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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Rich, moist turtle treats speed up the chewing

Posted: 01/23/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

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DON'T WORRY: No turtles were harmed in the course of this week's recipe swap. Wanda Urschatz was looking for a recipe that replicates the chocolate-caramel-pecan combo of the popular sweet. Thanks to Heather Howell, who sent in a recipe for a turtle brownie. Thanks also to Janice Lamb and Wilma Dick, who sent in recipes for a turtle cake.

We have another Shanghai request, this time from Tracy Joyal, who would love the now-closed restaurant's recipe for beef subgum with almonds, served on a bed of crunchy noodles. Bonnie Miller is looking for a recipe published in the 1990s, when Annie Buckland was doing food writing for the Free Press. It was a pumpkin dessert that Annie offered as an alternative to pumpkin pie. If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to recipeswap@freepress.mb.ca, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.

Turtle cake

1 x 515 g devil's food cake mix (plus eggs and vegetable oil to prepare cake according to package directions)

80 caramels

1x 300 ml can (1 1/3 cup) sweetened condensed milk

114 g (125 ml or 1/2 cup) butter

250 ml (1 cup) chopped pecans

250 ml (1 cup) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 175C (350F). Grease one 22x33 cm (9x13 in) and one 20x20 cm (8x8 in) pan. Prepare cake mix as directed on box. Pour a thin layer of batter onto each prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes. In a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, melt caramels with milk and butter, stirring frequently. Pour onto baked layers and then cover with remaining cake batter. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and bake about 15 more minutes or until cakes test done. (Smaller pan may bake more quickly.) Sprinkle warm cakes with chocolate chips immediately. Cool before cutting.

Tester's notes: This is a very moist, very rich cake, with layers of caramel and chocolate. This recipe uses the largest size of cake mix, and Wilma found that the cake was so chockablock with extra ingredients that a 22x33 cm (9x13 in) pan overflowed, so she now uses two pans. This makes perfect sense, though I did struggle with how much to put in each pan -- I initially put too much batter into my small pan -- and with adjusting baking times so that each came out at the right time. With some watching, it worked out fine in the end.

Turtle brownies

1 x 500 g package soft caramels (about 60 Kraft caramels)

75 ml (1/3 cup) evaporated milk

1 x 2-layer chocolate cake mix

175 ml (3/4 cup) butter or margarine, melted

75 ml (1/3 cup) evaporated milk

250 ml (1 cup) chopped pecans or walnuts

250 ml (1 cup) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 175C (350F). In a double boiler or heavy saucepan, melt caramels and first amount of evaporated milk. Combine cake mix, butter, second amount of evaporated milk and nuts in a medium bowl and mix well. Spread half of mixture in ungreased 22x33 cm (9x13 in) pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over top. Pour caramel over chips. Drop remaining batter over all. Return to oven and bake for 15-18 minutes. Cool several hours in pan before cutting into small squares.

Tester's notes: This recipe results in a rich, chewy brownie. The chocolate mixture is thick, as for a fudgey brownie, so don't worry about completely covering the pan with the batter: It will spread when baking. Also, as with a fudgey brownie, it is better to undercook a bit and let it firm up as it cools. I overbaked a little, and the brownie was hard at the edges. (Lovely and gooey in the middle, however.)

Heather has a great tip: For easy wrapper removal, place caramels in freezer for 30 minutes.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 23, 2013 D4

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