Chasing Delicious | Salt & Vinegar Chips Topped Chocolate Cake
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Salt & Vinegar Shoestring Chips Topped Chocolate Cake with Caramel Drizzle at Chasing Delicious

Salt & Vinegar Chips Topped Chocolate Cake

Salt & Vinegar Shoestring Chips Topped Chocolate Cake with Caramel Drizzle at Chasing Delicious

Vote for Chasing Delicious in the Saveur 4th Annual Best Food Blog Awards 2013NEWS: Chasing Delicious has been nominated for Saveur’s Best Cooking Blog for 2013! Show your support  for the chase by voting over at Saveur. Voting is open until Friday, April 19th. Chasing Delicious’s sister site, The Boys Club, has also been nominated for best cocktail blog!

Delicate little birds sing; all the while, they splash in puddles too. Leaves toss about their brown branch confines, filtering the faraway sunlight. Wind-tossed flowers seem to wave at me as I stroll past. My feet fall into a rhythmic pattern as I dodge small spider webs and scary patches of dark shrubbery. I push farther into the prairie; I’ve been lost for hours.

As if cued by a comic relief leitmotif, my left foot, and its worn blue and green Nike sneaker, splashes into an ill-placed puddle. I look down with a self-affirming sigh and roll of the eyes. I shake and toss my left leg, I hop up and down on the other, I stumble backwards; and then I fall flat on my ass, in the same puddle – cue that leitmotif.

Now below the tree-line of the tall prairie grass, I find myself watching the rising sun through the waving filter of a million strands of fuzzy grass. With one foot soaked and a pair of buns now drenched as well, I lift a small black rangefinder to my eye. I shuffle a bit in the puddle, looking for the perfect vantage point. Click. Click – a second  shot just in case.

For a brief moment I consider retreating, but I quickly decide the light I’m chasing is more fun – and worth a couple of damp, chilled buttocks. There’s a story out there and I want to find it. This story is just for me though. Most of my favorite photos never leave my camera or computer. I rarely share them and sometimes I don’t even look at them after I snap the shutter – I’ll make an exception today.

Prairie Shots and a Salt & Vinegar Shoestring Chips Topped Chocolate Cake with Caramel Drizzle at Chasing Delicious

I’ve made a career out of sharing my stories with y’all, here on Chasing Delicious, over at The Boys Club and across various other media. I love that I can say I’ve built a business from the ground up. I can’t help but smirk when I realize I’m 26 and I’ve already achieved my vocational dreams. But when a story is commercialized and made to earn a living, it changes; the magic can be lost. It’s not to say I’ve changed who I am or what I am sharing; it just means that moment of pure joy you get from snapping the shutter is put to work. It’s made to answer questions that sound like a marketing inquisition. They are poked and prodded and filtered. They are made to dance before you like a marionette.

And then, somewhere along the line, you suddenly question yourself. Am I putting out the absolute best I can? This weekend though, I found out both Chasing Delicious and The Boys Club have been nominated for best cooking blog and best cocktail blog respectively. I am beyond ecstatic. I couldn’t, and wouldn’t, do this if it weren’t for y’all, the best part of blogging and sharing stories. So, I owe each and every one of my readers a big thanks. Incidentally, Chasing Delicious just turned 3 years old. I ought to thank you for hanging around for that long too probably.

If you’d like to show your support for Chasing Delicious or The Boys Club, you can vote here: saveur.com/food-blog-awards. Voting is only open until this friday, April 19th. 

To celebrate, I’ve made what could be my craziest recipe. While I am always striving to come up with unique creations, I think it’s safe to say I’ve never really present y’all with a truly crazy recipe. That changes today. Now, crazy doesn’t mean not delicious. I assure you this cake is fantastically delicious. The play in texture, the juxtaposition of sweet, salty, and tangy, and the myriad of flavors come together to create what may just be my  new favorite cake recipe. I hope you like it too!

