There is a dearth of laughter in our lives..Most entertainment today hovers around suffering, almost all critically acclaimed movies are based on tragedies, most bestselling books are about death, newspapers are about little else than Rapes..Even children rhymes are about how 5 little ducks went out one day and only 4 little ducks came back or how Humpty Dumpty falls.The classic nursery rhyme -Ringa Ringa Roses is about the symptoms of a plague which killed thousands,if popular folklore is to be believed.So yes we might have spent our childhood going in circles singing about a plague which almost killed a whole generation of people in Europe.
Since the past 2 years, I have become extremely wary of such stories.I don’t watch any of those crime,horror dark movies anymore or read books about orphan children.I find that since becoming a mother, it affects me too deeply and I can’t afford to have more negativity in my life.I would rather live in my bubble, be high on good coffee, eat great chocolate and embrace every drop of joy, than know it all and witness or worst anticipate the horror everyday.
But then sometimes sadness creeps in..You inevitably find out about someone’s death, someone’s illness or someone’s personal suffering and it shrouds your day irrevocably.I usually reach out to my fridge for some solace..Try and lift my spirits with some dark chocolate concoction.
This Dark Chocolate and Salted Caramel dessert Jars were made to shoo away some blues and maybe that’s why it’s extremely decadent..Pure indulgence..the kinds that can fish you out of a well of darkness and plonk you on a sunny frangipani clad garden..complete with fairies and rainbows..
These Chocolate dessert Jars has 3 elements.The Moist Chocolate Cake,The Dark Chocolate ganache and the Salted Caramel.It’s a perfect symphony of the dark chocolate, sweet caramel and the piquancy of sea salt.
It might sound like a lot..but once you have the elements ready you can roughly spoon in the cake,ganache and caramel and call it a day!No piping or layering or torting..Thats the magic of this desert.
You don’t have to be traditionalist about it and make everything from scratch..You could get the cake from your everyday grocery but it wouldn’t be the as great as using this extremely decadent homemade gooey,melty dark chocolate cake but you can save that for another day if you want.
Moist Chocolate Cake
This is the most time consuming layer because it has an added baking time.Start by making this and while its baking prep the other layers.
I have written three recipes below of the cake,caramel and the chocolate ganache.If you are looking for an eggless option then visit my Dark Chocolate Mud Cake post.
Serves: 1 kg cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups sugar
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tspn salt
- 1 tsp Instant Coffee Powder
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup vegetable Oil
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Take a large bowl.Add all the dry ingredients-Flour,Sugar,Cocoa Powder,Baking Powder,Baking Soda,Salt and Coffee Powder.Mix it with a spatula.
- Add in the milk,oil ,vanilla essence and eggs one at a time and mix to incorporate.
- Lastly,very carefully add the boiling water and mix it in.
- The batter will be runny but thats fine.
- Pour the batter in the prepared pans.I used two 7 inch round pans.The cake rises well so make sure to only fill it in the pan till ¾ height.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes till the middle of the cake is cooked and the skewer inserted inside comes almost clean.If its runny,Bake for 10 more minutes.
How to make the Salted Caramel for these Chocolate Dessert Jars
Caramel sauce can be elusive at times.The sugar can caramelize way too much and become bitter instead or become too hard and turn into a candy instead of a sauce.If you are not very confident and don’t want to experiment too much you can try this ready made Sprig Classic Salted Caramel Sauce from Sprig.
Though nothing can be compared to homemade caramel.Its deeply satisfying to see sugar water and cream turn into something so sophisticated.
Thumb rules while making the best caramel with least fuss
- Follow the recipe!
- Do not Stir the sugar once it is in the pan.
- From the minute 5 till 8 min,leave everything and literally are your caramel out.You have to catch the moment where the sugar is golden brown..which is just 20 seconds away from turning deep brown which means its burnt.So be careful!
Serves: 1 cup
- 1 Cup White Granulated Sugar
- ¼ Cup Water
- 250 ml Cream
- 1 tsp Salt
- Heat the pan on medium heat.
- Add the water and sugar to a heavy bottomed pan.You cant sauce or mix it with a spoon once its on the gas.The sugar has to be left alone so it can caramelise.
- After about 6-7 minutes you will see the sugar changing colour.This stage is critical and it can turn from caramelised to brunt in no time so be attentive.There might be bubbles on top which will look white but the bottom will be browning for sure.You can swirl the whole pan if you want without really disturbing the caramel in the pan.
- After about 1 minute-i.e. around 8 minutes into cooking the sugar will acquire the right colour.You should add the cream now.
The Chocolate Ganache
Ah Chocolate Ganache.It’s the easiest frosting in my opinion.I love it in my cakes, cake pops, trifles and I use the left over to make myself a super rich mug of hot chocolate.
The Chocolate Ganache Ratio
Based on the ratio(by weight not volume) of chocolate to cream the ganache can be a runny glaze, fluffy frosting and a dense truffle.
1:1- 1 part chocolate to 1 part cream will make a Pourable Glaze.
2:1-2 Parts chocolate to 1 part cream will make a pourable ganache which will work for trifles or cake fillings but not frosting.
3:1-3 parts chocolate to 1 part cream will make a frosting for cakes.You can whip this up too for a lighter texture.
4:1-4 parts chocolate to 1 part cream will make pliable candy.
Serves: 1 cup
- ½ Cup /180 Grams Chocolate-Chopped
- 3 tsp ,90 Grams Cream(I used Amul)
- 2 tbsp Coffee Decoction(mix 1 tsp instant coffee with 1 tbsp water)
- Add the coffee and using a spatula to mix everything together. The Chocolate would have melted and mixed completely in the cream leaving no lumps.
- If the chocolate hasn't melted and you find pieces in the ganache,microwave again for 30 seconds and mix.
- Refrigerate for atleast 2 hours before using.
- Mix with the spatula till all the chocolate has been incorporated
- Refrigerate for atleast 2 hours before using.
The ganache may seem runny when just made.Once you refrigerate it, it will set more.
Putting Together the Chocolate Cake,the Dark Chocolate Ganache and the Caramel to
Final step is to put it all together!
Steps to make chocolate dessert jars
- Let everything cool down or bring to room temperature before layering.
- Prepare the jars/glasses by washing and drying thoroughly.
- Use a spoon smaller than the mouth of the jar to get clean layers
Can I make these Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Dessert Jars with store bought ingredients
Get a good quality chocolate cake from a nearby bakery and layer it with store bought chocolate sauce with some caramel sauce.Sprig has amazing chocolate sauce and caramel sauce which will work wonders in this dessert.
Serves: 1 serving
- 3 tbsp Chocolate Cake
- 3 tbsp Chocolate Ganache
- 2 tbsp Salted Caramel
- a Pinch Sea Salt Flakes
- Take a transparent Bowl or a glass of your choice.
- Spoon in the cake and lightly press.
- Next,layer the chocolate ganache and level it using a spoon.
- Refrigerate for 20 minutes letting the ganache set.
- Last step is to gently put a spoon of the caramel on top of the ganache.Make sure the caramel isn't hot!
- Finish with sea salt.