Amazing presentation created with the wonderful flavors of the chewy, crunchy chocolate caramel candies! I used chocolate icing, pecans and the caramel portion came into play in the form of the cake. If you do not have a large serving glass like this, make it in a trifle serving dish or into a typical 3 layered cake. Anyway you dish it up, it is sure to impress!
- 2 1/2 cups of cake flour sifted
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- A dash of salt
- 3/4 cups of Smart Balance brand butter or regular butter
- 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup of Smucker’s brand Caramel Flavored Topping
- 1 1/2 cups of milk
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 4 egg whites, beaten until stiff
- Non- stick cooking spray with flour
- Frosting & Sauce
- 2 cups of half and half
- 1/2 cup of butter
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
- Filling and Chocolate Towers
- 2 cups of chopped pecans slightly toasted
- 1/3 cup of mini semi sweet chocolate chips divided
- 20 disks of melting/molding milk chocolate discs divided
- 20 disks of white melting/molding discs divided
Sift flour, baking soda and dash of salt into a large bowl and set aside. In a large bowl cream sugar and butter. Add egg yolks, caramel, milk and vanilla and continue to mix until well combined. Gradually add flour mixture until combined. In a medium sized mixing bowl beat egg whites with a mixer until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in egg whites to the cake batter until well combined. Spray each of the 3 – 9 inch round cake pans 1 1/2 inches in depth with non-stick spray with flour. Evenly ladle batter into cake pans and bake in a preheated oven at 375 for about 15 minutes or when a butter knife is inserted into the center of the cake it comes out clean. Remove and let cool.
While cake is baking, make the frosting by adding the half and half, butter, brown sugar, chocolate chips and cornstarch to a medium size pot and melt over medium high heat. Stir aggressively until bubbles begin to form. Continue to stir while bubbles begin to fill the entire pot. Once mixture has become thick, stir and remove from heat. This process takes about 15 minutes so be patient, it is worth the effort. It will thicken a bit more as it cools.
While cake and frosting are cooling chop and toast pecans and create decorative towers. Chop pecans into little pieces and slightly toast in a medium sized skillet over low heat. Cut parchment paper into 3 pieces about 5 x 7 inches. Take half of each type of the chocolate and place onto the parchment paper. Melt each chocolate separately in the microwave by placing in the microwave and melt in 20 second increments until chocolate is melted. Repeat with remaining chocolate. Using a knife gently spread melted chocolate across parchment paper in a 3 x 4 inch design. Repeat the process for each type of chocolate. Then gently fold the sides of the parchment paper to form a cone type of shape and place into a large cup. Place in the freezer to set chocolate for about 5 minutes. Remove from freezer and gently remove from the parchment paper. Place on a cookie sheet and set aside. Take the 3 remaining types of chocolate and add to three separate Ziplock sandwich bags. Melt in the microwave in 20 second increments until melted. Repeat with remaining chocolate. Once chocolate is melted squish all of the chocolate down to one of the bottom corners of the bag. Using a scissors cut the very tip of the corner. The bigger the hole, the larger the design so make sure it is very small to create delicate designs. It is just like hair, you can always cut it more if needed but once its cut you can’t go back. Using the baggie like you would a cake decorating tool drizzle as you squeeze the chocolate back and forth over the chocolate towers. Drizzle the milk and the dark chocolate over the white tower. Drizzle the white and the milk chocolate over the dark tower and finally drizzle the white and the dark chocolate over the milk chocolate tower. Once satisfied with your design, place into the refrigerator until you are ready to place on the top of the cake.
To assemble the cake, place a ladle of chocolate frosting on the bottom of the glass dish. Place one cake on top gently forming it to the bottom of the glass, then gently top with chopped pecans and another ladle of chocolate. Using a knife gently spread sauce and pecans to evenly cover the cake. Add the second layer of cake and repeat the process with pecans and chocolate. Top with the remaining cake. Add all additional frosting to the top of the cake and gently let it ooze over the side of the glass and top with remaining chopped pecans. Place in the refrigerator to set. Add decorated chocolate towers just before serving.