Friday, February 8, 2013

Got Chocolate?

Today I'm linking up with my teenage blogging friend, Grace Johnson, again. If you didn't take the opportunity to look at her fantastic baking blog The Baking Apprentice last week, check it out this week and try one of her delicious desserts! 

Do you have dessert often at your house?

We don't.

Usually we have dessert when there's a special reason (a birthday for example), company (because they expect it), or when Mom (that's me) gets the urge to make something (so she--I--can snitch some while I'm making it!)

I have been known to make up "special reasons", like:

  • George Washington's Birthday
  • The anniversary of the first time my husband and I talked
  • Baby's 1 month birthday
  • Anyone's half birthday
  • A pet's birthday
I guess birthdays are a big reason for desserts for me.

One thing I discovered along the way was that if I want my kids to stick around the table longer and visit with us, dessert was always a good enticement. Of course they had to eat their vegetables to get dessert. Always a catch, isn't there?

The first time I made this cake I made it just because I'd found the recipe and I wanted to try it. Right away I could tell I had a huge success on my hands. Since then I've used it for graduation parties, birthdays, and company.

If you are looking for an easy but decadent dessert to show your love at Valentine's (or keep your family lingering any time) I recommend this cake I originally found in The Woman's Day Cookbook.

Turtle Cake
1 14 oz. bag caramels
5 oz. evaporated milk
1 box (18.5 oz) Devil's Food cake mix with pudding (get one that calls for oil) (and ingredients called for in cake mix)
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans

I used a sugar free cake mix as an excuse so I could eat some, but the rest of the ingredients weren't in my diet. Still really, really good!

Oven 350F. Line a 9x13-inch pan with foil and lightly grease. (This really facilitates clean up and I highly recommend it.)

Melt caramels and milk together in small pan over low heat (about 10 minutes). Unwrapping the caramels is the most work involved in this recipe. Maybe your kids would like to help.

Prepare cake mix according to package directions except use only half the oil called for. Beat on low speed 1 minute. Add butter and beat on medium 2 more minutes until thick and smooth. 

Spread half the batter in pan. Bake 12-14 minutes until cakes starts to puff around edges. Pour caramel mixture and spread to edges. Sprinkle with half (about 1 cup) chocolate chips and half the nuts. Spoon remaining cake batter over top and carefully spread to edges.

Bake 35-40 minutes until the cake starts to pull away from sides of pan and middle springs back to touch. Cool on wire rack.

When cake is cool (this is important) melt remaining chocolate chips. Spread over cooled cake. Sprinkle with remaining nuts.

I was impatient when I made this one and it wasn't pretty. However it still received rave reviews by my guests last Sunday!

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

So tell me, do you have dessert often?

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Remember to like the Around the Table Facebook page to get a conversation starter for your dinner tonight!

Linking with these great blogs.

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Coming Up in This Blog:
Be sure to be back to read these topics coming up!
February 12 -- Reader's Questions Answered: Guests with cell phones and picky eaters
February 15 -- One More Dessert--Just in time for George Washington's Birthday!


  1. Well, I would sit and visit longer for this yummy looking dessert! I bake a dessert for Sunday and the other times we have fruit or frozen yogurt. I'd love a chocolate dessert ever day. Ha!

    1. If I could eat chocolate without worrying about my weight, I'd have it every day too!

  2. OMG that looks delicious! We don't do dessert often but I will use any excuse to get chocolate!

  3. O, we are totally SUGAR DEPENDENT !! looooove desserts and have them often.
    I just bookmarked your recipe and hope to try it real soon.
    Over from Sunny Simple.
    Linked up to follow you....I have an awesome candle giveaway going...come by for a chance at winning one. :)

  4. WOW! That looks so yummy thank you for sharing. I'm your newest follower via GFC.

    Hugs, Smiles & Blessings,

    Robin @ Fluster Buster

  5. Oh, this looks so yummy and fun! I like how you used a sugar free cake mix since those toppings have a lot of it. No, we don't have dessert around here very often. My husband gets low-blood sugar if he indulges.

    Thanks for the tutorial, I would like to try this for a special occasion.

    I am visiting you from Pamela's blog and am your newest follower!

    Kathy M.

    1. Not sure the sugar free cake mix offsets the other sugar!

  6. minus the nuts and you have yourself a deal. I don't like nuts in desserts.

    Thank you for linking up with Raising Imperfection.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

    1. I didn't used to like nuts in desserts either, but they've grown on me.

  7. Oh my goodness, this looks and sounds amazing!

    Thanks for sharing your favorite post at Raising Imperfection! We feature our favorites on Friday, make sure to come back and check.

  8. Oh, yes. Dessert...always! And always have some pumpkin or zucchini bread in the freezer. And usually some cookies.
    I love to bake and so all our desserts are homemade...yum!

    1. I love baking,too, but most of us are watching our weight here so we have to be more careful.

  9. I'm going to have to try that out! Well imagine that..your post gave me an excuse to make dessert. :) Thanks!

  10. I try to make our desserts healthier...but we love cinnamon rolls and homemade brownies (both of which you can make using white-whole-wheat flour, I've discovered!). This sounds like an amazing special-occasion treat!! :)

  11. Not sure why you say "it wasn't pretty," for this looks pretty darn delicious to me. Thank you for sharing in the GRAND Social and visiting the posts of others. Yum!

    1. The chocolate wasn't "smooth". I'm working on my pictures, though and have good ones for this Friday's recipe, I think.

  12. Oh my! This certainly looks yum!

  13. Oh yum! That looks so amazing & not difficult to make. Thanks for sharing & linking up @ Theresa

  14. This looks yummy!! Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library! Pinned it!

  15. I'll be honest: I have dessert just about every day (except it isn't usually a homemade treat like this). :)
    These look GREAT. And I don't even like walnuts!

    1. Thanks, Bethany! Wish I could eat dessert everyday! Usually I settle for a cup of coffee.



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