It may seem odd that this cake is baked at 300°F instead of the usual 350°, but the lower temperature helps the cake to retain moisture, and it doesn’t crown so you won’t need to level it before frosting. I don’t consider the caramel corn on top optional, but feel free to use your favorite candy bars and chocolate toppings for this cake.
1package50 g Marich dark chocolate salted caramels
1 1/2cupsabout 2.5 oz. caramel corn
2Alter Eco Trufflesvelvet and salted caramel
Make the cake: Preheat oven to 300°F. Grease three 8-inch round pans with shortening. Line bottoms with rounds of parchment paper and grease paper.
Finely chop chocolate and combine it in a bowl with hot coffee or hot water. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Add oil, sour cream, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined. Divide batter between 3- 8” pans and bake in middle of oven until cake springs back when pressed in the center, approximately 40-50 minutes.
Cool layers in pans for 15 minutes on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto wire racks. Carefully remove parchment paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.
Make the frosting: In a 2 quart saucepan, stir together the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook without stirring until the mixture turns deep amber. Remove the pan from the heat source and slowly add the heavy whipping cream in a thin stream while whisking constantly. Be careful with this addition; the mixture will bubble and steam when the cream in added. Use a long handled whisk to avoid a steam burn on your hand; stir in the vanilla. Transfer the caramel to a separate bowl and let cool until just barely warm but still pourable.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and add the confectioners’ sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the motor running on low speed slowly pour in the cooled caramel. Beat on medium-high speed until completely combined, about 2 minutes. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel so the frosting doesn’t dry out as you assemble the cake.
Make the chocolate glaze: combine chocolate and heavy cream in a small saucepan and heat over medium-high until the milk begins to steam. Remove from heat and let stand 2-3 minutes; whisk until chocolate and cream and smooth and combined. Add corn syrup and vanilla. Whisk again until smooth. Place mixture in the refrigerator until thick but still pourable, about 10-15 minutes.
Assemble the cake: Place a chocolate cake layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Cover with a layer of caramel frosting; repeat once more and top with the third cake layer. Frost the outside of the cake with the remaining caramel frosting. Pour the cooled ganache over top of the cake and allow it to overflow and run down the sides. Insert candy bars standing upright into the top of the cake; top with caramel corn and chocolate candies.