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Salt & Vinegar Chips Topped Chocolate Cake

[tabs tab1=”Information” tab2=”Yield” tab3=”Difficulty” tab4=”Time” tab5=”Serving Suggestions”] [tab id=1] [/tab] [tab id=2]This recipe will yield  1, 8″ layer cake. [/tab] [tab id=3]This recipe is intermediate. See the recipe difficulty key for more information.[/tab] [tab id=4]This recipe will take about 3 hours. [/tab] [tab id=5]Serve immediately. Store at room temperature for up to 3 or 4 days, though the chips should only be added just before serving.   [/tab] [/tabs] Tools:

2, 8″ round cake pans
Parchment paper
Fine-mesh sieve
Bowls
Wooden spoons or spatulas
Stand mixer with whisk attachment

Icing spatula

Ingredients:

Cake
12 oz. flour
1 1/2 lb. sugar
5 oz, cocoa powder
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup freshly brewed coffee, hot

Decoration
1 cup chocolate ganache (recipe below)

1 lb. salt & vinegar shoestring chip (recipe below)
1 cup fortified caramel (recipe below)

Instructions:

Prep.
1.Preheat an oven to 350°F. Prepare the cake pans by buttering the bottom and sides, lining the bottom with parchment paper and buttering the paper. Set aside.

2. Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda & salt) in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set aside.

3. In another bowl, beat the eggs for about a minute until broken a part. Add the buttermilk and sourcream to the eggs. Mix until blended well.

4. With the mixer on low, pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients slowly. Mix until the mixture is completely blended and homogeneous.

5. With the mixer on low, pour in the melted butter slowly and mix in well.

6. With the mixer on low, add the vanilla and the the hot coffee slowly, mixing well after each addition. Mix in until the batter is completely blended.

7. Divide the batter between the cake pans, filling each half way to the top. You may have a little cake batter left over.

Baking
8. Place the cake pans in the preheated oven and bake for 45 to  minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out just barely clean (a few straggling crumbs is ok).

9. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool in the pans on a cooling wrack. Allow the cakes to cool completely to the touch.

Decoration Prep.
10. In the meantime, prepare the caramel and shoestring chips according to their  respective instructions (below). Just before assembling, prepare the ganache according to the instructions.

11. Level the cakes by removing the dome from the top of each layer.

Decorating
12. Place one layer on a cake stand or plate. Spread a small amount of ganache on the top layer. Place the second layer carefully on top.

13. Pour ganache over the top of the cake and gently coerce the ganache to form a smooth, even shell along the top and sides of the cake, using an icing spatula.

11. Making sure the shoestring chips are completely dry and void of excess oil, top the cake with a bird’s-nest-like mound of chips.

12. Drizzle the caramel over the top of the chips and cake.

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Chocolate Ganache: Chocolate ganache is simple chocolate heated to the melting point with heavy cream introduced. The addition of cream gives it a deliciously smooth and creamy flavor, making it perfect to cover a cake, and allows you to spread it.

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Chocolate Ganache

[tabs tab1=”Information” tab2=”Yield” tab3=”Difficulty” tab4=”Time” tab5=”Serving Suggestions”] [tab id=1] This recipe is adapted from a Bo Friberg recipe. [/tab] [tab id=2]This recipe will yield  about 1 1/2 cups ganache. [/tab] [tab id=3]This recipe is intermediate. See the recipe difficulty key for more information.[/tab] [tab id=4]This recipe will take about 30 minutes. [/tab] [tab id=5]Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to a week.  [/tab] [/tabs] Tools

Heavy-bottomed pot
Wooden spoon

Ingredients

1/2  cup heavy cream
1/2 oz. corn syrup
1 oz. unsalted butter
8 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped.

