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Turtle Cake

Turtle Cake

Chocolate velvet cake batter
1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup butter, softened
1 (16 oz) package light brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 (8 oz) container sour cream
1 cup hot water
2 tsp vanilla

Melt semisweet chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl at High for 30 second intervals until melted (about 1 ½ minutes total time).  Stir until smooth.

Beat butter and brown at medium speed with an electric mixer about 5 minutes or until well blended.   Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.  Add melted chocolate, beating just until blended. 

Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.  Gradually add to chocolate mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.  Gradually add 1 cup hot water in a slow, steady stream, beating at low speed just until blended.  Stir in vanilla. 

Spoon batter evenly into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.  Bake at 350 for 25-20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes.  Remove from pans, and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Place 1 cake layer on a serving platter; spread top with 1 cup Caramel Filling, and sprinkle with 1/3 cup chopped pecans.  Repeat procedure with remaining cake layers.  Spread Chocolate Ganache evenly around sides of cake.

Caramel Filling
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 T. corn syrup
1 cup whipping cream

Melt butter in a heavy 3-quart saucepan over medium heat.  Add sugar and corn syrup, and cook, stirring constantly, 6 to 8 minutes or until mixture turns a deep caramel color.  Gradually add cream, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth.  Remove from heat, and let cool.  Chill 2 hours or until thickened and spreading consistency.

Note:  Caramel Filling may be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated.  Let stand at room temperature 1 hour or until spreading consistency.

Chocolate Ganache

1 (12oz) package semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup whipping cream
3 T butter

Microwave chocolate and whipping cream in a 2-quart microwave-safe bowl and Medium 2 ½ to 3 minutes or until chocolate begins to melt.

Whisk until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth.  Whisk in butter; let stand 20 minutes.  Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer 3 to 4 minutes to until mixture forms soft peaks.