Our September Martha Monday assignment was this decadent Halloween inspired cake, Chocolate Caramel Layer Cake. The cake itself is moist and chocolaty. It was easy to make but it was not easy to handle! A large sheet cake like this really needs a sturdier cake batter. Were I to make this cake again (and I would because it is so tender and yummy) I think I'd stick to baking it in three round cake pans and doing a traditional round layer cake.
On to the frosting! The frosting required lots of steps. First came the caramel. Sugar, water, and cream, a basic straightforward recipe. Then the buttercream. A whole pound of butter was whipped into an egg white and sugar mixture. A whole pound of butter! The caramel was added in at the last with a bit of salt and vanilla. Yum.
Once the cake was frosted, the next step was to make these fancy looking caramelized cobwebs. The directions tell you to heat the sugar and water together until the mixture is amber in color. Then set the pan in a ice-bath to stop cooking. DO NOT DO THIS! My sugar immediately stiffened and seized up. Thankfully, putting it back onto the burner remelted it and fixed it but not without a few expletives. My cobwebs were not really the most graceful of cobwebs but they were rather charming and my children liked them.
Martha also gives directions for making licorice spiders for the cobwebs but I indulged my distaste of licorice and omitted them.
Finally, the recipe directs you to cut the cake into 12 squares. I want you to know that you can feed twice as many people with this cake. I made myself sick eating one-twelfth of this cake in one sitting. But, if you are looking for a dessert for a big Halloween bash, this cake just might be what you are looking for. Everyone will be very impressed.