Friday, March 17, 2017

Lucky Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cake

I feel lucky
Very, very lucky
And probably not for the reasons
you might think.

Not because its the luckiest day of  all
St. Patricks Day

Not because I correctly picked
one single number  on
 the last Powerball  jackpot
(I still need to turn in that ticket 
for my $4.00hope its not too late)

Its because of this super-amazing twist of fate

A mistake.

Yes, a mistakehas caused me to feel like the
 luckiest girl in town.

Remember back to fair season
the long hours of planning, 
prepping, baking and more baking??

Its all coming back to me now
When you enter some competitions,
the rules require typed recipes
on specific forms, with specific steps
It can become quite tedious.

However, crossing all the ts and dotting all the is is 
how contests are often wonor lost in some cases.

The typed recipes help the judges in 
making decisions about flavors and preparation...

 If you win 
the fair board or company retains your recipe, 
the one you attached , the prize-winning
...which they may print or publish as they see fit  
In some cases, the same recipe may not be resubmitted.
Its all in the fine print.

Sometimesafter an all-nighter of baking
I am bleary-eyed and using my 
last bit of energy to type up the recipes.

This is not a good strategythis 
last minute Lucy approach to getting 
out the door with a car-load of pies 
and cakesof this, I am 100% sure.

When it comes to the recipe part of the day,  
I am usually rushed and frequently
encounter printing problems, I could run out of ink
any number of things can go wrong in 
that last stretch of the baking race.  
Usually I run into a few wrinkles.

There is a fine line between baking time, travel time 
and following all the rules so you don't accidentally
disqualify yourself.

Last August, I had printed off my 
chocolate cake recipe which I tweaked
 up until the very last moment.
In fairness, I could not have typed it up ahead...even if I 
had every duck in a row...
(Which we all know by now
 I did not have any ducks in any rows...
...ducks everywhere....)

When the recipe form emerged from the printer it
was unbelievably small hard to read
almost unreadable and I noticed I had left out an ingredient

Quickly, I added the forgotten ingredient, 
fixed the font size and zipped out the door
with my fair tags and pies of course.

After winning first place for what I can 
only describe as the best chocolate cake I have ever tasted 
I also handed in the only correct 
and legible copy of the recipe
Yepthats what I did.

In my hurried  and haggard state...
During the last hurrah of fair week, 
I didnt save the recipe
Nope, not saved to the computer
That would have been too easy.

So, what about luck…??  

Wheres the luck in losing a wonderful,
 original and winning recipe ??

The luck is in finding the mistake recipe, 
the discarded, no-good recipe  that I
cast aside during my frazzled exit.

Remember the teeny-tiny poorly printed, 
almost illegible copy that had to
 have an ingredient added  
If  I had not made the original error
I would have been left without any recipe.

I had the blue print to the most amazing,
chocolaty-chocolate cake ever 
one with an old fashioned caramel icing
dusted with flaked sea salt...    (Sigh...)

Rest assured,
 I edited this recipe to include all the necessary ingredients
 and I saved it properly.

Im sharing this lucky chocolate cake with you today. 
First Place 2016 Chocolate cake from the Ohio State Fair. 
Please make sure you get a copy for yourself
 and share it with all your friends.
Life is too short to waste on less chocolaty chocolate cakes.

  Enjoy this cake and remember:
We all deserve a little luck every now and then

Perfection is overrated.  This cake is not.

Thank goodness for mistakes that come in the form
 of teeny-tiny unreadable recipes... 
destined for the trash bin, 
only to turn out to be our saving grace...

Sometimes happenings that appear to be 
mistakes  or set-backs at first 
 turn out to be the greatest of all blessings...
 and in this case, gave us  the   greatest of all chocolate cakes.
The greatest.


  In the history of my kitchen.  
The very best chocolate cake. Period.

Happily sharing my good luck with you...
Hoping you love this cake too!!  



Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake
Karri Perry, Blue Ribbon Kitchen blog
2016 Ohio State Fair Blue Ribbon


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
¾ cup dark cocoa powder- Hershey’s Special Dark
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda

2 cups granulated sugar
2  large eggs
¾ cup black coffee –cooled
1 tsp espresso powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup vegetable oil
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate-melted (1 Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar)

1 cup room temperature buttermilk

Caramel Icing:

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 ½ cups light brown sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
3 TBS heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 cups confectioner’s sugar
Large flake or coarse sea salt-1/4 tsp or to taste.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment rounds spray generously with non-stick cooking spray.  How-To: Use nonstick cooking spray to spray the bottom of pan, place parchment in the bottom and then spray bottom and sides again.

In a medium bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda, set aside.

In a second mixing bowl, add the sugar, eggs, cooled coffee, espresso powder, vanilla, oil and melted chocolate.  Mix well with a handheld electric mixer until combined and emulsified.  There should be no oily puddles on the surface.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in two parts, alternating with the buttermilk.  Mix until just combined and uniform in color, with no streaks of flour showing. Scrape down sides of the bowl and pour equal amounts of batter into prepared cake pans.

Bake in a preheated oven on the middle rack for 30-35 minutes or until the cakes are set and a toothpick comes out clean from the center.

After 5 minutes, loosen cake from edges of the pan with a paring knife if necessary.  Turn cakes out onto a cooling rack and carefully peel off the parchment paper.  Let cakes cool on racks until room temperature.

For the icing:
In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter and add the brown sugars.  Stir mixture until it boils, add the heavy cream and return to a boil.  Remove from heat and add the vanilla.  Let cool to almost warm and add the confectioner’s sugar using an electric mixer.  Add a little sugar at a time until desired consistency is reached.  Working quickly, while icing is fluid, ice the cake, icing the, middle layer, top and sides of the cake.  Sprinkle with large flake or coarse sea salt to finish.

The only thing that could possibly
help this story have a happier

You  guessed it...


  1. what can I use in place of coffee? Thanks.

    1. Hi Pam, Our grocery sells instant espresso in the coffee aisle. You could invest a few dollars in the instant espresso, and make a weak version of coffee/espresso to use in place of the coffee. You just add hot water... Hope that helps. The coffee flavor helps the chocolate flavor come through.