I am trying to wrap my brain around the idea that Charlie turns THIRTEEN tomorrow. But rather than ponder all of the ramifications of the day, instead I shall concentrate on making his birthday cake.
This year, he has requested something a bit more sophisticated, perhaps owing to his age? The last time I made this, a friend of Mike's from California came to stay and fly and celebrate his 40th birthday. It has been a few years....
Café Latte’s Famous Turtle Cake
• 1 Egg.
• 2/3 cup Vegetable oil.
• 1 cup Buttermilk.
• 2 cups Flour.
• 1 3/4 cups Sugar.
• 1/2 cup Good quality cocoa.
• 1 tsp. Salt.
• 1 tbsp. Baking soda.
• 1 cup Hot coffee
• 1/2 cup Milk.
• 1 cup Sugar.
• 6 tbsp. Butter
• 2 cups Good-quality semisweet chocolate chips.
• 3/4 cup Caramel.
• 1 1/2 cups Toasted pecans.
Prepare oven and pans: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 (9-inch) cake pans.
Cover each bottom with disk of parchment paper.
To make cake: In bowl, combine egg, oil and buttermilk. In large separate bowl, mix
together flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking soda. Gradually add wet ingredients to dry
until well mixed. Gradually add hot coffee. Scrape batter into prepared pans.
To bake cake: Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes
out clean. Let cake rest in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool.
To make frosting: Mix sugar and milk in saucepan. Add butter. Bring to a boil.
Remove from heat. Add chocolate chips to pan. Using wire whisk, mix until smooth. If
frosting is too thick or grainy, add 1 or 2 teaspoons hot coffee.
To assemble cake: Place one cooled cake layer, top-side down, on cake plate. Spread
with one-third of frosting, pushing it out gently from edges to make a petal effect.
Sprinkle with 1/2 cup pecans, Drizzle with 1/4 cup caramel. Add next layer, again
top-side down. Repeat frosting and sprinkle with 1/2 cup pecans and drizzle with 1/4 cup
caramel. And final layer top-side up, frost with petal effect and finish with remaining
pecans and caramel.
Charlie has requested that I make it WITHOUT nuts, as he is not a fan. So I believe I will have to toast some up anyway, and serve them on the side for those who enjoy the crunch. After all, that's what a turtle cake is all about!