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Chocolate Turtle Layer Cake

Ingredients 

CAKE:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (or canola oil)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup strong hot black coffee (or hot water)

FOR THE FROSTING:

  • 1 cup salted butter softened
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cup caramel sauce
  • 7-8 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons heavy cream

FOR THE GANACHE:

  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

FOR THE CARAMEL:

  • 6 tablespoons salted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk

FOR TOPPING:

  • Chopped pecans
  • Mini Turtle candies

Instructions 

MAKE THE CAKE:

  • Preheat oven to 350. Grease with shortening then dust with flour 3 8″ round cake pans.
  • In large bowl whisk together your dry ingredients until combined.
  • Add in your eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and eater and stir until combined well.
  • Pour the cake batter evenly among the 3 prepared pans.
  • Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until center us set and toothpick comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and let cool in pans for about 5 minutes before turning out onto cooking racks to cool completely.

MAKE THE FROSTING:

  • In large bowl beat together your butter and shortening until smooth.
  • Add in your caramel sauce and continue beating until incorporated.
  • Add in your powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until mixed in well.
  • Add your heavy cream as needed to reach desired consistency.

ASSEMBLE THE CAKE:

  • To assemble cake place one layer of your cake on a turntable or cake board and spread with about ¾ cup frosting and smooth to sides.
  • Place another layer on top and repeat topping with last layer.
  • Frost around your sides and over top until cake is covered and smooth, reserving about 1 cup of your frosting for decorating.
  • Place cake in fridge to harden slightly (helps the ganache and caramel set).

MAKE THE GANACHE:

  • Heat the heavy cream in the microwave until it is very hot and steaming, but not boiling.
  • Place the chocolate in a small glass bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Cover the bowl with a plate and allow the bowl to sit for 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove the plate and stir the chocolate and cream together. This will take maybe 2 minutes of stirring to get it completely combined, but eventually you’ll get a smooth, dark, silky chocolate.
  • Allow the ganache to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Remove your cake from the refrigerator and drizzle your ganache over the sides of your cake, return to fridge to set up.

MAKE THE CARAMEL:

  • While ganache is setting up make your caramel by adding all the ingredients to a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil stirring constantly for about 5-10 minutes or until mixture turns golden in color, set aside to cool just slightly.
  • Remove cake from refrigerator and drizzle your caramel down sides over ganache then return to refrigerator to set up again removing after about 10 minutes.
  • Add your remaining frosting to piping bag fitted with a 1M tip (open star tip) and pipe swirls on the top edges of cake.
  • Top with pecan turtle candies and press your crushed pecans up the sides of the cake about 1 and a half inches.
  • Cut and serve!
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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