Like I said...This is no ordinary, run of the mill cake. I made the cake and the salted caramel one day and then the buttercream and ganache the following day. Whew! FYI...This is a LONG post, there are a LOT of steps in making this decadent C.A.K.E.!! Cake Adored Keeper Encore!) This cake is so intense it deserves capitals and periods and exclamation points!!! There is a lot of sugar and butter and ... yeah, you do not want to know the calories or fat content for this cake. I don't want to know! I ate my slice (or two...) in blissful ignorance! :)
The cake part of this recipe was okay, I think it fell short of my Best Chocolate Cake By Scratch recipe, but I really like that hot coffee was added instead of hot water, so I changed that in my recipe here.
Also... about Salted Caramel.... My daughter is a stickler for caramel. Soooo, not truly knowing what she would like, I bought one at the store and made the one here. Then we did a taste test. I did it with Hubs too. It was funny, both caramels were the same but different. The homemade one tasted like caramel right from the start and was sweeter. The store bought was sweet but you didn't really taste the caramel til the end. They were both good and I actually used both in the recipe. I preferred the homemade, Hubby couldn't tell the difference, and my daughter liked the store bought. Crazy right?!
Whisk until the egg whites form a thick, glossy bright white meringue.
The meringue will deflate and may even begin to look curdled.... Don't panic, its fine! Just keep adding the butter til all of it has been added. It should come back together and if it doesn't, don't worry....
If your mixture is runny, the butter could've been too soft or the meringue was too warm still, just refrigerate for about 15 minutes and then whip again.
If it still looks a bit curdled, here's the solution: Place about 4 Tbsp. of the meringue in a small bowl and microwave for about 15 seconds, it will become runny. While the stand mixer is whisking, pour this back into the bowl of buttercream down the side, and it should help it turn smooth. (I had to do this twice for it to work.)
I wish I had taken a picture of a slice of this piece of heaven.... But I didn't. You'll just have to trust me that this cake is gorgeous and divine. Now Hubby says the bar has been raised for birthday cakes. So, when his comes around, I better watch out!! :)
One last look.... So beautiful... (Photo courtesy of my daughter)