22 Aug2012

It was a fairly ambitious project over a two day time frame. The Teen chose this not so easy recipe for a six-tiered chocolate cake with salted caramel filling and a chocolate icing from Martha Stewart, recipe here. There were a few hiccups, but it turned out brilliantly nonetheless… Anything made at home has to trump a store-bought cake, in my opinion. But that’s a totally subjective opinion. :)

The Teen made the salted caramel the day before assembling the birthday cake. We have a candy thermometer so we tried to stick firmly to the instructions and reaching the 238F specified rather emphatically in the recipe. The caramel was brilliant… it tasted heavenly just on its own. We could have stopped here and simply served this warmed over vanilla ice cream for a terrific dessert.

The Teen, with Mrs. MM’s help, also baked three cakes, and carefully cut them in half, with her supervisor, Ginger, the chocolate lab, looking on with a critical eye. Ginger totally approved of the near perfect layers of cake. But being only fluent in doglish, Ginger missed the instructions in the recipe that suggested trimming the tops of the cakes to have fully flat layers. :) It’s ironic that chocolate labs (or all dogs for that matter) shouldn’t eat chocolate, so she was particularly kind to oversee this project despite being unable to taste the final product.

Slather on copious amounts of salted caramel…

…add another layer of cake…

…and so on. The Teen put a whole cake on top, making for only five layers and while a bit messy, things looked really promising at this point. It went into the fridge for an hour for the cake to set…

Chocolate frosting was added to the the cake and it was chilled until just before serving.

A thick slice of cake for Marketman. The salted caramel was absorbed into the cake, unlike the apparently food-styled photo in Ms. Stewart’s example, but it tasted stunning good. Not terribly sweet, but clearly incredibly rich. And as I stated up top, with the Teen, Mrs. MM and Ginger working as a team, this cake was bound to taste like nothing else you have experienced in recent memory… :)



  1. ami says:

    (Belated?) Happy Birthday MM! Anything made with lots of love will definitely trump any store bought food.

    Looking forward to your bday feast post.

    Btw, I like Martha Stewart and religiously go to BookSale to try to find books and back-issued magazine of hers. Found 15 books so far. :)

    Aug 22, 2012 | 5:32 pm


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  3. Ria says:

    I am drooling. The Teen did a great job. Belated happy birthday, MM!

    Aug 22, 2012 | 6:13 pm

  4. boopsie says:

    Happy Birthday Marketman!!! Wishing you all the best!

    Aug 22, 2012 | 6:34 pm

  5. cheska says:

    Happy Birthday Marketman! :) Hope you enjoyed your day and your cake. :)

    Aug 22, 2012 | 6:42 pm

  6. Faust says:

    Perfect! Happy Birthday MM we wish good health, long life, vigor and more successes to come to you and your family! cheers!

    Aug 22, 2012 | 7:15 pm

  7. wendy darling says:

    There goes the diet …
    So what do I have to offer the Teen as compensation for my own cake?

    Aug 22, 2012 | 7:44 pm

  8. EbbaBlue says:

    DELICIOUS!! Craving for a slice right now..

    Aug 22, 2012 | 8:07 pm

  9. Pink Carnations says:

    Happy birthday MarketMan! May you be always blessed with love, joy, peace in your heart and home! Cake loooks goood!

    Aug 22, 2012 | 8:20 pm

  10. tipat says:

    Happy birthday! Congratulations to the Teen for a yummy looking cake!

    Aug 22, 2012 | 8:44 pm

  11. Elit says:

    Mmmm, looks yummy! This cake reminded me of the motherload of chocolate cake I had at Claim Jumper :)

    Aug 22, 2012 | 9:27 pm

  12. Tricia says:

    I want to make one too! haha

    Aug 22, 2012 | 9:57 pm

  13. Elaine says:

    Looks divine! Happy Birthday and many more happy solar returns, MM!

    Aug 22, 2012 | 10:08 pm

  14. Mishy says:

    Happy Birthday Marketman!

    Aug 22, 2012 | 10:35 pm

  15. Jenny says:

    Happy Birthday Marketman!!!! I love the shirt on the last photo :-)

    Aug 22, 2012 | 10:57 pm

  16. zoi says:

    Happy Birthday!!!!

    Aug 22, 2012 | 11:39 pm

  17. Constant Reader says:

    You’ll never believe it but I was just reading the recipe for this on my Martha Stewart back issue (Thanksgiving 2011 right?) and was asking myself if I had the guts to try it.

    Do you take the caramel off the stove once it hits the temperature indicated?

    Aug 22, 2012 | 11:40 pm

  18. netoy says:

    Definitely a labor of love.. As the saying goes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. More blessings your way, MM!

