Monday, December 6, 2010

Caramel Italian Cream Cake - Day 4

When I got the December issue of Southern Living I immediately knew this recipe was a complete winner. This cake is going to look and seem complicated but trust me when I say that it is not! If you like this sort of dessert then I really encourage you to make this cake this holiday season - you will not be sad that you did! It is super delicious but a definite splurge and treat. The caramel frosting is worth it in itself.

Caramel Italian Cream Cake

Cake Ingredients
3 cups shaved coconut
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
5 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Quick Caramel Frosting
1 cup butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup butter, softened

4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°. Place shaved coconut in a single layer in a shallow pan. Place pecans in a second shallow pan. Bake coconut and pecans at the same time 5 to 7 minutes or until coconut is toasted and pecans are lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Meanwhile prepare cream cheese frosting by mixing all ingredients together until well combined and refrigerate until ready to use.

Next, beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add granulated and brown sugars, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add vanilla, beating until blended. Combine flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in pecans and 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut.
Beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form, and fold into batter. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
Bake at 350° for 23 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely. Make sure cake layers are flat, you may have to cut off some of the tops and eat them yourself.
Prepare Quick Caramel Frosting by bringing first 3 ingredients to a rolling boil in a 3 1/2-qt. saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly (about 7 minutes). Stir in cream, and bring to a boil; remove from heat. Pour into bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer. Gradually beat in powdered sugar and vanilla at medium speed, using whisk attachment; beat 8 to 12 minutes or until thickened. Immediately spread frosting between layers and on top of cake.
Spread Cream Cheese Frosting over sides of cake; press 3 cups toasted shaved coconut onto sides of cake.
last photo and recipe courtesy of southern living

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