Mar's Turtle Heath Cake
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups cake flour (Swan is the only brand I could find- it's in a box not a bag)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
5 large egg yolks
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 C finely chopped hazelnuts (you will need 1/2 C total)
1 oz finely chopped bittersweet chocolate bits (I use Scharffenberger)
1/4 C toffee bits (you will need 1/2 C total)
1/2 C water
1 C granulated sugar
1/2 C heavy cream
pinch table salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter cold
1 tablespoon dark rum
8 oz bittersweet chocolate (I use Scharffenberger)
WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING:
2 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon unflavoured gelatin
2 cups chilled heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon dark rum
Sugar to taste
CARAMEL SAUCE (if you don't want to make your own you could use storebought with rum mixed in):
Pour 1/2 cup water into heavy-bottomed saucepan; add sugar to center of pot to keep granules from adhering to sides of pot. Bring to boil over high heat, covered. Uncover pot, insert candy thermometer, and continue to boil until syrup is thick and straw-colored, registering 300 degrees on candy thermometer, about 15 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium; continue to cook until sugar is deep amber, begins to smoke, and registers 350 degrees on candy thermometer, about 5 minutes longer. Meanwhile, bring cream and salt to simmer in small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat. (If cream reaches simmer before syrup reaches 350 degrees, remove cream from heat and set aside.)
Remove sugar syrup from heat. Pour about one quarter of hot cream into sugar syrup; let bubbling subside. Add remaining cream; let bubbling subside. Whisk gently until smooth; whisk in butter and dark rum. Let cool until warm; serve. (Reheat in microwave or small saucepan over low heat if needed before use.)
Adjust rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Prep 2 8" cake pans by spraying with non-stick spray (I like any of the flour baking sprays) then placing a parchment liner in bottom.
Whisk sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl. Whisk in two whole eggs, five egg yolks, water, oil, and extracts until batter is just smooth. Fold in nuts and chocolate.
Pour reserved egg whites into large bowl; beat at medium speed with electric mixer until foamy, about 1 minute. Add cream of tartar, increase speed to medium-high, then beat whites until very thick and stiff, just short of dry, 9 to 10 minutes with hand-held mixer. With large rubber spatula, fold whites into batter, smearing in any blobs of white that resist blending with flat side of spatula.
Divide batter into 2 bowls. In one pan pour half of one bowl of batter. Sprinkle half of the toffee bits over batter, then drizzle caramel sauce over toffee/batter. Pour remainder of batter from bowl into pan. Swirl with toothpick. Repeat in second pan.
Bake cake until wire cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool inverted on rack, about an hour.
WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING (when you start the cake place large bowl and beaters in freezer to chill but don't make frosting until cakes are cooling):
Soak gelatin in cold water for 5 minutes, then dissolve by placing bowl over simmering water for 5 minutes. Place in fridge to chill for 5-10 minutes.
In large chilled bowl beat cream with electric mixer on low until frothy. Slowly add sugar, vanilla, and rum while still beating, and whip until *barely* stiff.
Add cooled gelatin all at once and whip on high speed until stiff peaks are formed. Cover and place in fridge until use.
Over double boiler melt chocolate with 2 T heavy cream. When melted add cream as needed until it's a slightly runny consistency.
PUTTING CAKE TOGETHER:
Place dollop of caramel sauce on cake stand then bottom layer of cake on top of that. Slide strips of parchment paper between cake and stand to protect it from frosting.
Mix 1/2 C each of caramel sauce and chocolate sauce then spread over bottom layer of cake, keeping it 1/2 inch from edges. Sprinkle with toffee bits and hazelnuts, then place second layer of cake on top.
Ice cake with whipped cream frosting and don't worry about making it smooth. Drizzle with remaining chocolate sauce, then with caramel sauce. Sprinkle with reminder of toffee bits then hazelnuts (I like these nuts to be coarsely chopped instead of fine).
Remove parchment strips and serve!
NOTE: Because of the frosting this cake must be refrigerated. Also, if you find any part of my instructions confusing or know of a better way to do parts of this please let me know!
Pairs Well With
This is a light 2-layer cake with a whipped cream frosting, chocolate, caramel, toffee bits, and hazelnuts.
I tasted a similar cake at a restaurant and LOVED it so I felt the need to recreate it. I don't know what the original recipe is so I made this one myself. It's the first time I've been able to do that and I'm so proud. :)