixture+
- ⅓ cup (100 g) creamy caramel or store-bought caramel
- black sea salt flakes or regular sea salt flakes+++, for sprinkling
Whipped chocolate ganache
- 1¾ cups (430 ml) single (pouring) cream
- 600 g dark (55%) chocolate, grated or finely chopped++
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Refrigeration time: 1 hour
- Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Lightly grease 2 x 20cm round springform cake tins and line with non-stick baking paper. Divide the cake mixture evenly between the tins and bake for 30–35 minutes or until set to the touch. Allow to cool completely in the tins. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled. Remove the cakes from the tins and, using a serrated knife, cut each cake in half horizontally.
- To make the whipped chocolate ganache, place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until hot but not boiling. Place the chocolate in a large bowl and add the cream, stirring once to remove any chocolate from the base of the bowl. Allow to stand for 2 minutes. Stir gently until just combined. Place the ganache over a bowl of iced water. Whisk gently for 3–5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- To assemble, place a base layer of cake, cut-side up, on a cake stand or plate. Spread with ½ cup (125ml) of the ganache and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the caramel. Repeat twice more and top with the final layer of cake, cut-side down. Spread the remaining ganache onto the cake and sprinkle with salt to serve.
+ This recipe begins with uncooked cake mixture – simply prepare the basic recipe until the end of step 3.
++ Place roughly broken chocolate for the ganache in a food processor to finely chop instead of grating it, if you like.
+++ You can buy black sea salt flakes at specialty food shops and some supermarkets. Substitute with regular sea salt flakes.
It's a good idea to use the measurements given when spreading the ganache and drizzling the caramel. It makes for a more stable finish and nice even layers, which look great when the cake is sliced.