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Cafe Latte Turtle Cake ***

From Cafe Latte

I've been wanting a slice of Cafe Latte's Turtle Cake all weekend. Cafe Latte is located on Grand Avenue in Saint Paul, Minnesota. I first had this cake as a first year law student and it was fab! I broke down and made 2 6-inch cakes this afternoon. They were close enough to the real thing to satisfy me :)

For the Cake
Ingredients:
1 Egg
2/3 cup Vegetable oil
1 cup Buttermilk
2 cups Flour
1 3/4 cups Sugar
1/2 cup good quality cocoa
1 tsp. Salt
1 tbsp. Baking soda
1 cup hot coffee

Directions:
PREPARE OVEN AND PANS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 (9-inch) cake pans.

Cover each bottom with disk of parchment paper.

TO MAKE CAKE
In bowl, combine egg, oil and buttermilk. In large separate bowl, mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking soda. Gradually add wet ingredients to dry until well mixed. Gradually add hot coffee. Scrape batter into prepared pans.

TO BAKE CAKE
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let cake rest in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool.


For the Frosting
Ingredients:
1/2 cup Milk
1 cup Sugar
6 tbsp. Butter
2 cups Good-quality semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup Caramel
1 1/2 cups Toasted pecans

Directions:
TO MAKE FROSTING
Mix sugar and milk in saucepan. Add butter. Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat. Add chocolate chips to pan. Using wire whisk, mix until smooth. If frosting is too thick or grainy, add 1 or 2 teaspoons hot coffee.

To Assemble the Cake
Place one cooled cake layer, top-side down, on cake plate. Spread with one-third of frosting, pushing it out gently from edges to make a petal effect.  Sprinkle with 1/2 cup pecans, Drizzle with 1/4 cup caramel. Add next layer, again top-side down. Repeat frosting and sprinkle with 1/2 cup pecans and drizzle with 1/4 cup caramel. And final layer top-side up, frost with petal effect and finish with  remaining pecans and caramel.  

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