Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chocolate Crunchy Cakes

Are you a smooth or crunchy person?

Do you think there are peanut butter personalities?

Which would you eat… Reese's or Snickers most of the time?

I have found some recipes that have a smooth chocolate layer with crunchy nuts, and they give us nice complex textures….

 

and they’re beautiful!!

Check them out!

 

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Frozen Chocolate-Covered Cappuccino Crunch Cake

Ingredients:

1 (10 3/4 oz.) frozen pound cake, thawed

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 3/4 cups (11.5-oz. pkg.) NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE® Milk Chocolate Morsels

4 cups (1 quart) coffee ice cream, softened

1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 3/4 cups coarsely crushed malted milk balls

Frozen whipped topping, thawed (optional)

Coarsely crushed malted milk balls, (optional)

Directions:

Slice pound cake into 1/8- to 1/4-inch slices. Place half of the slices on bottom of 9-inch spring form pan; press down firmly. Set remaining slices aside.

Bring cream just to a boil in medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add milk chocolate morsels; let stand 5 minutes. Whisk until well combined and smooth. Pour half of the chocolate mixture over pound cake in pan, spreading evenly to within 1/4-inch of edge of pan.

Cover; freeze for 1 1/2 hours or until chocolate is set.

Combine softened ice cream and whipped topping in large bowl. Fold in 1 3/4 cups crushed malted milk balls. Spread over chocolate layer in pan. Cover;

Freeze until ice cream is firm, about 2 hours.

Top ice cream with remaining pound cake slices; press down firmly. Spread remaining chocolate mixture over pound cake. Cover; freeze at least 6 hours

To serve, remove sides of pan. Garnish with additional whipped dessert topping and sprinkle with crushed malted milk balls, if desired. To cut cake easily, run a knife under hot water and dry with a paper towel before making slices.

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Chocolate Crunch Slice

½ cup cream

15 ¾ oz. dark chocolate, chopped

4 ½ oz. butter, chopped

8 oz. store bought shortbread biscuits (but I used Oreos), chopped

Place cream, chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and combined.

Place biscuits in a mixing bowl and pour over two thirds of the chocolate mixture, and stir to coat. Spoon into a 12 ½ x 2 ¾ x 3 inch) bar tin lined with non-stick paper. I personally used a 4 ½ inch diameter spring from pan instead. Pour remaining chocolate mixture over and tap tin to remove any bubbles.

Refrigerate for 3 hours or until set. To serve, remove from tin, dust with cocoa (if desired) and cut into slices (I did wedges).

Makes 16.

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The Mocha Crunch Cake

Ingredients for Cake:

1 ¼ cups unsweetened cocoa powder

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

2 ½ cups sugar

2 ½ teaspoons baking soda

1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder

1 ¼ teaspoons salt

2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk

1 ¼ cups warm water

1 ¼ cups buttermilk

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Ingredients for Mocha Buttercream:

¼ cup Kahlua

1 tablespoon instant coffee crystals

10 oz. semisweet chocolate

6 large egg yolks

¾ cup granulated sugar

½ cup corn syrup

1 lb. (4 sticks) unsalted butter

Ingredients for Ganache:

4 oz. semisweet chocolate

½ cup heavy cream

Additional:

1-1  ½ cups toffee bits

2 toffee candy bars (such as Heath)

Make the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, making sure the baking rack is in the middle of the oven. Prepare two 9” round cake pans by cutting out a piece of parchment or wax paper to line the bottom of them. Grease the pans, place the parchment or wax paper in the bottoms and lightly grease again. Dust the pans with flour (or cocoa powder if you don’t want the white dusting on the finished cakes). Set the pans aside.

Sift together the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add the eggs, yolk, warm water, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Mix on low speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake the cakes for about 32-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Do not over bake! Remove the pans from the oven and set the pans on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Gently run a thin knife around the edges of the pans and unmold the cakes, removing the parchment paper liners from the bottom of the cakes. Let them cool completely, top sides ups, on a wire rack.  Trim the tops of the cake layers with a long serrated knife to make them level.

Make the buttercream:

Put Kahlua in a microwave safe dish and heat until boiling.  Remove and add instant coffee.  Mixture will immediately boil up high and once it goes back down, gently stir it until the coffee is dissolved.  Set aside to come to room temperature.  Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe dish and heat for 30 seconds and stir.  Continue heating in 15-second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate is almost melted.  Stir and allow the residual heat to melt it completely.  Set aside and allow to come to room temperature.

Beat the egg yolks until light and mixer blades make tracks in them.  Spray a 1-cup glass measure with cooking spray and set beside the stove.  Combine sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a full rolling boil.  Immediately remove from heat and pour into the prepared measuring cup to stop the cooking.  While mixer is running, pour the syrup in a steady stream into the egg yolks, careful not to pour it onto the beaters.  Continue beating until mixture is room temperature.  Beat the butter in a small bowl until fluffy, then begin adding it to the egg mixture a tablespoon or two at a time, beating until incorporated after each addition.  Once the chocolate is cooled, turn the mixer back on and add the chocolate to the buttercream, beating until smooth.  Add the cooled Kahlua mixture and beat until uniform & smooth.

