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Dulce de Chocolate Cake

I figured a gargantuan slice of chocolate cake was in order this morning.  You see, this past weekend Scott and I signed a contract to officially add on a breakfast room addition and a screened-in porch to our existing home.  This idea has been sloshing around between us for the past two years and to see it finally come to fruition is nothing short of exciting!  I’ve posted a few pictures over at my Flickr Account of the original space.  Once work begins in a couple weeks, I’ll upload weekly pictorial updates for those interested in following along.

Aside from the need to celebrate in true chocolate style, this cake was also inspired by my new found addiction knowledge of homemade dulce de leche.  A couple weeks back I discovered that if you took a can of sweetened condensed milk, placed it in a large simmering pot of water, and let it sit for about three and a half hours, Blammo!  Out came the most delightfully delicious, completely creamy, totally dreamy, caramel sauce.

Apart from eating the entire can with a spoon, I simply had to create a recipe.  I initially tried it out on a banana cream pie.  Epic Fail.  I placed the dulce at the base of the crust before putting on the custard and the moisture made it reliquidize (because sometimes you just need to create your own word.  Am I right or am I right?) and spill out all over the pan.  Tasty, but not so pretty.  My next attempt was a take on German chocolate cake using the dulce as the caramel filling.  I’m happy to report that the results were much prettier and just as tasty.

I’m sure you’re ready to bake up your own slice so let’s get cooking shall we?

Start out by scraping up a little quality chocolate.  I went all out and used the fancy shmancy Scharffenberger I received at BlogHer Food a couple months back.

Chop up the bar and add it to the bowl with a bit of the cocoa powder.  Pour a little boiling water over the top, stirring it around a few times to get the chocolate good and melted and then set it to the side.

In a mixing bowl cream together a pile of butter and a couple cups of sugar.  Add in a few eggs and a little vanilla for good measure.

Mix it together and then add in a bit of mayonnaise.  I’ve always wanted to try adding mayonnaise to a cake.  Another check off the baking bucket list.

Grab one final bowl and mix together a few standard dry ingredients; you know the ones.  Flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

Alternating between the two, add the chocolate and the flour back into the mixing bowl, about a third at a go, combining the batter between each addition.

Once it’s all combined, pour it into three prepared baking pans.

Slide them into the oven and cook them until they’re ready be cakeitized. (another MC dictionary entry).

While the cakes are cooling we’ll whip up a little frosting.  Grab some butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, milk, cocoa, and a few tablespoons of the dulce de leche.  And yes, feel free to lick the spoon once you add it in.

Set out your first layer of cake and spread about half of the remaining dulce over the top.  Sprinkle a hearty handful of coconut on top of that.  If you have pecans and are feeling a bit frisky, sprinkle them on as well.  I didn’t realize I ran out of said nuts until heading to the pantry to grab them for said cake.

Rinse, repeat and place the top on your cake.  Finally, grab up that bowl of fabulous frosting and slide it around your beautiful bite of bakery.

Take a look at that work of art.  If that doesn’t make you want to grab a fork and a glass of milk I don’t know what will.

My advice?  Find a reason to celebrate and bake up a chocolate cake.  Today.  Or, if you’re looking for an easy out, simply boil up a batch of dulce de leche and grab a spoon.  I’ve found many hours of happiness through both methods of celebration.  Trust me on this one.

Dulce de Chocolate Cake

Total Time: 1 hour 15 min

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
3 Oz. Dark Chocolate, Chopped
1 Cup Boiling Water
11/2 Sticks Butter
1 Cup White Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Cup Mayonnaise
3 Cups Flour
11/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 14 Oz. Can Dulce de Leche

For the Frosting:
1 Stick Butter
4 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Tbsp Milk
3 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
4 Oz. Coconut Flakes

Directions:

To a bowl add the cocoa powder and chopped chocolate.

Pour the boiling water in with the chocolate and stir it up until completely melted.

In a separate bowl cream together the butter and both the sugars.

Beat in the eggs and vanilla and then stir in the mayonnaise.

In a third bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Alternate adding and mixing the flour and the chocolate to the creamed mixture until all combined.

Pour batter into 3 9" prepared cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the cakes are cooling, whip together the frosting ingredients; the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, milk, cocoa, and 5 Tbsp of the dulce de leche*.

Take the remaining dulce de leche and spread half of it over the first layer of cake.

Spread half the coconut flakes over the top.

Place the next layer of cake and repeat the dulce de leche and coconut.

Place the final layer on top and frost with the prepared frosting.

*To make your own dulce de leche, simmer a can of sweetened condensed milk completely covered in water for 31/2 hours. Remove from the water and allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before opening.