SWEET AND SALTY CAKE
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla
- 1/2 cup Caramel with Salt
- Whipped Caramel Ganache Icing
- Fleur de sel, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 325°. Butter three 8-by-2-inch round cake pans. Line each pan with a parchment paper round, butter parchment paper and flour; set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa, 1 1/4 cups hot water, and sour cream; set aside to cool, about 10 minutes.
- In another large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together until smooth and it appears to create strings inside the bowl, about 7 minutes. Add both sugars and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until well incorporated. Add vanilla, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and mix again for 30 seconds. Add flour mixture alternating with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
- Divide batter evenly among the three prepared pans. Bake until cake is just firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 18 to 24 minutes. Let cool completely.
- Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to make level. Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy Susan. Place the first layer on the cake plate. Using about 1/4 cup of the caramel, spread a thin layer on the cake, allowing some of the caramel to soak into the cake. Follow the caramel layer with a layer of about 1 cup of the ganache icing. Place the second layer on top and repeat process with another layer of caramel followed by a layer of ganache icing. Place the remaining layer on top of the second layer bottom side up. Spread entire cake with remaining ganache icing. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.