I made Dulce de Leche last week. Guys, it’s EASY! It takes a little time, but it’s super easy. Why oh why haven’t I done this before? Oh that’s right, because I didn’t have any reason to, until now. Now? What changed? Well… let’s start at the beginning.
Deb’s birthday was last Thursday. Every year on Memorial Day Weekend we find ourselves at the lake right around Deb’s birthday. We usually have a group dinner on Friday night, but Saturday night tends to be the BIG shindig. Then Sunday night we eat leftovers from the first two nights. It’s a lot of fun.
This year, plans stayed the same! I told everyone I was bringing the birthday cake. We also have another birthday that falls during Memorial Day Weekend, but I’ll focus on that cake later. Today, let’s talk about the Chocolate Dulce de Leche Cake because, oh. my. gosh. it’s amazing!
Initially I wanted to make a Mocha cake with Mocha icing. I wanted to make it an ombre style cake. You know, the bottom layer darkest, the middle layer middle, and the top layer lightest. Then I was going to make the icing coordinate. The icing pattern was going to be roses. But I stressed about it for over a week getting what I wanted and… well I just couldn’t figure out how to accomplish what I want. So I set out to google.
In the process of bugging my friend google, I stumbled across a blog called Liv for Cake. Like I said, my initial cake was a Mocha style cake. But when I saw at the bottom, posts you might like, I saw Chocolate Dulce de Leche cake. The pictures made it look AMAZING! I was pretty sure I was sold the minute I saw the picture. I guess pictures are better than a Thousand Words. Isn’t that the saying? Maybe it’s Pictures are worth a thousand words. Either way… I was sold!
This cake was amazing and worth every bite! Now, I mentioned briefly above that I made 2 cakes. This was the cake that everyone gravitated toward. Truthfully I grabbed a small piece of both and shared with hubby because I wanted and obviously needed to try both pieces.
One difference between mine and the recipe is she called for 3 6″ pans. I only had 8″ pans so we had a 2 layer cake. Hey, it was excellent! I also used coffee in place of the water on the actual cake. Yum! That pulled in my “mocha” thoughts. I was good with that.
p.s. if this sounds like I wrote this on 2 different days. I did. I started it yesterday and then we had to go to the hayfield and BAM, here I am this morning finishing up the post. Good deal :).
- 1½ cup All-purpose Flour
- 1½ cups Sugar
- ¾ cup Dutch-processed Cocoa Powder, sifted
- 1½ tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- ¼ cup Vegetable Oil
- ¾ cup Buttermilk, room temperature
- ¾ cup Hot Coffee (or hot water)
- 2 large Eggs
- 2 tsp Vanilla
- Dulce de Leche Buttercream:
- 3 large Egg Whites
- 1 cup Brown Sugar, lightly packed
- 1½ cups Unsalted Butter, cubed, room temperature
- ¼ cup Dulce de Leche
- 2 oz Dark Chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 oz Heavy Whipping Cream
- For Cake: Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease 2 8" cake rounds with parchment paper on the bottom, then spray sides and bottom with Baker's Joy (or do the grease/flour make up. Cocoa works best in place of flour on chocolate cake!)
- Sift all dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
- Whisk together wet ingredients into a medium bowl. Temper eggs so they don't scramble.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix together with stand mixer on medium for 2-3 minutes. The batter should be thin.
- Evenly distribute into prepared cake pans.
- Bake 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes in cake pans, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- For the Dulce de Leche Buttercream: Place egg whites and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Make sure no traces of egg yolk are in the egg whites and no trace of grease are on the whisk or the bowl. This will help to ensure the egg whites will stiffen. Whisk until combined.
- Place bowl over a hot water bath on the stove. Make sure to whisk constantly to combine the mixture and make sure no burning happens. When the mixture is no longer grainy to touch, you're ready to move on. (approx 3 minutes.)
- Now place the bowl on stand mixer and whisk on medium-high until egg whites form stiff peaks and the bowl is no longer warm to the touch. (approx 5-10 minutes.)
- Switch to the paddle attachment. Add cubed butter to the mixture and mix with paddle attachment until smooth. At points, the mixture may look curdled, but keep mixing. It will come together.
- Add the Dulce de Leche. Turn mixer to medium-high and whip until smooth.
- To save time, this can be done a day in advance.
- Ganache: In a microwave-safe bowl, add chocolate and whipped cream. Stir to combine.
- Microwave mixture for 20 seconds. Pull out and stir.
- Then microwave in 10-second intervals, stirring between, until a smooth consistency is reached. Remember, this can be done a day in advance. (refer to notes)
- Set aside to cool completely. This mixture will thicken slightly.
- Assembly: Put one layer of cake on the cake stand. Top with half the buttercream. Smooth.
- Repeat with next layer. Reserve some icing for top dollops.
- This is a "naked" cake, so smooth frosting on the outside of the cake layers with a thin crumb coat. It's fine if the cake itself shows through.
- Chill for at least 20 minutes.
- Using a spoon, add the chocolate ganache. Allow to drip down the sides. Pour chocolate in the middle of the cake and spread using an off-set spatula.
- Using a little of the reserved icing, use a large star tip (such as Wilton 1M) and put dollops of icing around the top to finish off.
Replace the water with coffee in the cake. Coffee is a good compliment to chocolate.
The ganache can be made a day ahead of time. Place in a bowl with plastic wrap right on the mixture. When time to warm up for use, remove plastic and place in the microwave at 10-second intervals until it reaches the right consistency.
Keep cake cold. When placing the chocolate on top, the drips will set quickly on cold cake.