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Phoenix, Arizona, United States
The most important thing in my life is my family. I love my dear husband and 4 wonderful children (ages 11 through 18). I am a stay-at-home mom (my dream job!). Some of my favorite things to do include cooking (and eating!), photography, reading, piano, flute, watching my favorite TV shows, swimming, traveling, and most recently...using the rip stick with my kids. I would love to attend culinary school someday & fit my love of photography in with that somehow. My dream vacation is Italy - something I was recently blessed to experience! I'd love to return and see more of that beautiful and DELICIOUS country! My days are usually full of running kids to and from activities - scouts, sports, music and church. Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe, but I absolutely LOVE my crazy life and the people I am lucky enough to share it with!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cheesecake-Stuffed Dark Chocolate Cake (from CHRISTMAS WITH SOUTHERN LIVING 2007)

Though it isn't ready in 30 minutes, there's a lot that is express about this grand cake. It's even better once you've chilled it. This impressive dessert makes the most of cake mix, canned frosting, frozen cheesecake bites, and a jar of caramel sauce.

Prep: 26 min. Cook: 32 min. Other: 1 hr., 10 min.

Unsweetened cocoa
1 (l8.25-oz.) package devil's food cake mix
1 (3.4-oz.) package chocolate instant pudding mix
3  large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1 cup canola oil
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. chocolate extract (optional)
1 tsp. almond extract
3 (1.55-oz.) milk chocolate bars, chopped (we tested with Hershey's)
3 (l6-oz.) cans homestyle cream cheese frosting
3 (7.75-oz.) boxes frozen cheesecake bites, coarsely chopped (we tested with Sara Lee)
(l2-oz.) jar dulce de leche caramel sauce (we tested with Smucker's)
Double chocolate rolled wafer cookies, coarsely broken (we tested with Pirouline)
Chocolate fudge rolled wafer cookies, coarsely broken (we tested with Pepperidge Farm)

Grease 2 (9") round cakepans, and dust with cocoa.

Beat cake mix and next 7 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute; then beat at medium speed
2 minutes. Fold in chopped milk.chocolate bars. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake at 3500 for 32 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool cake in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Wrap and chill cake layers at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. (This step enables you to split cake layers with ease.)

Using a serrated knife, slice cake layers in half horizontally to make 4 layers. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on a cake plate. Spread with 1/2 cup cream cheese frosting; sprinkle with one-fourth of chopped cheesecake bites. Repeat procedure with remaining 3 layers, frosting, and cheesecake bites, omitting cheesecake bites on top of last layer. Frost sides and top of cake with remaining frosting. Drizzle desired amount of caramel sauce over cake, letting it drip down sides. Chill until ready to serve. Decorate cake with rolled wafer cookies and remaining chopped cheesecakebites. Store in refrigerator.

Yield: 12 servings.

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