    Aug 23, 2012 | 12:50 am

  19. Gerry T says:

    Belated Happy b-day MM and Best Wishes….

    Aug 23, 2012 | 1:55 am

  20. joanie says:

    that looks like a very chocolicious cake! Happy Birthday MM!

    Aug 23, 2012 | 2:13 am

  21. Wild Fig says:

    Happy Birthday MarketMan! That cake looks to die for. I like the concept of the caramel being absorbed into the cake – it’s like a mystery ingredient that adds richness to the cake.

    Big Cheese shirt from Murray’s Cheese?

    Aug 23, 2012 | 2:48 am

  22. Ros-Anna says:

    Here’s wishing you nothing but only better (healthier, happier and wealthier) years ahead. Cheers to the continuation of a prolific food (et al) blog for many, many more years.

    Our Best to you and the Family!

    Aug 23, 2012 | 4:40 am

  23. edith says:

    happy birthday, from one of your blog followers, edith

    Aug 23, 2012 | 5:18 am

  24. bisdakRN says:

    Maligayang kaarawan MM!

    Aug 23, 2012 | 6:15 am

  25. marilen says:

    Happy birthday, MM. Nothing beats a chocolate cake made with love by the teen!!

    Aug 23, 2012 | 6:25 am

  26. Tonito says:


    Two tips on your birthday:
    (1) Forget the past, you can’t change it.

    (2) Forget the present, I didn’t get you one.

    Happy, Happy Birthday!!!

    Aug 23, 2012 | 7:43 am

  27. corrine says:

    Happy birthday! That is a special gift coming from a special person. It looks really moist!

    Aug 23, 2012 | 8:14 am

  28. Cecile says:

    Happy Birthday sir! Wow! I would like to have a taste of that cake! Looks so good!

    Aug 23, 2012 | 8:26 am

  29. Lissa says:

    Happy birthday Marketman!

    Aug 23, 2012 | 8:38 am

  30. khrishyne says:

    malipayong adlawng natawhan marketman, bisan naulahi

    Aug 23, 2012 | 9:03 am

  31. Migs says:

    Belated happy birthday! You are so blessed with a happy family and a successful career. I don’t wonder why you share your blessings with others.

    Aug 23, 2012 | 9:16 am

  32. Issa says:

    Happy birthday, Marketman! Cheers to the tag team that made the cake. We actually tried a similar recipe a few years back. But we couldn’t keep the top layers of the cake from sliding off. Maybe too much filling in between?
    But this one looks just really yummy + it’s made with love. :)

    Aug 23, 2012 | 9:37 am

  33. jakbkk says:

    another TL moment! hay…..sarap ng chocolate!

    Aug 23, 2012 | 9:46 am

  34. yette says:

    Happy happy birthday MM. Best wishes and more fantastic porky adventures to come!

    Aug 23, 2012 | 10:03 am

  35. PITS, MANILA says:

    that looks so good, MM! your TEEN and her MOM (with GINGER) make a fabulous team!!!

    Aug 23, 2012 | 10:08 am

  36. ykmd says:

    That looks simply scrumptious! There’s a locally owned resto in our area whose pastry chef makes a salted caramel cheesecakd which is oh so good! Happy bday again MM and teen, good job! :)

    Aug 23, 2012 | 10:45 am

  37. january says:

    Happy Birthday MM!

    Aug 23, 2012 | 10:48 am

  38. Sleepless in Seattle says:

    So sweet,lovingly baked!Happy belated Birthday!!you are a very lucky man!!

    Aug 23, 2012 | 11:55 am

  39. crabbychef says:

    Happy birthday, MM! Isn’t it the best feeling in the world to receive something made with love by your family (dog included)? Best wishes. :) Salted caramel. Mmmm.

    Aug 23, 2012 | 12:01 pm

  40. Cheryl says:

    Happy birthday MM! May God continue to bless u as you bless others as well. I pray for the continued success of Zubuchon. More branch to come! God bless the works of your hands.

    Aug 23, 2012 | 1:00 pm

  41. helenT. says:

    Happy Birthday MM!!! GOD BLESS U…

    Aug 23, 2012 | 1:08 pm

  42. Dragon says:

    Happy birthday MM!

    Aug 23, 2012 | 1:09 pm

  43. natzsm says:

    Happy birthday MM!

    I won’t bet on being able to really come out with anything on the Martha Stewart site exactly as they show it. Everything there is food styled to make that perfect photo. I wont be surprised if the caramel was some kind of glue because reality is, the caramel will meld with the chocolate cake.

