This beautiful moist white cake recipe will delight all with its caramel topping and filling.
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Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Butter three 8-inch cake pans; line the bottoms with parchment paper. Butter the parchment and flour the pans, tapping out the excess.
In a bowl, mix 1/4 cup of the milk with the egg whites and vanilla extract.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, mix the flour with the sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and the remaining 3/4 cup of milk. Beat at low speed until blended, then beat at medium speed until smooth, 1 minute.
Beat in the egg white mixture in 3 batches.
In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream until soft peaks form.
Stir one-third of the whipped cream into the batter, then fold in the rest. Divide the batter between the pans and smooth the tops.
Bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Let the cakes cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Unmold the cakes and peel off the parchment. Invert the cakes and let cool completely.
In a saucepan, stir 2 1/2 cups of the sugar with the corn syrup and milk. Cook over moderate heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Keep warm.
Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar in a deep, heavy saucepan. Cook the sugar over moderate heat, swirling occasionally, until an amber caramel forms.
Carefully pour the warm milk mixture over the caramel. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the caramel dissolves. Stop stirring and cook until the caramel registers 235° on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat.
Stir in the butter, vanilla and 1/4 cup of the heavy cream. Strain the caramel into the bowl of a standing mixer. Let cool for 15 minutes.
Beat the caramel at medium speed, gradually adding the remaining 1/4 cup of cream, until creamy, about 15 minutes.
You can purchase pre-made caramel sauce if you would like to skip this proceedure.
In a heavy saucepan (at least 5 cup capacity), stir together the sugar, syrup, and water until the sugar is completely moistened. Place your candy thermometer into the pot taking care that it is tip in immersed into the sugar mixture.
Heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is bubbling. Stop stirring completely and allow it to boil undisturbed until it turns a deep amber color.
Immediately remove it from the heat and slowly and carefully pour the hot cream into the caramel. It will bubble up furiously.
Use a high-temperature heat-resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon to stir the mixture until smooth, scraping up the thicker part that settles on the bottom. If any lumps develop, return the pan to the heat and stir until they dissolve. Stir in the butter and salt. The mixture will be streaky but become uniform after cooling slightly and stirring.
Allow the sauce to cool for 3 minutes. Gently stir in the vanilla extract.
Let cool before using as cake filler.
Use the amount you would like to put as your filler and refrigerate the rest. It will last up to about 3 weeks.
Put the chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler over medium heat and melt, or melt in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring in between.
Scrape melted chocolate into a plastic baggie and snip a tiny piece off the corner.
Drizzle the melted chocolate over the diagonal lines in the pie top to garnish.
Set 1 cake layer on a plate.
Pour 1/2 cup of the caramel sauce onto the first layer, enough to cover the top.
Top with a second cake layer and cover it with icing.
Reserve about 1/2 cup of icing in a plastic baggie to pipe the decorative flowers on the cake.
Add the final cake layer and pour the rest of the icing over the top of the cake, letting it run down the sides. Working quickly, use an offset spatula to spread the icing gently around the cake. Let the cake stand for 2 hours to set the icing before serving.
Gently pat on the finely chopped walnuts around the ourside of the entire cake and cake top.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips onto the top
Drizzle with chocolate.
Pipe a dollop of icing onto the top of the cake in each spot that you plan to make the cuts.