The weather has been rather ADD around here lately. Yesterday was warm and sporadically sunny, but great big lazy drops of rain would fall on me whenever I ventured outside and would stop whenever I went back in. I try not to take such behavior personally. Today it's cold and drizzly with a 5 minute lightning and thunder storm that popped in to say hi and dissipated before I could even find my umbrella. Despite the weather, my sisters came over last night and we went out to a lovely new restaurant over in my neighborhood, Found. The friendly bartender recommended a bottle of Cahors, and explained that it's the original French malbec, before Argentina got their hands on it, and is often cheaper than it's more popular cousin (I count that as the one new thing I learned that day). The delicious kale salad, the fried oyster tacos, the pistachio meatballs, the impossibly crispy chicken wings, and the decadent Turkish coffee gelato sundae were only surpassed by the 3 hour conversation as we lingered at our table and flipped through books that were technically part of the decor. If you're in the area, or thinking of visiting, I'd definitely recommend you stop in for a while, you won't regret it.
But you're here for the cake, not restaurant recommendations or my gripes about the weather, and this one does not disappoint. This cake seems smaller in the picture then it was in real life; it's like the messages written on rear-view mirrors in cars, so please come closer. This baby consisted of 4 layers of butterscotch cake, each layer drizzled with a bit of chocolate rum sauce, filled and covered with generous layers of butterscotch frosting, and garnished with ganache for an extra accent of chocolate. In real life, this cake came out huge. The towering beast was made for a friend's birthday a few months back and after it fed over 30 people there were nothing but crumbs left on the plate (which is why, once again, there are no pictures of the insides).
Chocolate Butterscotch Cake
Adapted generously from Martha Stewart and the sauce is from Death by Chocolate. Note: The frosting will require some time to cool and set so you should start on that early, or even the day before to make sure you have everything ready when you go to assemble the cake.
For the Frosting:
12 ounces unsalted butter (3 sticks), 1 stick left whole, 2 sticks cut into small pieces, softened
2 cups packed dark-brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp coarse salt
20 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
For the Cake Layers:
Pam baking spray, for pans (or some melted butter and flour)
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp coarse salt
10 ounces (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups packed dark-brown sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp dark rum
1 1/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature
For the Chocolate Rum Sauce:
6 oz unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
8 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa, sifted
3 Tbsp dark rum
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsps instant coffee
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Chocolate Ganache Garnish (optional):
6oz semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1. Melt 1 stick butter in a medium saucepan
over medium heat until dark golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add brown
sugar, cream, and salt, stirring until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil,
whisking constantly, and cook for 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl,
and let cool.
2. Once the sauce has cooled and thickened turn your mixer on low and with the machine running, add remaining butter, a few pieces at a
time, and beat on low until incorporated. Raise speed to medium, and
beat for 2 minutes. In another bowl, beat cream cheese and
confectioners' sugar on medium-high until fluffy and smooth, about 3
minutes. Add brown-butter mixture to cream cheese, and beat until
smooth. Cover, and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours (or
overnight, beating on low speed before using).
3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans with Baker's Pam, line with parchment, and
coat parchment (or grease and flour with a bit of melted butter and a light dusting of flour). Set aside.
4. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a
5. Beat butter and brown sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed
until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time,
beating well after each addition, then add vanilla and rum. Reduce speed
to low. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk.
Raise speed to medium-high, and beat for 2 minutes. Divide batter among
6. Bake cakes until golden brown and testers inserted in centers
come out clean, about 40 minutes. Transfer pans to wire racks, and let
cool slightly. Invert cakes onto racks. Let cool completely.
7. Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in all the other ingredients. Bring to a boil and lower the heat, then allow to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool completely.
8. Chop up the chocolate and put into a bowl. Heat up the cream and the butter in a small pan just until the first bubbles appear at the edges then pour over the chocolate. Whisk everything together until the chocolate is all melted and incorporated and set it aside to cool to room temp and thicken.
9. To assemble the cake, trim tops of the 2 cake layers and then halve each one diagonally to make 4 layers, and place one on your serving plate, cut side up. Brush 1/4 cup chocolate rum sauce on the cut side of each cake layer including the one on the serving plate. Spread 3/4 cup frosting on the bottom layer, top with another cake layer sauce side down, spread more sauce on that and repeat, stopping when the last layer is up on top. Basically you want some sauce on both sides of each layer except the top and bottom with frosting in between. Spread a thin layer of frosting on
top and sides (your crumb coat). Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour, and then spread remaining frosting on top and
sides of cake. Pipe on your decorations with the cooled ganache or you can just rewarm it a bit and pour it over the top letting it drip down the sides if you like. Refrigerate
until firm, at least 4 hours (or up to 2 days, covered).