Happy Birthday, Son!

Hello, my dear friends.  Usually, I write happy thoughts, but it's been quite a weekend with all  the latest happenings in the news.
 So, I'll try to focus on my son, Andres, whom I baked this cake for.  Andres is my youngest child, who turned 24 years old.  If you look at my previous posts, I speak  of my children highly,  and Andres doesn't come short.  He is one of the best human beings I've ever met.  Though, being diagnosed with a bone condition at the age of two, going through so much adversity in life, the condition doesn't make him who he is.  Andres should be the meaning of the word man in a dictionary. Quite a gentleman, good and fair, writes lyrics, and is the best uncle to his nieces and nephew.  I have learned more from him, then I have taught him.  He has taught me patience, perseverance, modesty, infinite love, and to live and enjoy every minute of life.  He usually finds a solution to everything and never gives up. He is also one of the funniest people I've ever met.
He loves chocolate, so for him, the best chocolate cake ever.  Everyone loved this cake; is so good that even Mr. Guava, aka my husband, loved it and told me is the best chocolate cake I have ever baked.  And I agree!

                                                      Chocolate Caramel Cake

Ingredients:                                                 Yield: 12 Servings

For The Cake

3 cups all purpose flour

3 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 1/2 cups warm water  (secret to a very moist cake)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Caramel Sauce  Click here


1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/4 plus 2 tablespoons warm water

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

1 lb semisweet chocolate, chopped and melted  (I used 2 boxes Baker's)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare 3 (9 inch) cake pans by spraying vegetable spray, cut  (9inch) parchment paper circles; place in cake pans, and again, spray with vegetable spray.  This way, cakes won't stick to pans at time of transfer. Set these aside.

In bowl of electric mixer, sift flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking soda,  baking powder, and salt.  Beat on low speed until well combined.  Add eggs, buttermilk, warm water, oil, and vanilla.  Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.  Scrape sides with rubber spatula to make sure all is well combined.
Divide batter into pans and bake for 35 minutes or until inserter comes out clean.  Let cool in pans and transfer to cooling racks.

Note: I baked cakes one day in advance, covered in Saran Wrap and refrigerated.  This way it's easier to cut each cake in half to make it 2 layers. This way, you will end up with 6 thin layers.

Make caramel sauce and let cool.  You can also make this one day in advance, refrigerate, and it will be easier to spread among layers.

To make the frosting:   Chop and melt blocks of chocolate in microwave, at 30 second intervals, until melted.  Whisk melted chocolate; set aside.
In small bowl, whisk together cocoa and warm water until cocoa dissolves.
In the bowl of electric mixer, beat butter and confectioners' sugar at medium speed until fluffy; add melted chocolate and cocoa mixture until well combined.  Let stand for 30 minutes.

Always trim tops of cakes to create a level surface.  Cut each cake into halves horizontally with a serrated knife to form 6 layers.
Place first layer on serving dish, spread  about 4 tablespoons  caramel sauce.  Do not spread to rims, because it will overflow.  Place next layer and repeat process with the other layers, except top layer.

Note: I inserted four plastic straws vertically, trimming to size of cake.  This way, layers will keep in place. Refrigerate cake for one hour.
Frost cake in a swirling motion.



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