Caramel Italian Cream Cake is of Italian origin and made from finely chopped pecans, shaved coconuts, granulated sugar, firmly packed dark brown sugar, vanilla extract, sweetened flaked coconut, buttermilk, etc. The dish provides the much needed alternative for a wholesome desert which can be served after the meals. The brown sugar used in this cake is the reason for quick caramel flavor in both the cake layers and its frosting.
Complexity level: This dish is relatively easy to make.
Time taken: At least 2 hours, 30 minutes required.
In order to make this desert one needs to have the following ingredients:
3 cups shaved coconut
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup of softened butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
5 large, separated, eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
As far as the process of making is concerned, it includes 6 steps as under:
a. First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then place a single layer of shaved coconut in a shallow pan and place pecans in another shallow pan. Bake both these ingredients for about 5-7 minutes stirring them all the while.
b. Further, beat the butter and shorten it at a slow speed with an electric mixer grinder to make them fluffy. Then one needs to add granulated and brown sugar gradually all this while beating the contents thoroughly. Add egg yolks one by one, beating them after each addition until they are blended. Thereafter, add vanilla with the same beating action until it blends into this mixture.
c. Combine baking soda and flour, which is then to be added to the above butter mixture slowly and steadily. Instead of butter, buttermilk also can be used here. Each time we need to begin and end with the flour mixture. This mixture is then to be beaten at low speed until it blends totally. Then stir in pecans and 1 cup flaked coconut.
d. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff, fold them into the batter. This batter is then poured in to 3 pans each of 9″ in diameter and which are greased and floured.
e. This is then baked at 350 degrees for 23-25 minutes. After baking, it is cooled for 10 minutes in pans on wire racks. Then it is removed from the pans onto the wire racks and is cooled for one hour at a stretch. This cooling is necessary for spreading the frosting on it.
f. Then, prepare quick caramel frosting spreading it in between the layers and on top of the cake. Cream cheese frosting is also spread over the sides of the cake, along with 3 cups toasted shaved coconut.
Cream cheese frosting and quick caramel frosting can be prepared as above. The method and the ingredients for the same are available on other sources.