Sunday, January 3, 2016

Caramel Cream Cake

I made this cake for Christmas. Unbeknownst to me, my father went to Sam's Club and bought an Italian Cream Cake. Now (despite not having a picture), the Sam's Club cake was a lot prettier. However, the tastes depend on the person.

The Sam's Club cake was very sweet. So only a small piece was needed. The Homemade Cake...A big piece was fine. There's the comparison.

As for the Caramel Cream Cake in general, I'm on the fence about it. I didn't find it overly sweet. I'm not sure what the "pecan pie filling" was about. The cake was fine, but it was a little tedious to have to break out another bowl, and a hand mixer to beat the egg whites for the batter. Thankfully, I had read the instructions for each part beforehand, so I knew to use my big mixer and the hand mixer. But if I had only had one, and not the other...this recipe wasn't going to happen.

The other thing...growing up, I was not a fan of cake. I liked frosting, so usually, I cut around the cake, and just ate the frosting. I found myself doing it with both cakes.

And Saturday, I told D that this was a cake that could sit in my house, while not feeling tempted. Oddly, I think he agreed because I ended up throwing the cake out on Sunday (yes, over a week after Christmas) because it had mold on it.

So, it was good, but not worth the effort, especially if your dad is going to buy a cake from Sam's Club that you can just eat the frosting off of.  And I have no idea what I'm going to do with 2.5 sticks of shortening.

Caramel Cream Cake

Photo by ALB

This three-layer butter cake has a pecan-pie filling in between the cake layers, a rich cream cheese frosting, and a topping of sweet coconut and chopped pecans. It's a great dessert for holiday entertaining.

Yield: Makes 12 servings

1 cup finely chopped sweetened flaked coconut
Pecan Pie Cake Batter (see below)
Pecan Pie Filling (see below)
Cream Cheese Frosting (see below)
1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted Garnishes: raspberries, fresh mint sprig

1. Stir 1 cup finely chopped coconut into Pecan Pie Cake Batter; spoon batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch cake pans.

2. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

3. Spread Pecan Pie Filling between layers. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting on top and sides of cake. Sprinkle top and sides with toasted pecans and toasted coconut. Garnish, if desired.

Pecan Pie Cake Batter

Yield: Makes about 6 cups

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted

1. Beat 1/2 cup butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well until blended. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

2. Combine flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in pecans.

3. Beat egg whites at medium speed until stiff peaks form; fold one-third of egg whites into batter. Gently fold in remaining beaten egg whites just until blended. Use immediately.

Pecan Pie Filling

Yield: Makes about 3 cups

1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/3 cup cornstarch
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Whisk together first 6 ingredients in a heavy 3-qt. saucepan until smooth. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla. Place a sheet of wax paper directly on surface of mixture to prevent a film from forming, and chill 4 hours.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: Makes about 3 cups

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended; stir in vanilla.

Southern Living, DECEMBER 2006

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