Instructions

1. Place the cream, corn syrup,  and unsalted butter in a heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil.

2. Once at a boil, remove from the heat and let the bubbles subside.

3. Add the chocolate to the pot and stir constantly until all the chocolate has melted and the mixture is even.

4. Let the ganache cool before using, about 30 minutes to an hour.

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Salt & Vinegar Shoestring Chips Topped Chocolate Cake with Caramel Drizzle at Chasing Delicious

Frying Chips: As with any deep frying, temperature and time are very important factors. If the oil is too cold, the chips will require a longer cooking time and will taste like oil. If the oil is too hot, the chips will cook too quickly and brown. I find 350°F works perfectly for very thin shoestring chips. You can either chop the potatoes into the thin shoestrings or you can use various kitchen tools including a lemon zester.

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Shoestring Salt & Vinegar Chips

[tabs tab1=”Information” tab2=”Yield” tab3=”Difficulty” tab4=”Time” tab5=”Serving Suggestions”] [tab id=1] [/tab] [tab id=2]This recipe will yield  about 1 lb shoestring chips. [/tab] [tab id=3]This recipe is easy. See the recipe difficulty key for more information.[/tab] [tab id=4]This recipe will take about 30 minutes. [/tab] [tab id=5]Serve immediately.  [/tab] [/tabs]

Tools

Paring knife
Deep fryer or heavy-bottomed pot
Candy or fryer thermometer
Slotted spoon
Plates
Paper towels or newspaper

Ingredients

2 lb. potatoes
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 tbsp. vinegar

1 qt. vegetable oil

Instructions

1. Using a garnishing knife on a lemon zester, slice thin strings out of the potatoes as thin as you can get them . Dry all of the shoe strings very well with paper towels and set aside.

Note: They key here is to get the shoestrings as thin as possible but making them fairly long as well. If they are not thin they will take too long to cook and may become brown during the cooking process.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the salt and vinegar (it will be damp and clumpy). Set aside.

2. Heat the vegetable oil to 350°F.

Note: I suggest using a candy or frying thermometer when heating oil as precise temperature is required for properly frying. Too low of a temperature will require longer cooking times and soggy chips; too high of a cooking temperature will cause the chips to brown too soon.

3. Add the potato slices to the oil in small batches. Using tongs, delicately shape the shoestrings chips as they fry –  clumping them together in the center will help create a nest-like shape. Fry for 1-3 minutes or until the chips just begin to turn a pale gold and appear crunchy and firm.

4. Remove the chips with a slotted spoon, letting all the excess oil drip off. Place the chips on a plate lined with paper towels or news paper just for a moment to absorb some of the excess oil.

5. Place the chips immediately in a large bowl. Add a small amount of the salt and vinegar mixture and toss until the chips are coated. If you don’t want to break the nest shape created during frying, omit this step and simply sprinkle vinegar and salt over the chips.

6. Remove the chips to another plate lined with paper towels or newspaper to absorb the remaining oil and to cool.

7. Repeat steps 3 through 6 with the remaining potato slices.

8. Let the chips cool completely before serving.

Note: This step is vital as the chips will continue to crisp up during the cooling and drying stage.

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Fortified Caramel: Fortified caramel is a carmel that incorporate cream and butter. It is very thick at room temperature and has a wonderfully nuanced flavor which I find perfect for this application.

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Fortified Caramel

[tabs tab1=”Information” tab2=”Yield” tab3=”Difficulty” tab4=”Time” tab5=”Serving Suggestions”] [tab id=1] This recipe is adapted from a Bo Friberg recipe. [/tab] [tab id=2]This recipe will yield  about 1 1/2 cups caramel. [/tab] [tab id=3]This recipe is intermediate. See the recipe difficulty key for more information.[/tab] [tab id=4]This recipe will take about 30 minutes. [/tab] [tab id=5]Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to a week.  [/tab] [/tabs]

Tools

Heavy-bottomed pot
Wooden spoon

Ingredients

8 oz. sugar
2 1/2 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
2 oz. butter

Instructions

1. Place the sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil.

2. Once at a boil, add the cornsyrup and stir in.

3. Watching carefully, boil until the sugar is a caramel or dark amber color. Remove from the heat immediately.

4. Carefully pour in the heavy cream while stirring. Add the butter and stir until completely melted.

5. Let the caramel cool.

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What’s your favorite crazy cake? Share it in the comments!

