Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chocolate Turtle Bundt Cake

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Chocolate, how I love thee! I recently came across a monthly food blogging event where a theme is chosen each month and bloggers submit a recipe to share.  Moms Crazy Cooking Challenge captures the deliciousness of so many food bloggers that participate and I was happy to join in the fun this month. For February, the theme is Chocolate Cake so my contribution to this cooking challenge is this Chocolate Turtle Bundt Cake which can easily be made as a standard recipe or even gluten free.  This rich chocolate cake batter is baked up in a bundt pan then crowned with a salted caramel sauce before sprinkled with toasted pecans.  I’m drooling… are you?
I initially planned on making this cake with several layers but alas, time wasn’t on my side. Instead I baked this up in a bundt pan and topped the cake with salted caramel sauce and pecans. I found this to be really decadent and can only imagine how over the top it would have been if made into a layer cake as originally planned. Either way, the chocolate definitely comes through and the salted caramel cuts through the sweetness just perfectly. In the end, you have a moist crumb cake, a little smooth caramel with a touch of salt and the crunch of toasted pecans to put it all together. It’s definitely a symphony of sweetness and textures, making this my preferred chocolate cake of choice!

*If you want to make this gluten free, substitute the all purpose flour with a gluten free flour blend that contains xanthan gum (which helps with texture.) Some brands I've used with success include Better Batter gluten free flour blend and Tom Sawyer gluten free flour blend. Neither of these include any bean flours - if that's something you're not particularly fond of.

Chocolate Turtle Bundt Cake
recipe adapted from Smith Bites,
originally from Martha Stewart

For the chocolate cake:
Butter flavored cooking spray
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon more for pans (use gluten free flour blend w/xanthan gum*)
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the salted 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


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make the cake: Butter 1 large bundt cake pan with the cooking spray, and dust with 1 tablespoon flour, tapping out excess. Sift remaining flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and 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.

Transfer the cake batter to the prepared bundt pan. Bake until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Invert cake.

Meanwhile, 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.

Pour caramel sauce over cooled cake. Top with chopped toasted pecans, slice, and serve.

Check out all these amazing chocolate recipes made by all the food bloggers participating in 'Moms Crazy Cooking Challenge' this month! Click on your favorite looking chocolate cake and cast your vote! (Mine is #81, wink wink...)

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