Remember that awesome caramel/chocolate layer cake I wanted to make for Thanksgiving? Well, I didn’t make it for Thanksgiving. But I did make it for the day after Thanksgiving, so it was close enough.

I read the directions ahead of time so I knew I could bake the cake layers on Wednesday. The only problem with this is that I don’t own three nine-inch round cake pans, I only have one. So I had to grease, dust, pour, bake, cool, remove from pan, and cool some more three times. This makes “dividing batter equally among three pans” difficult since I couldn’t really gauge if they would turn out to be equal when pouring one at a time. I think I shorted the first layer a bit, so eventually I ended up with two normal-sized looking cakes and one very thin one. I spent some time looking at them trying to figure out how to get six layers, especially since I was pretty sure I couldn’t cut the first layer down any smaller.

This turned out to be a non-issue because I completely failed at the caramel making part, thus rendering the cake cutting unnecessary. I did however have the foresight to NOT cut the cakes until I was sure the middle ingredients worked out. Score one for me. The middle did not work out. Score one for Martha. (She makes it look sooooo easy. But deep down, I think she knew I would fail.)

When the caramel still looked promising.

I wasn’t about to throw away the cake, so instead I just put it together without the caramel. As far as chocolate-on-chocolate action goes, this cake was XXX. And Jay wasn’t at all upset because he hates caramel. (He also hates Charlie Brown. Boo, Jay.)

I took it to Tony’s for the after-Thanksgiving feast with the fam. It received semi-decent reviews. The icing was the best part, in my opinion.

But it would have been better with the caramel. I should have known better than to try to make something that was “so easy” when I was dead tired and in a rush. I know where I went wrong, I didn’t let it get dark enough. The timer went off after the recommended 14 minutes so in my haste I pulled it from the stove, poured in the heavy cream, and put it back on the burner. I bought a candy thermometer for this occasion. The directions specifically said to cook the caramel/cream until the thermometer read 238. Well, guess what Martha? I discovered as I went to look at the temperature that my thermometer was cheap and only went from 200-250. I had to guess where exactly 238 was. Obviously I guessed wrong.

I took the whole mixture off the stove and gave it a look on the counter. Amber color? Negative. Thick? Negative. Big chunks of un-melted sugar sticking to the spoon? Why yes, there were.

Perhaps you remember that the last time I tried to tackle a layer cake it went much like this. I seem to have a problem with my middles. Maybe if I were more of an optimistic person I would see this as a Layer Cake Partial Win because I did still have the cake after all.

Still looks good on the outside!

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