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Chocolate Turtle Cake

We created this decadent chocolate cake showcasing a creamy caramel layer and rich ganache. A small slice goes a long way to satisfy a sweet tooth.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
  • Total Time
    Prep: 3 hours Bake: 20 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    16 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dark baking cocoa
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2-1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • CARAMEL LAYER:
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • GANACHE LAYER:
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • FROSTING:
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon dark baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • GARNISHES:
  • Chocolate curls or other decorations

Directions

  • Dissolve cocoa in boiling water; cool. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk and cocoa mixture, beating well after each addition.
  • Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For caramel layer: Line a 9-in. round pan with foil and grease the foil with butter. Sprinkle with pecans; set aside.
  • In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, brown sugar, 1/2 cup cream, corn syrup and butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir until smooth and blended, about 5 minutes. Gradually stir in remaining cream. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 238° (soft-ball stage), about 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat. Quickly pour into prepared pan (do not scrape saucepan). Cool.
  • For ganache layer: Line a 9-in. round pan with foil and grease the foil with 1 teaspoon butter. Sprinkle with pecans; set aside. Place chocolate chips in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chocolate; whisk until smooth. Pour over pecans. Cool to room temperature; chill until set.
  • For frosting: In a microwave, melt unsweetened chocolate and chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. In a large bowl, beat the confectioners' sugar, butter, milk, cocoa and vanilla until smooth; beat in melted chocolate.
  • To assemble cake: Place one cake layer on a serving plate; remove foil from caramel and place on top. Top with another cake layer; remove foil from ganache and place on top. Top with remaining cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake. Garnish as desired.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 1138 calories, 59g fat (32g saturated fat), 153mg cholesterol, 483mg sodium, 152g carbohydrate (118g sugars, 4g fiber), 10g protein.

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