Vote for Chasing Delicious in the Saveur 4th Annual Best Food Blog Awards 2013NEWS: Chasing Delicious has been nominated for Saveur’s Best Cooking Blog for 2013! Show your support  for the chase by voting over at Saveur. Voting is open until Friday, April 19th. Chasing Delicious’s sister site, The Boys Club, has also been nominated for best cocktail blog!

 

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AUTHOR - Russell van Kraayenburg

Founder of Chasing Delicious, and author of Haute Dogs, Russell's works have been featured in Southern Living, Men's Fitness, Redbook, TRADHome, and Real Simple magazines and on various sites including Lifehacker, Fast Co., Business Insider, The Kitchn, Live Originally, Quipsologies, Explore, and Fine Cooking. Follow Russell on Twitter @rvank and Instagram. Get more delicious @chasedelicious.

51 Comments

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  • Erika @Southern Souffle

    Congrats on the nominations!! This cake is insane..

  • Jeanette

    Thanks for sharing your pictures Russell and congrats on your nominations! Just voted for you. Best of luck!

  • Carol | a cup of mascarpone

    Congratulations on the nominations, Russell! Genius cake…gorgeous!

  • Sommer@ASpicyPerspective

    Oh Russell, that cake it KILLING ME! Must have….

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    This cake is outrageously AWESOME!! My guy would go bonkers for it. Looooove! xo

  • Mary @ The Kitchen Paper

    I love it! Congratulations on the nominations – you deserve them!

  • ThisBakerGirlBlogs

    Congratulations on being nominated!! P.S. Awesome cake :-)

  • Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence

    Congratulations on the nomination!! I am loving this cake by the way :P

  • Kathryn

    Huge congrats on the nomination, so well deserved. And a pretty epic cake to celebrate…

  • Yosef - This American Bite

    I love the idea of the sweet and the tart – Salt and vinegar chips are my all time favorite.

  • Elle

    This looks amazing! Such a random combination but it looks great!

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com

    Firstly, many many Congrats on the nominations my friend! So well-deserving :)

    Salt vinegar chips on chocolate cake?! I want to dig in!

  • The Master Chefette

    Congratulations on the fabulous nomination. That cake looks absolutely SUPERB!!!

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks

    Major congrats to you! I saw it over the weekend and what an honor which you totally deserve!

    And chocolate with salty & sweet chips!! Fun!!

  • Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

    You would make the most amazingly delicious cake I’ve ever seen that I need to have in my life right immediately. YOU WOULD.

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    Big congrats on your Saveur nomination! This cake is too fun… love the fried chip topper!

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen

    Congrats on your nominations, I was so excited to see you made the finals for both blogs!

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    Congratulations! I voted :)

    You do win the prize for the wackiest cake though. hands down. :)

  • kulsum@journeykitchen.com

    So happy to see you nominated twice! And what a glorious cake to celebrate with. Love.

  • broma bakery

    WOOHOO! Congrats on the nomination!! Truly inspiring.

  • Dina

    creative use of salt and vinegar chips. the pics are great. it looks delish!

  • Belinda @themoonblushbaker

    I love the topping. It reminds me of the deep fried rice noodles you get at the asian restaurants as decoration. Congrats on the nomination too!

  • Jennifer Sassaman

    http://www.thebittenword.com/thebittenword/2009/03/chocolate-stout-cake-revisisted.html

    this is my favorite chocolate cake recipe.
    so far.
    We’ll see how I feel after I make this crazy one!

    you can see my comments on making the cake here: http://occasionalmermaid.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-very-best-chocolate-cake.html
    (the cake was much prettier than my phone’s camera was able to capture)

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    […] chip cupcakes have been on my list to make for some time now, so I just about lost it when I saw this salt ‘n vinegar chip topped chocolate cake. Want it. Need […]

  • Amy

    Congrats! I’ve subscribed & voted, you totally deserve to win! I look forward to every new post, you truly inspire me in my own blog-making-ventures, good luck!

