Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chocolate Turtle Cake

Happy Valentines Day!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful day full of love and appreciation for their significant other! In our household, we celebrated last night with dinner, a movie and exchanged gifts! The hubs scored HUGE brownie points because he got me a kitchen torch and the cutest apron decked out in pink polka dots, rhinestone buckle and embroidered, "Domestic Diva."

I got him a movie and baked a cake. Wow, that boy is hard to buy for!

This Valentine's Day was our eighth 'love day' together! It does not seem like we have been together that long...yet I can barely remember my life before him. Valentine's Day is always one of my favorite holidays because it brings with the lowest amount of stress. I know some people feel that it is a Hallmark holiday, and to each their own, but I don't think it's a bad idea to have an extra day each year to tell each other how much you love them!
Today we celebrated by me cooking a meal, funny how that has become my idea of a good time. We rented movies and I enjoyed listening to the hubs laughing at them as I was in the kitchen. I made us a full meal of turkey, ice cream potatoes, cream cheese corn and homemade buns. It was my first attempt with a turkey and let's just say, "it was falling off the bones."

For dessert I made, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup cake, which I will post in a few days because that is the hubs favorite candy!

Now onto the actual post!

I know that this breaks one of the biggest rules in the cooking world but I LOVE box cake mixes. Maybe it because of my minimal skills, poor attention or limited patience but I have yet to make a cake from scratch that I like as much as a cake mix. Eek! I know, I will probably be banished to some far away cooking island, left with only a spear and my imagination, being forced to create a Wilson-like friend to speak to for the rest of my days. Horrible, I know. In time, I do hope to enjoy made-from-scratch cakes more than I do mixes but until that day I found a nifty little cookbook by Miss Betty herself titled, "Ultimate Cake Mix Cookbook." The entire book is filled with bars, pies, cookies and cakes that have some sort of mix as their base. I think the recipes are amazing and perfect for a quick fix!

Chocolate Turtle Cake
Source: Betty Crocker's, Ultimate Cake Mix Cookbook

1 package Devils food cake mix
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 bag (14 ounces) caramels
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 cup chopped pecans
1 bag (6 ounce) semi-sweet chocolate chips (1 cup)

1) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of 9x13 in pan.
2) Make cake mix according to box using water, oil and eggs. Pour half the mixture into the pan. Bake 25 minutes.
3) Meanwhile, heat caramels and milk in 1 quart saucepan over medium heat about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until caramels are melted. Pour and spread caramel over warm cake in pan. Sprinkle with pecans and chocolate chips. Spread with remaining batter.
4) Bake 30 minutes. Run knife around side of pan to loosen cake. Cook completely, about 1 hour. Serve with ice cream. Store at room temperature.
5) To reheat, place piece of cake in microwave for 10-20 seconds and serve with ice cream.

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