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Happy Valentines Day-Chocolate Layer Cake With Whipped Chocolate Caramel Ganache Frosting

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I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day but one thing I love to do is make a special dessert, usually containing chocolate. The cake is chocolate, my favorite go to recipe from Hershey and the frosting is one that I developed and entered in a contest at Food52, I was lucky enough to win the contest with this simple and very delicious frosting, there is no added sugar so it’s not cloyingly sweet and is it’s very light. Three layers of cake piled high with chocolate caramel whipped ganache is a great way to celebrate this day that celebrates love. Speaking of love, February 13th is Percy’s gotcha day, I will forever be grateful to Emily for letting me adopt Percy and although he cannot have chocolate cake I will make him a special dinner, his outfit a vest, white shirt and red bow time was made by an uber talented designer I met on Instagram see her work @thestylishbisou, she is amazing.  I made a 8 inch 3 layer cake and the recipe for the ganache made just enough to fill and frost the top, you can easily double the recipe for more frosting to cover the entire cake.

I am bringing this special Valentines cake with me to Fiesta Friday #158 and the co hosts this week are Ai @ Ai Made It For You and Petra @ Food Eat Love Check out all the gorgeous food and join us all at the party.

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Hershey’s Best Chocolate Cake

makes 24 cupcakes, two 9 inch layers or three 8 inch layers

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder

2 cups sugar

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp espresso powder (optional)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup whole milk at room temperature

2 large eggs at room temperature lightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350 degree’s. Line muffin pan with liners or butter and flour cake pans.

Whisk dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. In 4 cup measuring cup add the wet ingredients and whisk together. Add to the dry ingredients and mix with electric mixer for 2 minutes. In the meantime put water on to boil and add the 1 cup boiling water to the batter and mix with electric mixer for 1 minute or until combined.

The batter will be thin, thats ok it’s supposed to be that way. Pour into prepared pans and for cupcakes bake 20-25 minutes. Layer cakes 30-40 minutes depending on size of the pan. Cake is done when tester inserted in middle comes out clean.

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Whipped Chocolate Caramel Ganache

Chocolate Caramel Sauce:
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons salted butter cut into tablepoon-size pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 ounces dark chocolate (I used bittersweet)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Put the heavy cream in a glass measuring cup and microwave on high for 45 seconds, add chocolate and microwave another 30 seconds Stir until its smooth, add the vanilla extract and stir to combine, add the butter to the warm chocolate cream and set aside .
In large saucepan add the sugar, turn heat to med/high and let sit until it starts to liquefy. Swirl the pot and gently move  with a heat proof spatula.  Cook until it turns amber in color.
Remove from heat and add the chocolate cream. Stir until its incorporated. Be careful when adding the cream and butter the hot liquid sugar will bubble and could burn you. Store in a container at room temperature until ready to use. If you make this ahead of time, simply place the bottle or jar in hot water to warm the caramel so it’s pourable. Note: I changed this slightly, instead of adding the butter and then the choolate cream. I added the butter to the warm chocolate cream and added it all at once after removing the caramel from the heat.
Ganache :
4 ounces dark chocolate broken into small pieces
4 ounces milk chocolate broken into small pieces
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon liquor (I like cointreau or kahlua) or vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate caramel sauce
Heat cream to scalding (not boiling). Pour over the pieces of chocolate that are in a mixing bowl. Let sit 5 minutes then stir until there are no pieces of chocolate and it’s smooth and shiny, then add the chocolate caramel sauce and stir to combine.
Place bowl in an ice bath or in the refrigerator until cooled but not COLD  — it will stiffen fairly quickly if it gets too cold. Remove from the ice bath and beat with a mixer or whisk until the ganache is fluffy and spreadable. Frost the cake immediately. Best served at room temperature.

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Percy

Percy

99 Comments Post a comment
  1. Yum-Yes please…Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Mr. “Percy” !

    February 13, 2017
    • Thanks so much Cheryl, Percy is sleeping thru the festivities, LOL!!

      February 13, 2017
      • LOL he needs his beauty rest!!! So handsome in his outfit!!! Tyler is sleeping as well, afternoons are his nap time!!!

        February 13, 2017
      • Ha, Percy loves to sleep, he moves from the day bed to the bed and in between naps he likes to eat. What a life, LOL. Kisses to sweet Tyler.

        February 13, 2017
      • He was happy to receive them from you!!! xxoo

        February 13, 2017
      • 😘😘😘

        February 13, 2017
  2. Maria DeBrango Stickel #

    Sounds like heaven. Can’t wait to see you on Saturday, Feb. 25.

    February 13, 2017
  3. Happy Gotcha Day to Percy! (What an adorable term.) Suzanne, it was as if I could smell this frosting the instant I saw your lovely photo. I know I can’t have the cake (eggs) but I would be in hog heaven with a tub of this frosting. Congrats on the Food52 win. You certainly deserve it.
    Thanks for this delightful post. Mega hugs!

