Friday, September 10, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me....Gluten-Free Sweet and Salty Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Cake


I can't decide if I am a cake or a pie person. Honestly, I think pies call to me more often than cake, but there is something about the look of cakes, cupcakes, and the process of making them that I just love. I love to bake cakes, but I don't get to do so often. When birthdays come around I always think "cake"

I have wanted to try this Sweet and Salty Cake from Baked in NYC for quite sometime. I love salted caramel and chocolate, and have playing with the idea of pretzels in dessert lately. Gluten-free pretzels actually taste pretty much like regular pretzels, and as such are a great option for dressing up gluten-free goodies.



For the flour mix I wanted to try out a coconut flour or peanut flour based mix. I thought - why not both? So I made a four layer 9 inch very large cake with two layers made with coconut flour and brown butter, and two layers with peanut flour and shortening. Because these flours are denser than wheat flour, the cake is fudgey and rich. I enjoyed the cake ever so slightly chilled - just a touch. A fine birthday present...


Gluten-Free Sweet and Salty Pretzel Cake

Adapted from Sweet and Salty Cake Recipe - MarthaStewart.com

  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup sour cream 
  • 1 cup coconut or peanut flour
  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose gluten free flour mix with xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening or browned butter, cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla 
  • 1/2 cup chopped pretzels
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter three 8-by-2-inch round cake pans. Line each pan with a parchment paper round, butter parchment paper and flour; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa, 1 1/4 cups hot water, and sour cream; set aside to cool, about 10 minutes.
  3. In another large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together until smooth and it appears to create strings inside the bowl, about 7 minutes. Add both sugars and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until well incorporated. Add vanilla, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and mix again for 30 seconds. Add flour mixture alternating with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  5. Divide batter evenly among the three prepared pans. Bake until cake is just firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 18 to 24 minutes. Let cool completely.
  6. Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to make level. Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy Susan. Place the first layer on the cake plate. Using about 1/4 cup of the caramel, spread a thin layer on the cake, allowing some of the caramel to soak into the cake. Sprinkle on 1/2 of the pretzels and pecans, followed by a layer of about 1 cup of the ganache icing. Place the second layer on top and repeat process with another layer of caramel followed by a layer of ganache icing. Place the remaining layer on top of the second layer bottom side up. Spread entire cake with remaining ganache icing. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.

Salted caramel

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel
  • 1/4 cup sour cream   
  1. Combine 1/4 cup water, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the mixture reaches 350 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in another small saucepan, mix together cream and salt. Bring cream to a boil and cook until salt has dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. When the caramel mixture has reached 350 degrees, remove from heat and allow to cool for 1 minute. Carefully add the hot cream to the caramel; stir to combine. Whisk in sour cream. Cool, and store in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

Caramel Chocolate Whipped Frosting
  • 1 pound dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces, softened but still cool


  1. Combine 1/4 cup water, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the mixture reaches 350 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.
  2. In another small saucepan add cream and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. When the caramel mixture has reached 350 degrees, remove from heat and allow to rest for 1 minute. Add the hot cream to the caramel; stir to combine. Let cool 5 minutes. Place chocolate in the bowl of an electric mixer and pour caramel sauce over chocolate. Let sit 1 minute before stirring from the center until chocolate is melted.
  4. Attach bowl to electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low until the bowl feels cool to the touch. Add butter and increase speed to medium-high until mixture is well combined, thickened, and slightly whipped, about 2 minutes.


2 comments:

  1. Congratulations on making one of the top blogs!

    Rita
    Gourmet Cupcake

    ReplyDelete
  2. WOW! This looks amazing! My mom is Gluten-free and so is my sister. I'll be sure to pass this recipe along. Thanks!

    Shelly
    mbossler@fridgetofood.com
    fridgetofood.com

    ReplyDelete