Chocolate Nirvana Cake
photo by Lavender Lynn
- Ready In:
- 2hrs 10mins
- 3⁄4 cup butter, softened
- 3 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate squares, melted
- 3 cups flour
- 3 teaspoons baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 3⁄4 cup buttermilk
- 1 1⁄3 cups boiling water
- 1 (12 ounce) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1⁄2 cup butter
- 1⁄2 cup half-and-half
- 1 tablespoon almond extract
- 1 1⁄4 cups brown sugar
- 2⁄3 cup lt corn syrup
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1⁄2 cup half-and-half cream
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons jello vanilla instant pudding mix (dry powder)
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 2 tablespoons butter
- salt, to taste
- 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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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.