It all starts with the perfect chocolate cake and rich cheesecake topped with salted caramel sauce and homemade chocolate buttercream.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare 9-inch springform pan by spraying with bakers spray and lining with parchment.
Use an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to mix cream cheese until creamed.
Beat in the sugar and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add in the sour cream and vanilla.
Blend until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low, add in eggs one by one until fully incorporated.
Pour the filling into the prepared 9-inch pan.
Place your springform pan with the cheesecake in it into a slightly larger pan and add about 1 inch of hot water to the outside of the pan (for the water bath).
Bake until the top of cheesecake turns golden, about 60 - 70 minutes. Let cheesecake cool on a wire rack.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before assembling the cake.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into two 8-inch round prepared pans and bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 350°F, until a cake tester or toothpick comes out mostly clean (not wet).
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk butter and sugar on medium-high speed until very pale and fluffy or about five minutes. Be sure to stop at least once and scrape the bowl.
With the mixer off, add in cocoa powder, vanilla and salt.
Turn mixer on low and blend for about 30 seconds.
Add in heavy cream one tablespoon at a time.
Once all cream has been added and the mixture is mostly combined, turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Now turn the mixer onto medium-high to high and whisk for 3-5 minutes or until mixture is lighter and fluffier. The frosting will be shiny and seem to have many large air bubbles throughout and this is exactly what we are going for. (You can smooth those out on the cake if so desired.)
Place one 8-inch layer of chocolate cake on a cake stand.
Carefully place the cheesecake on top of that. Trim the cheesecake to make it the same size as the chocolate cake.
Drizzle some of the salted caramel sauce on top of the cheesecake.
Set the other layer of 8-inch cake on top of the cheesecake.
Cover cake with a crumb coat of chocolate buttercream.
Press mini chocolate chips into the side of the cake making sure to cover the sides completely.
Pipe out dollops of the buttercream on top of the cake around the edge, and drizzle more salted caramel sauce on top. Chill until you are ready to serve.