Enter: Caramel Bacon Chocolate Cake. Not for the faint of heart, an every day indulgence or calorie-counters. A complicated operation of making caramel, ganache, the most chocolaty cake in the world, crispy bits of bacon, sea salt and imagination, it was a hit at my favorite local bar and I will never have to show my ID again.
Butter (or bacon grease), for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cups self-rising flour, plus more for pans
2 cups Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
3/4 cups Ghirardelli natural unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup light olive oil
2 extra-large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup hot brewed coffee
Bacon caramel filling, recipe follows
Chocolate ganache, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, olive oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add hot brewed coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to insure it is incorporated into the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick (or tip of a knife) comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto cooling racks and cool completely.
Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with caramel bacon filling. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the chocolate ganache evenly on the top and sides of the cake.
If you feel fancy, spread the bacon caramel filling in between the cake layers and then transfer the cake to a cooling rack (with foil or newspaper beneath). Pour the room temperature chocolate ganache over the entire cake. Let the ganache set before moving to a cake dish,
6 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
16 oz. Sugar-Free Cool Whip
4 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled
|Making caramel. It's just melted sugar.|
Heat sugar on moderately high heat in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart or 3-quart saucepan. As the sugar begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon. As soon as the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring. Immediately add the butter to the pan. Whisk until the butter has melted. Take the pan off the heat. Count to three, then slowly add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate. When you add the butter and the cream, the mixture will foam up. Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into 16 oz. of room temperature Cool Whip. Add crumbled bacon and whisk until incorporated. Chill for 1 hour.
1/2 cup heavy cream
Cook the chocolate chips, heavy cream in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Cool to room temperature.
NOTE: Or melt chocolate in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between. Add heavy cream and whisk until no lumps or chunks are visible and a smooth texture is achieved.