    February 13, 2017
    • The editors at food52 said that they just ate the frosting and I don’t know if it ever made it onto a cake, LOL, thank you so much. It is not a recent contest, I haven’t entered one for a long time but haven’t made this since that contest, Massive hugs my friend.

      February 13, 2017
  4. This cake looks divine.

    February 13, 2017
  5. What a lovely cake Suzanne; looks absolutely decadent. Very appropriate for V-Day 🙂

    February 13, 2017
  6. Suzanne, that cake is stunning. I love both recipes you use- your frosting is incredible! And Percy darling, you look smashing. Handsome as the day you were born! I love you both!

    February 13, 2017
    • Thanks so much Em, isn’t he a handsome boy in this little outfit. He is so good and allows me to dress him up but he really doesn’t like it at all. Love you too and thank you!!

      February 13, 2017
  7. So wonderful- I am so hungry, really ! A very happy Valentine’s Day- and kisses for Mr Percy so smart – too – amitiés – france 🙂

    February 13, 2017
    • Merci France, Je ne suis pas sûr que vous ayez jour de valentines en France. It’s always good to celebrate anything with chocolate. Thank you so much and have a great day!!

      February 13, 2017
  8. The cake looks absolutely Heavenly!! Perfect for the valentines!! Thanks for the share Suzanne!!

    February 13, 2017
  9. Your cake is absolutely beautiful, Suzanne!

    February 13, 2017
  10. ❤❤❤❤❤🎂❤❤❤❤❤
    HAPPY ST. VALENTINE’S DAY

    HI…PERCY…🐶…enjoy your day

    February 13, 2017
  11. Percy is so handsome in that bow tie! ❤️ That chocolate caramel sauce and ganache mmm mmm… I can see why it would win a contest. Beautiful post spreading the love. Beautiful cake. 🙂

    February 13, 2017
  12. This cake is just beautiful as the debonnaire Percy! Chocolate and caramel is love language in my book and I hope you and your furry Valentine have a great day!

    February 13, 2017
    • Thank you so much Julie, isn’t Percy a dashing little gentleman. Happy Valentines Day!!

      February 13, 2017
  13. I’m with you on v-day! Gotta Love that chocolate cake of yours…yum yum! 😊

    February 13, 2017
  14. This looks amazing! And Percy is so cute 😍

    February 13, 2017
  15. Happy Valentine’s and Gotcha Day to you and Percy. Your cake looks delicious. I love Percy’s outfit.

    February 13, 2017
  16. Percy looks really cute 🙂

    February 13, 2017
  17. Such a festive looking cake. I love the combination of caramel sauce with chocolate! 🙂

    February 13, 2017
  18. Now wait a minute, if you bake a chocolate cake for Valentine’s, I call that celebrating it! But if you insist, we shall call it Percy’s Gotcha anniversary celebration date, right? And Percy of course is dashing as always. xoxo

    February 13, 2017
    • Well cake is about all the celebrating I do, lol. Thanks Kathrin. We celebrated Percy’s gotcha day he had a nice dinner and a good walkie. Happy Valentine’s Day my dear ❤

      February 13, 2017
  19. Oh my just gorgeous!

    February 13, 2017
  20. Oh my lord this is something I need to try!!

    February 14, 2017
  21. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Percy. The chocolate cake sounds luscious!

    February 14, 2017
  22. skd #

    Yumm…this is so indulgent ☺

    February 14, 2017
  23. This cake looks gorgeous!! And it’s got to be good with a contest-winning frosting😉
    Happy Gotcha Day, Percy! You look dashing in your vest and bow tie. I’m sure all the girls’ eyes were on you haha.
    Thanks for sharing such a beautiful cake! Happy Fiesta Friday!!🎉

    February 14, 2017
    • Happy Fiesta Friday and Happy Valentines day and thank you so much.

      February 14, 2017
  24. Happy Valentine’s Day Suzanne! I must say that your cake looks absolutely decadent! I wasn’t planning on baking anything today but now you’ve got me second guessing myself 🙂 As always, Mr. Percy looks dashing 🙂

    February 14, 2017
  25. Percy is beyond cute in his little outfit and I would love to have a piece of that cake with chocolate caramel sauce…sounds so so good!! Happy Valentine’s Day Suzanne😊

    February 14, 2017
  26. hannahkheitz #

    This looks like a must make 😍

    February 14, 2017
  27. Holy crap Suzanne! This is incredible. I don’t want the recipe, I want a slice! Happy Valentine’s Day sweet friend!

    February 14, 2017
    • Happy Valentines Day Michelle, thank you so much, sending a virtual piece to you!!

      February 14, 2017
  28. An amazing cake for a perfect occasion !

    February 14, 2017
  29. Superb! The photos are gorge, Percy looks so cute and that cake looks so delish! Congrats on the contest!! I must have missed and/or forgotten that post!

    Mollie

    February 14, 2017
    • Thanks Mollie it was over a year ago since that contest I haven’t made that recipe since the contest. It’s really a great frosting and I love the chocolate caramel.

