I racked my brain for days on what to take to the family picnic on the 4th of July. I wanted to make something different, something chocolate.... something everyone would enjoy. I was convinced up until the 3rd it was going to be a turtle cheesecake but then I woke up Friday morning and decided to do a 'turtle cake'. Let me tell you girls.... and guys.... it turned out yummy!!!
1 box (18 0z) - Devil's Food Cake Mix
1 1/3 Cup - Water
1/2 Cup - Vegetable Oil
3 - Eggs
1 bag (14 oz) - Caramels
1/2 Cup - Evaporated Milk
1 Cup - Pecans, chopped
1 Cup - Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease the bottom ONLY of a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
Combine the cake mix, water, oil and eggs in a large mixing bowl and mix on low speed for 1 minute. Be sure to scrap the sides of the bowl constantly; do not over mix.
Pour half of the cake batter into your baking dish and bake for 25 minutes.
About 10 minutes before your cake is due to come out, heat the caramels and evaporated milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until the caramels are melted.
Pour warm caramel over the already baked cake in pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and pecans. Pour the remaining cake batter over it and spread it evenly over the top. Bake for another 25 to 30 minutes.
Now here is where I made the recipe my own. The original recipe just says to use ice cream or whip topping to garnish. Not me.... I decided to top it off with my cream cheese/whip topping mixture.
Cream Cheese Topping
8 oz. pkg - Cream Cheese, softened
2 Cups - Whipped Topping
1/2 cup - Confectioners' Sugar
1 tsp - Vanilla Extract
Combine all the ingredients, in order in a mixing bowl on low speed. It will thicken up but you won't get stiff peaks.
Next you can either pipe on your cake using tip number 32, or spread on top of your cooled cake.
I then garnished with dark chocolate curls* and chopped pecans.
To make the chocolate curls, I used a Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate bar. (I think the dark chocolate complimented the other flavors perfectly) To make the curls, I put the bar into the refrigerator to get cold so it would hold up to handling better. Then I used a good vegetable peeler to run across the edges. When the chocolate starts warming back up you will get nice, bigger curls but work fast because the chocolate bar will heat up fast in your hand.
I hope you enjoy! I know we did. This morning, there were only a few pieces left! :)