    Aug 23, 2012 | 1:40 pm

  44. Cynthia says:

    Belated Happy Birthday MM!
    Since this is a post on baking, can I ask you someting? I have a 4 year old cooking range with an electric oven. Relatively good brand – ELBA. But I have issues with the temperature control. Everyime, i try to bake something, the baking time is always way shorter versus the one in the recipe and i always burn the cake, cookie etc. So i started using a thermometer and found out the actual temp is about 30-50 degrees higher versus what is in the setting (using the dial installed on the oven). Is this the usual case with commercial ovens? I’m so disappointed because that cooking range was not cheap. So I guess I now have to rely on a separate thermometer to get my temp settings right.
    By the way, the cake looks so delicious, i might try to make it this weekend :)

    Aug 23, 2012 | 1:58 pm

  45. Grace says:

    Looks very Magnolia-ish cake from NY! :)

    Aug 23, 2012 | 2:26 pm

  46. Grace says:

    Oh, and belated happy happy birthday! Cheers! :)

    Aug 23, 2012 | 2:46 pm

  47. manny says:

    happy birthday mm! may you have many more! the messy look, imho, made the cake look even more irresistible…

    Aug 23, 2012 | 3:08 pm

  48. ysa says:

    Maligayang kaarawan MM!

    Aug 23, 2012 | 5:34 pm

  49. jannah says:

    Happy birthday MM. Hope you had fun.

    Aug 23, 2012 | 6:17 pm

  50. Susie says:

    MM, Happy 4*th Birthday! The cake looks a treat and I am sure I. was too thrilled to bake her daddy a cake :-)
    Cynthia, I have ALWAYS had trouble with my Elba. My suggestion to you is call your Elba service center and tell them that you need someone to regulate the temperature of your oven. I absolutely loathe my range, which I bought on the basis of the width of the oven and the fish burner. Sigh.

    Aug 23, 2012 | 6:54 pm

  51. florisa says:

    happy birthday!

    Aug 23, 2012 | 8:51 pm

  52. gigie dc says:

    May you have many, many, more years and cakes to come!…happiness always :)

    Aug 23, 2012 | 9:42 pm

  53. dimmpss says:

    Happy birthday, MM! The cake looks yummy! :-)

    Aug 23, 2012 | 10:07 pm

  54. melanie says:

    Happy Birthday MM …will a pastry shop soon be in the planning stage? hahaha

    Aug 23, 2012 | 10:35 pm

  55. farida says:

    Happy, Happy birthday, MM! That is one scrumptious chocolate birthday cake. Good job, Teen.

    Aug 24, 2012 | 12:20 am

  56. Maddie says:

    Happy birthday MM!

    Aug 24, 2012 | 3:09 am

  57. KUMAGCOW says:

    Happy Birthday MM! :) You don’t look your age, let me start and end with that :)

    Aug 24, 2012 | 5:56 am

  58. wendy darling says:

    @Susie – your problem is not common. If you take a close look at cooking shows like Top Chef, you’ll sometimes see a separate, internal thermometer in the oven when the recipe involves baking. And most chefs/bakers say (either in cookbooks, interviews or their own blogs) that a key success tip is to not rely on the thermometer installed on your oven, but to also use an (unlinked) internal thermometer for good measure. That, and to find out where the hot spots in your oven are.

    Aug 24, 2012 | 7:51 am

  59. jules winnfield says:

    happy birthday mm!!!

    Aug 24, 2012 | 8:48 am

  60. mary chen says:

    happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Aug 24, 2012 | 9:00 am

  61. Guada says:

    truly a labor of love…..cheers!!

    Aug 24, 2012 | 9:06 am

  62. shiko-chan says:

    looks fantastic! i’m way past my teens and i still would never dare to make a cake from scratch, much less one complete with a brilliant salted caramel filling and chocolate frosting. kudos! :)

    Aug 24, 2012 | 9:21 am

  63. Susie says:

    @wendy darling, thanks. That is exactly how we have been baking with this ELba since I bought it 7 years ago. It is an incredibly unreliable piece of umm, well, kitchen equipment. In the time I have had it, it has been overhauled thrice, the rusted out parts changed out and has to be serviced thrice a year. In fact, Elba doesn’t even touch it any longer after their service people in Cebu admitted they couldn’t fix it. It may be a lemon but they refused to exchange the unit after a month of having owned it. I cannot wait to move so that I can dump the silly thing!

    Aug 24, 2012 | 9:37 am

  64. la emperor says:

    Better late than never. Happy Birthday MM! I hope it was a good one. Sorry, I have just been enjoying too much my disconnect to the internet as I count my last few days in Manila.

    Thanks again.