      February 14, 2017
      • Well, of course I clicked over to the Food52 post and saw it HAD been awhile! And to think all this time I’ve been missing out! Perfect for VD day!! 🙂

        February 14, 2017
  30. Gorgeous! The frosting sounds amazing!

    February 14, 2017
  31. Hi Suzanne, firstly happy February 13th day for you and Percy. What a beautiful day for the both of you 🙂 Percy looks very handsome in his outfit, wow! and hope he enjoyed a restful Valentine’s Day.
    Your cake sounds mouthwatering good, and that frosting 🙂 I definitely will be baking that, thank you!
    Suzanne, how is little Luna doing? Has she been placed in a forever home? Shame, I think about that little one often.
    Have a wonderful day. Hugs to handsome Percy. 🙂

    February 15, 2017
    • Hi Lynne; thank you so much!! Luna is in her forever home with a wonderful family in Delaware. It was an amazing connection because the daughter has epilepsy and she and Luna already have a very special bond. Luna is doing so well and is so loved. She has cluster seizures infrequently and they are taking her to their vet this week. I am in constant contact and they send me pictures and video’s. It’s a happy match and Luna is thriving❤

      February 15, 2017
      • Aww thank you so much for letting me know. I really appreciate it. I am so pleased Luna is in her forever home and is so loved. I really feel for her. I can just imagine the special bond their daughter must have with Luna. I hope and pray all will be well for little Luna and that her vet visit goes well. Thanks once again for the beautiful update. ❤

        February 15, 2017
      • I am so thrilled for Luna and for her new family. They adore her and she them. It hurts their heart when she has these cluster seizures and they are concerned and hoping their vet can pinpoint what could be causing them.

        February 15, 2017
  32. Looks so delicious!!

    February 15, 2017
  33. Hey Suzzane! The cake looks divine! Percy looks like a complete gentleman 🙂
    As a token of appreciation, I’m sharing this recipe link as the Recipe of the Day on our Facebook group ‘Recipe Repertoire’ (a group uniting food bloggers and food lovers). Congrats and do join and have a look at https://www.facebook.com/groups/703073099864104/
    Happy Feb 13th to you both!

    February 16, 2017
    • Hi and thank you so much. I’ll head over to the facebook group. Very kind of you.

      February 17, 2017
      • Complete pleasure! See you there!

        February 18, 2017
  34. Oh my, I adore Percy’s outfit!! This cake looks amazing and I love the icing you came up with. I hope you had a nice Valentine’s!

    February 16, 2017
    • Thanks Antonia, I love Percy’s outfit as well. It is so well made, really amazing. Thank you so much.

      February 16, 2017
  35. I ❤ Percy!!! Beautiful cake Suzanne – I remember making the Hershey's chocolate cake recipe a long time ago – and with your frosting and fruit – this is just divine. Happy belated Valentine's Day!

    February 16, 2017
    • Thank you so much haven’t seen you post in a while, hope you are well.

      February 16, 2017
  36. Hey Suzanne! Hope you had a happy adopt-aversary with Percy!! He’s looking great! And that cake– chocolate cake is definitely my weakness and the whipped cream ganache looks so luxurious with that pretty fruit. So pretty! hugs hugs friend!

    February 16, 2017
    • Hi Rhonda, thank you so much. I have a weakness for cake and of course anything chocolate. Hope you have a wonderful weekend and that all is well.

      February 16, 2017
      • Thanks Suzanne– weekend here is lovely –visiting my daughter in Wisconsin (after missing a flight–long travel day!!) and it’s the best! What are you up to? Have work commitments? Kicking back? Have plans? Hope it’s lovely Suzanne… xo

        February 17, 2017
      • Sounds wonderful Rhonda. I am working on Sunday and Saturday think I’m going to do some cooking, Have fun!!

        February 17, 2017
  37. This cake looks gorgeous! I love chocolate, and this cake is like a fantasy!

    February 17, 2017
  38. This is so gorgeous!

    February 17, 2017
  39. Looks so yummy! 🙂

    February 21, 2017
  40. Percy makes me smile. 🙂 A BEAUTIFUL chocolate cake.

    February 23, 2017
  41. Dear Suzanne,
    This cake looks so divine. Congrats on your win! I can totally see why they picked this cake. I can’t wait to try it out this weekend. I am a chocolate fanatic and this cake just seems perfect! Would it make any difference to the texture and taste of the ganache if I used light or non fat cream instead?

    February 24, 2017
    • Thank you so much Dallana, the cake is wonderful and one of my favorites. The whipped ganache is delicious and although I have never tried with light or non fat cream I think a light cream would work just fine. I would shy away from non fat but if you try it let me know how it works. Ganache is traditionally made with full fat heavy cream but I think a light cream would work. Let me know if you try. Thank you again.

      February 24, 2017
  42. This looks soooo mouth watering!

    July 2, 2017

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  1. What If You’re Alone on Valentine’s Day? | Author Mary J. McCoy-Dressel

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