I've been wanting to try this recipe for a few months now, ever since I bought the book, Baked: New Frontiers in Baking cookbook. A friend recommended the book to me, and I was able to check out a copy from the library. Well, after making several recipes that all turned out fantastic, I knew I had to buy it.
The special ingredient in this cake is Fluer de sel, a sea salt harvested from France. I bought mine at Williams Sonoma. You could probably substitute regular sea salt but I wouldn't suggest it; the Fluer de sel has a very unique flavor and really makes the cake special.
One thing I found with this recipe is that it has to be followed precisely. It requires making two batches of caramel, one salted and one not. I'm pretty much a veteran when it comes to making homemade caramel and wasn't intimidated about making the two different kinds, but I ended up throwing out my second batch. I ruined it when I waited a just a little longer than 1 minute to add the cream to the sugar mixture. The directions were to remove the sugar mixture from the heat and wait one minute before adding the cream, and I discovered that they mean exactly one minute, not two.
Aside from my caramel snafu, the rest went pretty smoothly. However, the process was quite time consuming as there are several steps. It took me most of the afternoon to make the caramel, the ganache, and to assemble the cake. That of course doesn't include the baking of the cake which I had done ahead of time.
All in all, I think the cake was delicious and well worth the effort. I will be making it again this week for a friend's birthday. I'm hoping the second attempt will prove to go a little more smoothly then the first.
3 years ago