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DESSERTS

Salted-Caramel Six-Layer Chocolate Cake

 

I made this cake for Thanksgiving, and it took our family about a week to finish it. I left it out on the counter (covered). It was delicious, and got better every day – although the caramel layers were not as discreet by the last few days. I do recommend making this 2 days in advance and letting it sit out, to give the flavors a chance to fully develop.

The best ever. Although making the cake is a little complex, it was certainly worthwhile going through. The cake turned out really good, nicely moist, delicious taste. I served it to a group of friends, following watching the opera La Boheme in HD, together with champagne (actually it was cava) and it was a most successful party. Everyone loved it and toasted Martha. I am planning on making it again when my daughters come visit for Christmas, and treat them to something decadently tasty.

Making this was time-consuming but the results were spectacular, and pleasingly close to the example picture. I’d say refrigerating the cakes overnight is essential, since they were fragile straight from the oven, but sturdy and easy to work with the next day. And whatever you do, don’t refrigerate the frosting before applying it! It gets clumpy fast.

 

For the Cake:

Unsalted butter, room temperature, for pans
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablepoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Coarse salt

4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons safflower oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Caramel

4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 cups heavy cream

Coarse salt

2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
For the Frosting
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Coarse salt

1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped, melted, and cooled
Garnish: flaked sea salt, such as Maldon

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cake: Butter three 9-inch round cake pans, and dust with flour, tapping out excess. Sift flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt into the bowl of a mixer. Beat on low speed until just combined. Raise speed to medium, and add eggs, buttermilk, 1 1/2 cups warm water, oil, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.

2. Divide batter among pans. Bake until cakes are set and a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool in pans set on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks, and let cool completely.

3. Make the caramel: Combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Cook, without stirring, until mixture is dark amber, about 14 minutes. Remove from heat, and carefully pour in cream (mixture will spatter); stir until smooth. Return to heat, and cook until a candy thermometer reaches 238 degrees, about 2 minutes. Pour caramel into a medium bowl, stir in 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and let cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Stir in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Let cool completely.

4. Meanwhile, make the frosting: Whisk together cocoa and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water in a bowl until cocoa dissolves. Beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and a generous pinch of coarse salt in a clean bowl with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in melted chocolate and then cocoa mixture until combined. Let stand for 30 minutes before using.

5. Trim tops of cakes using a serrated knife to create a level surface. Cut each in half horizontally to form 2 layers. Transfer 1 layer to a serving platter, and spread 3/4 cup caramel over top. Top with another cake layer, and repeat with remaining caramel and cake layers, leaving top uncovered. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.

6. Frost top and sides of cake in a swirling motion. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Watch: How to Create a Swoopy Finish.

 

 

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DESSERTS

Iced Pumpkin Cookies Recipe

 

Wonderful spicy iced pumpkin cookies that both kids and adults love!

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Additional: 40 mins
Total: 1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 36
Yield: 3 dozen

INGREDIENTS

 

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.

  • In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.

  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.

  • To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners’ sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.

     

Nutrition Facts

121.5 calories; protein 1.2g 3% DV; carbohydrates 22.4g 7% DV; fat 3.2g 5% DV; cholesterol 12.9mg 4% DV; sodium 120.5mg 5% DV.
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DESSERTS

Chocolate Cappuccino Cheesecake Recipe

 

This recipe becomes a favorite as soon as it is tasted. It was once referred to as ‘sinfully rich and velvety smooth’. Best if made a day before serving.

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 1 hr
Additional: 2 hrs 30 mins
Total: 4 hrs
Servings: 12
Yield: 1 – 9 or 10 inch cake

INGREDIENTS

 

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter one 9 or 10 inch springform pan.

  • Combine the chocolate wafer crumbs, softened butter, 2 tablespoons white sugar, and the cinnamon. Mix well and press mixture into the buttered springform pan, set aside.

  • In a medium sized bowl beat the softened cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add 1 cup white sugar mixing until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat at low speed until very smooth.

  • Melt the 8 ounces semisweet chocolate with 2 tablespoons whipping cream in a pan or bowl set over boiling water, stir until smooth.

  • Add chocolate mixture to cream cheese mixture and blend well. Stir in sour cream, salt, coffee, 1/4 cup coffee liqueur, and vanilla; beat until smooth. Pour mixture into prepared pan.

  • Bake in the center of oven at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes. Center will be soft but will firm up when chilled. Do not over bake. Leave cake in oven with the heat turned off and the door ajar for 45 minutes. Remove cake from oven and chill for 12 hours. Just before serving top cake with mounds of flavored whipped cream and garnish with chocolate leaves. Yields 16 servings.

  • To Make Flavored Whipped Cream: Beat whipping cream until soft peaks form, then beat in confectioner’s sugar and 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur.

  • To Make Chocolate Leaves: Melt 1 ounce semisweet chocolate in a pan or bowl set over boiling water, stir until smooth. Brush real non-toxic plant leaves (such as orange leaves) on one side with melted chocolate. Freeze until firm and then peel off leaves. Freeze chocolate leaves until needed.

     

Nutrition Facts

618.7 calories; protein 9g 18% DV; carbohydrates 45.1g 15% DV; fat 45g 69% DV; cholesterol 157.5mg 53% DV; sodium 332.5mg 13% DV.
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DESSERTS

Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

 

This is a wonderful pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust. The gingersnap really does make a difference.

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 1 hr 10 mins
Additional: 6 hrs
Total: 7 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 12
Yield: 1 – 9 inch cake

INGREDIENTS

 

 

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl, mix together the crushed gingersnap cookies, pecans, and butter. Press into the bottom, and about 1 inch up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake crust 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Set aside to cool.

  • In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla just until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time, blending well after each. Set aside 1 cup of the mixture. Blend 1/4 cup sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg into the remaining mixture.

  • Spread the pumpkin flavored batter into the crust, and drop the plain batter by spoonfuls onto the top. Swirl with a knife to create a marbled effect.

  • Bake 55 minutes in the preheated oven, or until filling is set. Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Allow to cool before removing pan rim. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

     

Nutrition Facts

350 calories; protein 5.8g 12% DV; carbohydrates 26.8g 9% DV; fat 25.3g 39% DV; cholesterol 101.1mg 34% DV; sodium 220.7mg 9% DV.
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