Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Chocolate Praline Cake

26.2.  It is a choice and a commitment.  It takes hours of preparation and an investment on many fronts.  It creates moments of uncertainty and builds confidence.  You hit the wall.  The cheer of the crowd gives you extra motivation.  And then you cross the finish line – exhausted, exhilarated and accomplished.

About a year and a half ago, David set out and started his own private equity firm.  He had a passion and a vision.  TEAM Partners has completed its first deal!  As if David needs a sugar high to go on top of his natural high, I made this cake to celebrate his accomplishment.

If you have ever known a marathoner, then you know that once you get the bug, you can’t stop.  Go David – keep running! 


Happy Birthday (yesterday) Travis!!!


This recipe came from a very old edition of Southern Living
Chocolate Praline Cake
1.      1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2.      ¼ c cocoa
3.      1 c water
4.      ½ c buttermilk
5.      2 large eggs
6.      1 t baking soda
7.      1 t vanilla extract
8.      2 c sugar
9.      2 c all-purpose flour
10.  ½ t salt
Before the celebration...

1.      12 oz package of semi-sweet chocolate morsels
2.      1/3 c whipping cream
3.      ¼ c (4 T) butter, cut into pieces

Praline Topping 
1.      ¼ c (4 T) butter
2.      1 c firmly packed brown sugar
3.      1/3 c whipping cream
4.      1 c powdered sugar
5.      1 t vanilla extract
6.      1 c chopped pecans, toasted

For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350.

Combine butter, cocoa and water and cook in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until butter melts and mixture is smooth.  Remove butter mixture from heat.  In a separate bowl, beat ingredients buttermilk, eggs, baking soda and vanilla at medium speed until smooth.  Add butter mixture and beat until blended.  Slowly add in the sugar, flour and salt and beat until blended.

Coat 3 9-inch round cakepans (bottom and sides) with cooking spray and line with wax paper (easier yet, use a pre-cut parchment circles).  Pour cake batter evenly into pans.  There will not be a lot of batter in each pan.

Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes or until cake is set.  Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.  Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks (coat with cooking spray first).

For the icing:
Microwave chocolate morsels and whipping cream in a glass bowl at medium (50%) power for 2-3 minutes or until morsels are melted.  Whisk until smooth.  Gradually add butter, whisking until smooth.  Cool, whisking often, for 15 minutes or until spreading consistency.

Spread about ½ c icing in between the cake layers and spread the remaining icing on the sides of the cake.

For the praline topping:
Do not prepare in advance.  Cook only once the cake has been iced.

Bring butter, brown sugar and whipping cream to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, and boil 1 miunte.  Remove from heat and whisk in 1 cup of powdered sugar and vanilla extract until smooth.  Stir in toasted pecans, stirring gently 3-5 minutes, or until mixture begins to cool and thicken slightly.  Pour immediately over cake. 

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