I like to think I have a reasonably sophisticated palate. I like very dark chocolate with whiskey, I like aged cheeses and I am probably unreasonably picky about salami. But I’ll confess that I love me a bad chocolate bar. Mars bars? Check. Snickers. You betcha. Bounty bars? Couldn’t live without them. So last October when Martha Stewart Living Magazine did an article on making chocolate bars into elegant desserts you know she had me. I am still wanting to try her peanut butter chocolate mousse tart but the one dessert I kept coming back to was her 100 Grande Bar Cake. Dark Chocolate cake with layers of caramel and crispy popped rice covered in milk chocolate. I know. How good does that sound.

So after months of lusting after this picture I finally got around to making it for my wonderful friend Andrew’s birthday. There are a couple changes I’ve made to the original recipe. I use a different cake batter, which is also a Martha recipe though, because I find it to be a darker and better textured cake. I also caramelize the sugar more then Martha does, and I think that that’s just a better idea. So there.

Now, I know this cake looks like alot of work, and I’d be lying if I said I said I didn’t spend the afternoon in the kitchen for this one. But this cake was amazing. Everyone at the table said it was the best cake they’d ever had. Not one of the best, THE best. So make it. Oh, I’ve also upped the amount of Chocolate covered rice, because I absolutely could not stop eating it while I was baking.

Dark Chocolate Cake

    12 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pans

    2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans

    1 1/2 cups sugar

    3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

    3/4 teaspoon baking soda

    1 large whole egg, room temperature

    1 large egg white, room temperature

    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    1 1/3 cups strong, hot coffee

  • ┬áPreheat oven to 350F
  • Butter and Flour two 8 inch round pans
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add in cocoa powder, mix until combined.
  • Add in eggs and mix on medium-high speed for another 2 minutes.
  • With the mixer on slow add in a third of the dry ingredients. Add in the half the coffee and vanilla.
  • Continue alternating dry and wet ingredients. It may look like somethings gone terribly wrong when the hot liquid hits but I promise it’s fine, the cake will be delicious.
  • Pour into prepared pans and bake until an inserted skewer comes out with only a couple moist crumbs, about 30-40 minutes.

Crisped-rice

1 1/2 cups crisped-rice

9 oz. Milk chocolate

  • melt milk chocolate in a double boiler.
  • Pour over rice.
  • Pour onto a a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Freeze for the first 45 minutes,
  • Cut into rough chunks about a half inch in size, but basically small pieces. Store in the fridge until ready to assemble cake.

Caramel Sauce

1/4 cup water

1 cup Sugar

1 cup Cream

1/2 cup Corn Syrup/Golden Syrup

3 tbsp Butter

1 tsp Vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

  • Combine sugar, water, and syrup in a sauce pan over medium heat until disolved.
  • Turn heat up to high until sugar becomes a nice dark amber colour.
  • Immediately pour in cream. It will bubble up so be careful.
  • Add in butter and salt.
  • With a candy thermometer bring heat to 236F
  • Carefully pour into a metal bowl or other heat proof dish. Keep in a warm place, if it gets to cold it will be hard to pour.

Assemble Cake

  • Put one layer of cake on cake stand
  • Crumble on pieces of chocolate covered crisped rice
  • Pour over half of caramel sauce
  • Put on next piece of cake and allow to set in fridge for about 10 minutes.
  • Use about a third of the frosting to make your crumb coat- Thinly coat the cake with icing not worrying if crumbs get into it. This seals the crumbs in.
  • Allow to set for about 20 minutes in the fridge.
  • Use the rest of the icing around the cake making it as smooth as possible.
  • Pour remaining caramel on top of cake, carefully spreading it out to drip over the edges.
  • Press crisped rice around edges of cake.
  • Eat much to much! Oh my goodness this cake is good.