    By the way, that cake is oozy and asking for it… yum!!!!

  • Tieghan

    Holy cow!! This is so awesome. I want one giant slice right now!!!!

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    […] you love salt and vinegar chips and want to see something completely awesome? This chocolate cake. oh my goll. Really. Go […]

  • Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.

    so lovely and creative!!

  • Shaina

    Congratulations on the nomination! I find all that you do incredible, and I admit to being a tad bit jealous for having accomplished this much so young. It is well deserved, and I can’t wait to see where life takes you next, wet buttocks and all.

  • Karen

    Congratulations on the nomination! The cake recipe calls for 1 1/2 lb of sugar. Is that correct?

    • Russell

      Thank you very much. And 1 1/2 lb. is correct. That works out to about 3 cups.

      • Karen

        Thank you!

  • Lora

    Incredible, both the nominations (well deserved) and that off the hook cake.

  • RavieNomNoms

    Whoa, this cake is so over the top it is fantastical! Amazing! and Congrats!

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    […] ♣ This one is definitely too much effort and equipment for my little kitchen, but sounds delicious, in a very strange way – Salt and Vinegar Chips topped Chocolate Cake […]

  • Diane {Created by Diane}

    I’m in LOVE!
    Really do you know how much I love potato chips on cake :)
    We really need to meet IRL! we like the same things….hamburgers, cake with potato chips, we both like taking photos and well, secretly I hope you’d show me how to work my camera!
    Congratulation on your nominations, they are WELL deserved. And to have accomplished so much in your very young years, is so wonderful. I’m smiling as I type to you. You are always inspiring!

  • Michael Toa

    Congrats again on the nominations… and you got my vote! Good luck!
    Russell, this cake is utterly brilliant… sounds bonkers but I love it!

  • Carolyn

    You know I will vote for ya, babe! And I am SO fascinated by the salt and vinegar chips on the chocolate cake!

  • Joanna @ Chic & Gorgeous Treats

    CONGRATULATIONS Russell!! I have truly enjoyed reading all your stories and it gives me a sense of hope and to keep striving; although I am quite bad with story telling :). You truly deserve the nomination and award too. Keep them coming as I am always feeling pumped and inspired after coming over every single time. ♥ Jo

  • kita

    Love the nature pics. They are relaxing and cozy.
    I want this cake in my face. And I hate using that expression because it sends all my perve radars into a frenzy, but seriously. In my face.
    :D

  • Lynn @ The Actor's Diet

    My husband’s dream cake!!!

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    […] to the baking portion of this blog and I’m starting with this bread, and those and OMG this! 4. Starting a blog mostly about baking isn’t just about making tasty treats, it’s […]

  • Rachel @ Twin Tough

    This cake is simply genius!

  • shelly (cookies and cups)

    This cake is a dream come true.

  • Jeanne G

    Just made this cake. Unbelievable! Chocolate, caramel, crunchy, salty – to die for. The chips were so fun to make, I’m going to have to think of ways to use them more. Thanks for sharing!

  • Spring Recipe /Pin/spiration

    […] 1 // Olive Oil Ice Cream with Pizzelle Waffle Cookies 2 // Smokin’ Hot 3 // Spinach and Artichoke Grilled Cheese 4 // Salt & Vinegar Chips Topped Chocolate Cake […]

  • Sandra

    This is the wrong thing to crave when you’re trying to eat healthy but what the heck! Congrats on the nomination you so deserve it. When Foodbuzz disbanded I lost touch with lots of my foodie friends. So happy to find you again!

  • Anika

    I love mixing sweet and savoury, the vinegar of the crisps must cut through that chocolately sweetness really well. Crazy recipe!

  • Wednesday Things | Live Fit Love Chocolate

    […] is something so wrongfully right about this salt and vinegar chips topped chocolate cake.  I pretty much lost it when I saw this.  Has my name written all over […]

  • Amanda @ Cookie Named Desire

    Oh my gosh, I am dying over this cake, it want to eat it all!

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