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Salted Caramel “Ding Dong” Cake

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How would you rate Salted Caramel “Ding Dong” Cake?

  • I wanted to make this cake for years and then had a special occasion come up that it was perfect. This cake takes a lot of time to make, and it’s totally worth it. Several people told me that this was the best chocolate cake that they have ever eaten.

  • JOCELYNHSU (from VIENNA, VA) reported she found it was a mistake to use the gelatin mixture before it had cooled sufficiently. I found it is a mistake to let it cool all the way to room temperature, too, because it seized up and made lumps in the filling. I tried making the gelatin-stabilized whipped cream a second time using the Cook’s Illustrated method of removing ¼ cup of the cream, warming it, and mixing the gelatin dissolved in 2 T water into it. I let this mixture cool down to 90 °F (32 °C). Then, using a mixing bowl chilled in the freezer, I mixed the sugar with the remaining (cold!) cream and then mixed in the gelatin-cream mixture to that. The resulting mixture was 50 °F (10 °C) and whipped up very nicely.
    I also found that if the sugar is dissolved in the water in a Pyrex cup using the microwave oven before carefully adding the sugar mixture to the saucepan I didn’t have to use the pastry brush once, because no sugar got onto the sides of the pan while stirring to dissolve it. I used a white non-stick pan; this made judging the color of the carmelizing sugar much easier.
    This is a lot of work the first time but it’s a really nice cake that will go together easier the second time. I only rate it lower than a 4 because it won’t keep very well compared to cakes make with sturdier fillings. I understand why some reviewers wanted more chocolate in the ganache–which is more a thick sauce than a frosting–but I wouldn’t change that. I’d suggest that people who want something thicker might consider using less cream as an alternative to using more chocolate. I also wouldn’t make it again unless I had time to recover if the caramel got too dark.
    All in all, I’d encourage others to try it, but not under circumstances where there is pressure for everything to go right the first time, not unless you’re experienced with making caramels and stabilized whipped cream. That would take the fun out of it.

  • The end result is wonderful. Two errors on my part made this a tad tricky but it’s a lesson learnt for next time. My glide-out oven rack was too high up so I had to adjust mid-way through the baking process to avoid excessive browning. That problem is solved by making sure the baking rack is in a position that puts the top of the cake pans just above the middle of the oven. I had a bit of a crust on the cake layer tops that wasn’t necessary, and I’m sure I could’ve gotten a higher loft had I paid better attention.

    For the caramel, “deep amber” means just that, I brought it to just before “deep” and while it was OK, I think the ganache would’ve set up a little differently had I waited another minute or so. It was more than 9 minutes, more like 11 and could’ve gone further.

    One change I would make is to decrease the amount of salt in the ganache by a smidge and leave off the 1/8 tsp for a total a 1 tsp Kosher (very important) salt.

    The stabilized whipped cream with vanilla bean is a perfect filling. Very nicely written recipe with clear instruction, though not for the faint of heart 😉

    Cake slices should sit out at least 30 minutes before serving so the chocolate flavors can develop.

  • Thanks for all the tips, they were really helpful. Here are mine:
    *To avoid overflowing pans, 8 used three, 9-inch cake pans instead of two. Buttered them, used parchment and buttered it and used cocoa in the bottom to ensure cakes would come out easily
    *Took the layers out a few minutes early. They were moist but as others said, a bit crumbly. I put all theee layers in the freezer, which helped a lot with assembly. Two of my theee layers cracked when I took them out of the pan but the firmed up nicely after freezing
    *I made 1.5 times the ganache and whipped topping. With three layers the cake was taller than the sides of the springform pan. I wrapped a towel around the springform and set my largest springform ring on top of it. It was a little precarious but allowed me to stack and frost the layers without filling spilling out the sides. I whole thing back in the freezer.
    *After the cake was firm, I took it out of the freezer and filled in gaps between layers wth the whipped topping and put it back in the freezer
    *After putting the ganache between layers I refrigerated it, it did firm up and then I used my stand mixer and whipped it
    *The amount of whipped ganache was easily enough to frost the sides and top of th cake
    *for decoration I piled a bunch of mini marshmallows on top and torched them.that and the flaky salt on top looked and taste good
    *I did all of this on a Saturday and took the finished cake to a friends house for dinner Saturday night. It was super time consuming so I gave it a 3. It was delicious but I’m not sure I’d invest a whole day on it a s cons time. I will definitely use the gelatin/whipped topping filling again, it tasted great and help up well.

  • This cake was delicious. The cream filling tasted almost like a white chocolate mousse. Some reviews said the ganache tasted more chocolatey than like caramel, but I found it quite caramel-y. I bought a salted caramel ice cream to go with it, but that was way too much salted caramel flavor, so I’d go with a simple vanilla bean ice cream next time. The chocolate cake was incredibly moist. I’ll absolutely be making this again!

  • Loved by the entire family! Yum. It is work but is worth it!

  • Tastes ok. But not worth the effort.

  • I made the cake and ganache only and it came out great! The ganache seized up into one big caramel ball when I added the cream but after continued stirring it finally broke up into a smooth sauce. I took the cake out of the oven about 6-8 minutes early and it was moist and no crumbly mess. Made an ice cream cake replacing the filling with peanut butter ice cream.

  • This was a successful birthday cake. The cake itself has a nice bitter chocolate taste and a fine crumb. The chocolate caramel, even with the salt, was very sweet. Personally, it was too sweet for my taste, but it went over well with a bunch of 10-year-olds. I did not read through the directions to see that the marshmallow layer needed 6 hours to set, so I popped the assembled cake in the freezer for two hours and the fridge for an additional hour. This was enough for the marshmallow to set and for the cake to be frosted without difficulty.

  • Absolutely excellent cake! Had no issues with a crumbly texture. The caramel ganache is more chocolatey rather than caramely but still very, very good! I made it for Christmas, and everyone loved it. Topped mine with coarse sea salt. I’d make it again!

  • Have made this cake twice following directions exactly as stated. It is absolute perfection! Umami! The cake is better if it is pulled just as it is done – too long in the oven and it is a bit crumbly but easy enough to put back together. The second time I make it, I split the cake batter between 3 pans and then did 1 1/2 times the creme and ganache. Made a 3 layer….so beautiful when cut and not a morsel left. LOVE this recipe.

  • use box cake

  • I made this cake twice today: one with scharffen beger chocolate and one with ghirardelli. I accidently/sort of overcooked the scharffen beger. I watched the ghirardelli carefully and slightly undercooked. Everyone LOVED the ghrardelli cake. The cake was moist and the ganache was slightly sweeter. Moral of the story, for a moist (not crumbly) watch the cooking time and slightly undercook.

  • The ganache and filling were amazing, but the cake was a disappointment. It was too crumbly to stand up the work of physically moving it from one pan to another. The caramel ganache was a particularly wonderful surprise.

  • My previous review was about the cake, now that I had completed the whole cake… it’s divine! I wouldn’t change the recipe but couldn’t find vanilla bean used extract instead. The next time I will reduced the salt for the caramel a little too salty for my taste and have vanilla bean handy.

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