Salted Chocolate Ganache Cake

When did salt start becoming something you not only douse your savory food with, but also your sweet?  Now, scientifically speaking, I know that salt does something in the baking process to make sure everything works correctly – but salt sprinkled on top of sweets is something more recent.  I don’t remember when I was little eating salted caramel – or salted chocolate.  I do remember loving chocolate covered pretzels though.  My first taste of chocolate covered pretzels was at a store I worked at in high school.  This store sold a little bit of everything – gifts, cards, jewelry, invitations, stickers, and even sweets.  Every once in a while we couldn’t stand it, and we would break open a package of something delicious – for me it was even more of a treat since I was not allowed sweets at home.  Those chocolate covered pretzels were my favorite – that salt with the sweetness of the chocolate was such an interesting combination.  I make chocolate covered pretzels every year around the holidays (rocky rods), but for some reason when I made this cake, I thought of my first taste of salted chocolate.  This recipe came from Cooking Light, and I followed it exactly.  The cake was so nice and fluffy – and the frosting was perfect – just a thin layer of ganache with the salt on top made you keep coming back for more.

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 2  teaspoons  cake flour
  • 5.3  ounces  sifted cake flour (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1/2  cup  packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4  cup  butter, softened
  • 1  large egg
  • 3/4  cup  evaporated fat-free milk
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 2  large egg whites
  • 3  tablespoons  dark brown sugar
  • 2 1/2  ounces  dark chocolate, divided
  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • 1/4  teaspoon  sea salt or fleur de sel

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°.

Coat 1 (9-inch) round cake pan with cooking spray; dust with 2 teaspoons flour.

Weigh or lightly spoon 5.3 ounces flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and baking powder in a bowl; stir with a whisk. Place 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add egg; mix well. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in vanilla.

Beat egg whites with a mixer at high speed until foamy using clean, dry beaters. Gradually add 3 tablespoons sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold half of egg white mixture into flour mixture; fold in remaining egg white mixture. Grate 1/2 ounce chocolate; fold grated chocolate into batter. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 23 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on a wire rack.

Chop the remaining 2 ounces chocolate. Combine chopped chocolate and 1 tablespoon butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM 1 minute or until chocolate melts, stirring every 15 seconds. Spread chocolate mixture over top of cake; sprinkle evenly with sea salt. Cut into 8 wedges.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Salted Chocolate Ganache Cake

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4 thoughts on “Salted Chocolate Ganache Cake

  1. I had this amazing chocolate tart the other night at a restaurant. It had a sprinkling of sea salt AND a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on it. Incredible tasting! I think the salt really helps cut the sweetness and gives chocolate more complexity. The olive oil just adds to the luxuriousness.

  2. This tart looks absolutely amazing. I’m still trying to like the salted/sweet combo. I don’t like to taste that much salt in my sweets, but I always add in the bare minimum. I may have to be bit more intrepid soon. :)

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