Chocolate Chip Caramel Cake

I did a thing. 

A caramel and chocolate thing. A chocolate chip studded caramel cake with caramel cream cheese icing and chocolate ganache type of thing. It sort of tastes like a rich, elevated chocolate chip cookie, and I mean that in the best way. It's also one of those things where even if the chocolate chips sink the the bottom of the cakes, or the ganache doesn't drip perfectly down the sides, it still looks and tastes phenomenal. Basically what I'm trying to say is that I did something that will make you look impressive to your friends, and maybe even to yourself, without actually having to have any impressive qualities, and I'm gifting the recipe to you. Impress away. 

Ingredients:

Caramel chocolate chip cake-  

1 stick of softened butter, cut into cubes

1 1/4 cups of granulated sugar

1/2 cup of packed brown sugar

3 eggs

2 cups of flour

1 cup of buttermilk

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

1 cup of chocolate chips

Caramel cream cheese icing-

1/4 cup of packed brown sugar

1 1/4 sticks of butter, softened

1/3 cup of heavy cream

8 oz of cream cheese

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 2/3 cup of powdered sugar

Dark chocolate ganache-

1 1/3 cups of dark chocolate chips

3/4 cup-1 cup of heavy cream

Pinch of sea salt

Pinch of espresso powder

Recipe:

Caramel chocolate chip cake-  

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pans, or whatever type of pan you're using. 

In a stand mixer, beat the cubes of butter on medium speed for a minute or two. Then add both sugars and beat together until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3-4 more minutes on medium.

Add one egg, scraping down the the sides of the bowl and beating until combined before you add the next one, and repeat. 

Add in 1/3 of the flour (don't worry if it's not exactly 1/3 of it) and beat on low just until it starts to disappear. Next add 1/2 of the buttermilk, mixing again on low just until everything comes together. Add another 1/3 of the flour, the rest of the buttermilk, and then the rest of the flour, beating lightly in between each addition.

In a separate, smaller bowl, mix together the baking soda and vinegar, and then gently add it into the cake batter, along with the chocolate chips.  

Pour the batter into the greased pans and bake for 30 minutes, or until a knife stuck into the center comes out with a few crumbs on it.

Remove the cake layers from the pan 10 minutes after removing them from the oven and allow to cool completely.

 Caramel cream cheese icing-

Place the brown sugar and butter into a saucepan over low-medium heat, watching it carefully while it cooks. 

Whisk the mixture fairly often until it starts to caramelize and bubble up a bit. Once the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture looks uniform in color and texture, remove it from the heat and whisk in the heavy cream. Let the caramel cool for 15-20 minutes in the refrigerator.

While the caramel is cooling, beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar for 5-6 minutes on medium-high speed. Add the salt and beat again. Finally, slowly add the cooled caramel mixture while the mixer is on low-medium speed. 

Once the cake layers are cooled, ice the cakes however you like- I didn't ice the sides, but it's totally up to you!

Dark chocolate ganache-

Heat the heavy cream in a medium-sized bowl in the microwave for 1 minute, or until it starts to bubble around the edges when you take it out. 

Pour the chocolate chips into the bowl, making sure they are completely covered by the cream, being careful not to stir the chips too much. 

Let the chips sit in the hot heavy cream for another minute or two. Add the pinch of salt and the pinch of espresso powder and start to whisk the mixture until its completely combined and glossy. Let it cool for a few minutes if it's still warm to the touch.

Once the ganache is cooled, pour it in the center of the cake, letting it drip down the sides slowly. 

Slice and eat!