Chocolate Nirvana Cake

"Dense moist chocolate cake layered with ganache, homemade caramel sauce, fresh whipped cream and toasted pecans!"
photo by Lavender Lynn photo by Lavender Lynn
photo by Lavender Lynn
photo by Lavender Lynn photo by Lavender Lynn
Ready In:
2hrs 10mins
36 cupcakes




  • CAKE:

  • Preheat oven to 350*. Grease 3 round cake pans(I also line the bottom with waxed paper). Set aside.Put water on to boil.
  • Mix together flour, soda and salt. set aside.
  • Beat together butter and sugar until light.
  • Add eggs and vanilla.
  • Add chocolate and beat 1-2 minutes.
  • Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture, alternating with buttermilk.Beat until smooth.
  • Slowly add boiling water, beating until completely smooth-batter will be thin.
  • Pour into pans. Bake 35-40 mins, until tester comes out clean.
  • While baking, make ganache, caramel and whipped cream.
  • Cool cakes in pans for 10 mins, then unmold onto racks to finish cooling.
  • CARAMEL-cook sugar, corn syrup and butter over low heat until 242*. Remove from heat and add cream and vanilla.Cool. Will thicken as it cools.
  • GANACHE-Melt butter, chocolate chips and cream over low heat.Whisk in almond extract. Cool.
  • WHIPPED CREAM- Whisk cream until it just begins to thicken, then add pudding powder. whisk until ready.Refrigerate.
  • PECANS- put butter on a cookie sheet& melt in oven (can toast pecans while baking cake)- when butter is melted, toss pecans in pan until coated. bake @ 350 until toasty smelling (~10 mins- watch carefully, they burn easily!)Salt to taste.
  • When everything is cool, assemle the cake:

  • Place first layer on cake plate. Plop 1/3 of the whipped cream onto cake. Drizzle caramel and chocolate over cream. Repeat for next 2 layers, but be a little "artistic" with the top layer-oozing the caramel and chocolate over the sides of the cake. Sprinkle liberally with pecans!

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  1. kellyrae1
    To die for! Made it yesterday for my boyfriend's bday - major hit - everyone loves it!
  2. GaylaV
    What a wonderful delight this cake was! I made it for my son's birthday and we all enjoyed it. I did sub sliced almonds for the pecans due to allergies and they tasted great. Only one little change, I decreased the almond extract to 1tsp. (in the ganache) and it was ample. I don't own a candy thermometer and I think I took the carmel sauce off the heat a little early, no problem, it wasn't thick but it was delicious! This will make many more appearances at our table. Thanks for sharing your recipe.
  3. Lavender Lynn
    We're all wandering around the house rubbing our tummies and gushing about how good this cake is! And how huge! Toasted pecans and multiple sauces with a creamy filling add up to the "leaning tower of nirvana," as DS20 called it. Made for Pick A Chef Spring 2008.



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