Monday, March 9, 2015

Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Cheesecake

I'm usually not a baker. Hate cookies because you have to do so many batches. Make cake instead of cupcakes because pouring into cupcake liners is too annoying. You get the picture.

So, I'll blame this baking undertaking on too much time on Pinterest of late.

I saw this post, and well basically, it looked amazing. 

I've never made a cake from scratch. I've never made cheesecake before. I've never made ganache or caramel sauce. This called for all 4, and homemade buttercream frosting to boot. 

Here is my finished cake: 

**In the future I'll remove the cheesecake layer. It was yummy but with every flavor being so awesome, I thought the cheesecake got lost -- and it was a lot of work to go unnoticed!**

I started with the caramel sauce - easy enough - done in 10 minutes. I did not use a candy thermonitor, just followed the times in her blog post. I did end up with double what is required for the cake (and she says to use within two weeks, so I recommend cutting in half). 

This is the sauce just starting to bubble. 

The end result: 2 medium sized mason jars full of Heaven sauce! 

Then I made the chocolate cake. This definitely was more work than a boxed mix but with the dark brewed coffee and dark chocolate cocoa powder it was worth the effort. 

Yum! This cake batter was wonderful! I contained myself and saved some for Josh. 

While the cake baked I made the frosting (you do need the caramel sauce for this, so definitely do the sauce prior to this). The frosting is to die for. 

Next mission: frost a cake without side crumbles contaminating the white frosting :(

Then I made the cheesecake in my brand new springform pan. Her directions were very clear (but tedious prep with tinfoil, parchment, roasting pan and kettle of boiling water) and the result was great. In the future I'll cook a few extra minutes (50-55) and then let sit for 30 in the oven off. 

Springform pan wrapped in two sheets of foil, a circle of parchment paper inside the pan, non stick spray. Inside a roasting pan with an inch of boiling water (ugh). 

Ingredients & directions:

Caramel sauce: 

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter on medium heat. Add sugars and 1/2 cup heavy cream. Continue whisking on medium heat until mixture comes to a boil (this process takes about 6-8 minutes). Reduce heat to medium low, whisking continuously, boil for about 3 more minutes, until temperature on a candy thermometer reaches 220 degrees. Add remaining 1/4 cup of heavy cream and whisk until blended. Cook on medium low an additional two minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Pour mixture into a pint sized mason jar and allow to cool at room temperature. Sauce will thicken as it cools. Refrigerate for up to two weeks. the sugars may crystalize when cold. You can reheat it in the microwave or bring it to room temperature.

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Using a large roasting pan on the lower 2/3 of the oven, preheat the pan too!
  2. Prepare springform pan by wrapping bottom of pan (outside) with double layer of foil. Spray pan with nonstick baking spray and line bottom (inside) with a circle of parchment paper. Meanwhile, boil a kettle of water to use later.
  3. Beat cream cheese with granulate sugar for 2-3 minutes until creamy. Add in salt and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in sour cream, heavy cream and vanilla. Pour into prepared 9inch springform pan. Place pan in center of preheated roasting pan in the oven. Pour boiling water slowly into the roasting pan, until there is about an inch of water coming up the sides of the springform pan.
  4. Bake cheesecake for 45 minutes. [For my oven, I'll do 50-55 minutes in the future]. Turn oven off and let cheesecake sit in oven for an additional 30 minutes. Remove and cool completely on counter.
  5. When cooled, transfer entire springform pan into the freezer for several hours or overnight. I put it in freezer for about 2 hours. **If using within 24 hours, feel free to just refrigerate cheesecake!


  1. In a microwave safe bowl, combine dark chocolate with heavy cream. Heat 30 seconds. Stir and heat an additional 30 seconds. Whisk for several minutes until smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
  2. Once cooled. Spread over top of chilled cake. Drizzle with remaining 2 Tbsp of caramel sauce and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve!
Chocolate Cake: 

  1. In a bowl, mix flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In a measuring cup, mix together cooled coffee and milk. Set aside.
  3. In an electric mixer bowl, beat butter and sugar for 5 minutes, until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Slowly add in dry ingredients alternating with the coffee/milk mixture (about 3 additions of each).
  4. Pour cake batter into two prepared pans (2-9inch round cake pans, lined with parchment paper and greased and floured). Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes. Remove and allow to cool about 10 minutes before removing from pans. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting: 

Beat butter in a large mixing bowl for 2-3 minutes, until fluffy. Add caramel sauce, powdered sugar, milk and kosher salt. Beat for 4-5 minutes until soft and creamy.


  1. This looks amazing!!! I'm impressed :)

    1. It definitely took more time than the recipe described but I had fun none the less!

  2. That is an intense dessert, and were the girls sleeping this whole time or Daddy on duty? Impressed!

    1. Intense is correct! I did it over 3 days. Some during naps, some at night, and a little while Josh watched the girls.