Recipe courtesy of Jason Hisley

Special Turtle Cake

  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 1 hr 45 min
  • Active: 1 hr 45 min
  • Yield: One 4-layer cake
Share This Recipe

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake:

Italian Meringue Frosting:

Dark Chocolate Ganache:

Turtle Filling:

Directions

  1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the bottom and sides of two 8-inch round aluminum cake pans with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, oil, 8 ounces water, buttermilk, vanilla, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk by hand until completely smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and whisk once more to ensure no lumps.
  3. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake until the cakes are firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes.
  4. For the meringue frosting: Mix the sugar with about 1 cup water in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
  5. Meanwhile, whip the egg whites in a stand mixer until they just reach medium peaks. Adjust to low speed and leave running.
  6. Continue cooking the sugar until it reaches the soft-boil stage--the bubbles on the surface will start to pop more often but the sugar should not change color and caramelize.
  7. Adjust the mixer to high speed and slowly pour the cooked sugar into the whipped egg whites. Gradually add the butter, whipping until smooth. (Makes 28 ounces.)
  8. For the ganache: Bring the cream to a simmer in a saucepan, and then stir in the chocolate and cayenne. (Makes 3/4 cup.)
  9. For the turtle filling: Combine the sugar in a large saucepot and mix with just enough water until it resembles wet sand. Bring to a boil and cook until the mixture begins to caramelize.
  10. Allow the sugar to cook until it reaches a dark brown color. As soon as it JUST starts to smoke, remove from the heat and immediately add the cream, CAREFUL, the mixture will boil and bubble and is very hot. Once all the cream is added, whisk the mixture and then add the butter, whisking until fully incorporated.
  11. Toast the pecans in a 425-degree oven for 10 minutes, and sprinkle with salt as soon as they come out. Mix the pecans into the caramel and let cool to room temperature. (Makes 1 pound.)
  12. To assemble the cake: Slice the cakes in half horizontally to make 4 even cake layers. Pipe a ring of frosting around the edge of one of the bottom layers and fill the center with turtle filling--the buttercream ring will prevent the turtle filling from oozing out the sides of the cake.
  13. Spread a thin layer of ganache on top of the turtle filling and repeat with the remaining cake layers.
  14. Frost the entire cake as desired with the frosting.

Fudge Factor

Chocolate Desserts

Indulge in our decadent chocolate desserts, from cookies and cakes to puddings, souffles and truffles.

Over-the-Top-Delicious Treats to Satisfy Your Food Obsession

Are you infatuated with ice cream? Do you lust over lobster? Swoon at the sight of chocolate? Here's the best recipe for each food …

Review: Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert's Chocolate Bar Nov 16, 2012

Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert have teamed up with master chocolatier Christopher Curtin to create the "Good & Evil" chocolate b …

How-To: Chocolate Cream Puffs

Make this classic and elegant French dessert using our step-by-step guide.

Easy Gift Idea: Chocolate-Covered Toffee Feb 7, 2013

Looking for an easy gift idea? Cooking Channel's recipe for Chocolate-Covered Toffee is just the ticket. A touch of coffee in the …

How to Make Truffles

Learn how to make a chocolate lover's favorite treat: the classic truffle made from smooth chocolate ganache.

Essentials: Chocolate Basics Sep 1, 2016

Satisfy that chocolate craving in your very own kitchen. All you need is baking chocolate and a little know-how. It also helps to …

Nostalgic, Old-Fashioned and Retro Candy and Candy Bars

Take a sweet trip down memory lane by ogling these old-school candy bars and confections.