Make the ganache:

Place the chocolate and cream in a microwave safe dish and heat for a minute; stir.  Continue heating in 15-30 second intervals until the chocolate emulsifies and the mixture is shiny, dark, uniform, and smooth.  Allow to come to room temperature.

Assemble:

Place one cake layer on plate and spread about 1 cup of mocha buttercream over the top.  Put second cake layer on top and frost the top and sides with the remaining buttercream.  Take handfuls of toffee bits and press them into the sides of the cake.  Chop the candy bars into four pieces each and place with a pointed side up around the edge of the cake.  Slowly pour the cooled ganache over the top of the cake and use a spatula to spread to the edges so that it will ooze out between the candy bars and down the sides a little.  Sprinkle some toffee bits in the middle of the cake. 

Serve at room temperature.

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Southern Praline Crunch Layer Cake

Ingredients for Praline:

1 ½ cups sugar

½ cup light corn syrup

¼ cup minus 2 tbsp. water

2 tbsp. grand Marnier or orange liquor

1 ¼ cups toasted pecan halves

1 ½ tsp. sifted baking soda

Ingredients for Cake:

1 ¼ cup

1 ½ cup superfine sugar

6 egg yolks, room temperature

½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 tbsp. grated orange peel

1 tbsp. orange liqueur

Pinch of salt

8 egg whites, room temperature

1/8 tsp. cream of tartar

Ingredients for Italian Cream Filling:

6 egg yolks

6 tbsp. flour

6 tbsp. sugar

3 cups milk scalded

2” piece of orange rind

Topping

2 cups whipping cream

3 tbsp. superfine sugar

2 tbsp. orange liquor

Method for Praline:

Grease a large baking sheet. Cook sugar, corn syrup and liqueur in a heavy saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to med-high and boil until candy thermometer is just shy of 300 degrees which is the hard ball stage.

Add the toasted pecans which you have coarsely chopped and remove from the heat. Add the baking soda and carefully stir till combined. Pour mixture onto your prepared sheet, being careful not to burn yourself. Spread mixture with the back of the wooden spoon. Place baking sheet on a rack to cool and then break apart into pieces. Using a rolling pin or mallet, crush the praline till the size of coarse crumbs. The easiest way to do this is to bag praline in a freezer baggie, wrapped with parchment paper.

Method for Cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degree. Sift flour and ½ cup sugar into a large bowl. Make a well in the center. Mix together ¼ cup sugar, egg yolks, juice, peel, liqueur and salt. Using a mixer beat until you have slowly dissolving ribbon forms when beater is lifted. About 3 minutes. Don’t overbeat.

Using a clean and dry bowl and beaters, place egg whites and cream of tartar in bowl and beat till soft peaks form. Slowly add your remaining ¾ cup sugar and beat until peaks are stiff. Gently mix 1/3 of egg whites into cake mixture. Then fold the remaining 2/3 egg whites into batter. Turn into an ungreased 10”tube pan, with removable bottom. Using a knife or your spatula cut through batter to remove any air bubbles. Bake until a tester comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes. Invert pan and let cake completely on a rack while in pan. When cool remove from pan being careful.

Method for filling:

Scald your milk and orange peel, set aside till it cools some. Meanwhile in another pan, beat your egg yolks, flour and sugar. Gradually add your scalded milk and stirring constantly heat until mixture come to a slight boil while on low heat. 5-7 minutes to bring filling to this stage. If there are any lumps pass through a sieve. Cool stirring occasionally so that a skin doesn’t form.

Method for topping:

Beat heavy cream in a chilled bowl and wire beater, till soft peaks form. Gradually add your sugar and continue beating till stiff peaks form. Gently fold in orange liqueur.Assemble your cake:

Cake may be made up to 3 days ahead.

Praline may be made up to a week in advance.

Italian cream may be made up to 3 days ahead.

Carefully cut your cooled cake into 3 even layers. Put bottom layer on a 10” cake round cardboard. Spread ½ of Italian cream on cake. Top with another layer of cake and spread remaining Italian cream on cake. Top cake with final layer and chill for about 5-10 minutes in freezer to set. Spread whip cream on sides and top of cake spreading evenly. Cover sides and top of cake with crushed praline candy pieces. You can gather up praline that fell from the sides and sprinkle on cake.

Serve immediately, using a cake knife and pie server. Cake will feed about 20 people. If you make cake ahead of time, keep in refrigerator and remove about 30-60 ahead of serving.

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Crunch Cake

Ingredients:

1 box yellow cake mix

3 eggs

1/3 cup oil

1 cup water

8 oz. sour cream

1 small box instant vanilla pudding (I used sugar free)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

About 1/4 – 1/2 cup of each–butterscotch chips, milk chocolate chips and Heath bar crunches (the one with milk chocolate)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350* and grease a tube or Bundt pan well. 

Mix all the cake mix and the ingredients it calls for (eggs, oil, water) together in a large bowl. Then add in the sour cream and instant pudding and vanilla, stir until smooth.

Poor half of batter into prepared pan–sprinkle with each of the chips, cover with remaining batter and sprinkle again, covering the top with chips,  I used less butterscotch and more Heath!

Bake at 350 for 33-39 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool for about 20 minutes before removing, you don’t want the cake to fall apart!

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What do you think? They sure look good to eat… smooth and crunchy!

Mmmm… mmm!

Happy chocolate day!

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