Chocolate Hazelnut and Salted Caramel Chocolate Birthday Cake

It seems like every year someone asks me who will make my birthday cake. And I guess that makes sense, usually people enjoy letting other people do some of the work for their birthday (or maybe they just enjoy the cake?). But for me, more than half the fun comes from planning and making my cake.

Through out the year I keep mental notes of cakes and flavors that look or sound interesting and then a few weeks before my birthday I started planning what I actually want to do. Last year, I had ice cream on the brain. This year, I had gelato on the brain.

Back in San Diego there is a gelato shop that Jesse and I love. The location is awesome, right near La Jolla cove, so we would typically treat our selves after a nice evening of watching the waves and seals. The first time we went I got a scoop of salted caramel and scoop of chocolate hazelnut and I was immediately hooked. It became my standard order. Makes me drool just thinking about it! Like a match made in heaven!

With that in mind, I created the concept for this years cake. I.am.so.excited about how it turned out. The frosting is an absolute dream. Smooth and creamy with the perfect hint of hazelnut. The salty caramel is the perfect match. In fact, I’d like to go out on a limb and say that chocolate hazelnut and salted caramel is the new peanut butter and jelly. Finally, when we threw our party last month one of our guests brought us Ferrero Rocher candies and they were the perfect garnish. Happy Birthday to me!

 

Salted Caramel Sauce

I know I just posted a recipe for Dulce de Leche but can you really have too many different kinds of caramel? The answer is no. You can’t ever have too many kinds of caramel.

Salted Caramel is pretty popular right now and for good reason. If you’re new to the salted craze you may think it’s a strange addition. But don’t be scared. The salt really takes the caramel, and anything it touches, to a whole new level. This sauce is amazing on apple slices, ice cream, pies, or straight up on a spoon. It’s also the perfect ingredient to take a special dessert to the next level (spoiler alert for tomorrows post!).

You might think caramel is hard to make, and if your making candy it’s can be a bit more challenging, but for this sauce it’s really not hard at all. You won’t believe how quickly it all comes together. And I’m including a boat load of pictures to help you along the way.