    Aug 24, 2012 | 11:15 am

  65. sandee says:

    Belated Happy Birthday! =)

    Aug 24, 2012 | 11:28 am

  66. Marketman says:

    Hi everyone, many thanks for the kind birthday greetings! Cynthia, yes, I use a separate thermometer to check oven temperatures. If your oven is off by 50F, that’s major! Even on our Viking at the beach, we have separate thermometers, though the variation is not more than 10F or so…

    Aug 24, 2012 | 11:31 am

  67. http://runningenthusiast.net says:

    awwww that was sweet! Happy birthday (better late than never). I enjoy reading your blog. :)

    Aug 24, 2012 | 6:26 pm

  68. peggi says:

    Happy Belated Birthday, MM! Congrats to the teen and Mrs. MM for that chocolate cake. It looks fantastic and so yummy……..

    Aug 25, 2012 | 4:02 am

  69. wendy darling says:

    @ Susie – whoops! I had meant to say “not UNcommon”
    In any case, I agree with MM that 50 degree difference is major/extreme. Had my company been the one to commission to your kitchen, we would have declared that appliance “failed” and advise you to reject/return it. And this may be small comfort for you but I’ve heard that the manufacturer’s line is notorious for such wacky performance (even in the Western hemisphere).

    Anyhoo, my wish list for MM’s next EB is to meet both the Viking and Ginger in person ;)

    Aug 25, 2012 | 1:48 pm

  70. Sgbky says:

    Happy birthday marketman!
    Just want to share with you interesting feature on truffles from 60 Minutes, the trade and the threat on Chinese truffles…


    Have a good weekend!

    Aug 25, 2012 | 7:53 pm

  71. Mrs Froggie says:

    Belated Happy Birthday, MM!!! Here’s to many, many more years of happy blogging! God bless you and your loving family. Thank you for all your wonderful posts! Cheers! *\(^-^)/* PS: Beautiful delicious-looking cake by Teen & Mrs MM! I remember chocolate cake was my favorite cake when I was living in the Philippines but somehow here in the States it does not seem to taste as delicious as I remembered from way back then. The photo of teen’s chocolate cake triggered some happy memories for me! ;)

    Aug 25, 2012 | 8:18 pm

  72. jonathan says:

    Happy Birthday MM. Saw you a while ago at Eats more fun in the Philippines at GMA News TV, again a segment about acupunctured lechon with you fluently explaining in tagalog. :)

    Aug 25, 2012 | 9:13 pm

  73. Patrick says:

    Happy Birthday MM!!!

    I want to make that cake! Do you think the salted Caramel would work with a Mascarpone and Cream Cheese topping/filling? Maybe with some nuts (Pecans, Walnuts, Pistachios, or maybe even local Pili nuts)?

    Aug 26, 2012 | 6:44 am

  74. Leo says:

    Happy Happy Birthday Marketman!!! The cake looks very delish!!!

    Aug 26, 2012 | 11:11 am

  75. Joel says:

    I can relate to your dog. Wants to get a bite but just can’t. Like most of the readers. :)

    Aug 26, 2012 | 1:23 pm

  76. Katrina says:

    Oh, you’re a Virgo — well, OF COURSE you are! ;-) I hope your birthday was truly spectacular, and that this year is your best ever, MM!

    Aug 26, 2012 | 11:42 pm

  77. Marketman says:

    Katrina, actually, tail end LEO. :)

    Aug 27, 2012 | 8:23 am

  78. joey says:

    Belated birthday greetings MM!! Wishing you all the best in the year to come! And bravo to the Teen for this awesome cake!

    Aug 27, 2012 | 9:20 am

  79. Pam says:

    Belated happy birthday, MM! Wishing you good health and a shower of more blessings for the coming year. A big applaud for the Teen for baking the cake!

    Aug 27, 2012 | 2:13 pm

  80. teny says:

    Happy Birthday MM and may you have many more to come!

    Aug 27, 2012 | 11:57 pm

  81. Odessa Ates-Villareal says:

    Belated happy bday MM!!! as the saying goes..,count the life you add to years and not the years you add to life …. more to come!!! thanks for sharing us your passion and your views on many things in life esp. the passion on good and delish food!!!!… God Bless you always and your family!!!

    Aug 28, 2012 | 2:33 pm

  82. bagito says:

    Happy (belated) birthday, MM! That cake will give me a sweet tooth where none has existed before. Must be the salted caramel that appealed to my senses. (I have a “salt” tooth rather than sweet but boy, I’d pounce on that cake anytime!) Good job, Teen and of course, Ginger. :)

    Aug 30, 2012 | 12:48 pm

  83. miles says:

    Belated Happy Birthday MM!!! Here’s to many more!!
    Drooling over the cake…. will try this for my son’s birthday.

    Sep 3, 2012 | 1:09 pm


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