A couple of bites of this dulce de leche devil’s food cake, and you will never crave another. You can make this cake three or four layers-depending on how much dulce de leche you want to pack into the inside!
serves 16; PREP time: Active: 1 hour TOTAL: 3 hours
2 ½ cups (4 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pans
1 cup and 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder, plus more for pans
¾ cup boiling water
3 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ tablespoons pure vanilla extract
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 ½ cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups milk
24 oz. semisweet chocolate morsels
4 cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
3 cups confectionary dulce de leche
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter two 9-inch spring form pans; line bottoms with parchment. Dust bottoms and sides of pans with cocoa powder; tap out any excess.
Sift cocoa into a medium bowl, and whisk in boiling water to create a thick paste. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter on low speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down sides twice. Beat in vanilla. Drizzle in eggs, a little at a time, beating between each addition until the batter is no longer slick, scraping down the sides at least twice.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk milk into reserved cocoa mixture. With mixer on low speed, alternately add flour and cocoa mixtures to the batter, a little of each at a time, starting and ending with flour mixture.
Divide batter evenly among two pans and bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into center of each layer comes out clean. Transfer layers to wire racks; let cool 15 minutes. Turn out cakes and return to racks, tops up, until completely cool. Once cool, cut each layer in half.
To make frosting: place chocolate morsels and cream in a heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until combined and thickened, between 20 and 25 minutes. Increase heat to medium low; cook, stirring, 3 minutes more. Remove pan from heat; stir in corn syrup. Transfer frosting to a large metal bowl. Chill until cool enough to spread, about 2 hours, checking and stirring every 15 to 20 minutes. Use immediately.
To assemble, remove parchment from bottoms of cakes. Reserve the prettiest layer for the top and even out each layer, if necessary, so each is flat. Place one cake layer on a serving platter; spread 1 ½ cups confectionary dulce de leche over top. Add second layer and spread with another 1 ½ cups confectionary dulce de leche. Cover the outside of cake with frosting.
I make this dish every Easter, as it is easy to make ahead. The mascarpone and dulce de leche create the perfect level of sweetness—not too little, not too much. I put out a fresh batch of cannoli on a beautiful white platter and create a toppings bar that includes semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, toasted coconut, chopped pistachio nuts and sprinkles. My kids enjoy helping me dip the cannoli in the melted chocolate and choosing the toppings in the grocery store. I like to make mini cannoli for cocktail parties and children’s parties. They are the perfect two-bite dessert, while the big ones I save for casual events with family.
makes 18 large cannoli; Prep time: Active: 30 MIN.; TOTAL: 4 hours
(includes time for chocolate to set)
3 6-piece boxes of already prepared Sicilian-style, hand-rolled cannoli shells
16 oz. mascarpone sweet cheese
6 oz. confectionary dulce de leche
11 ½ ounces 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips
Decorations: semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, toasted coconut, chopped pistachio nuts, sprinkles
Over a simmering water bath, slowly melt chocolate chips in a metal bowl. Remove from heat and stir. Dip one side of cannoli shell into melted chocolate. Place on a cooling rack and allow chocolate to set for at least 3 hours. (I like to do this the day before.) Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, mix together dulce de leche and mascarpone cheese until blended. Put in the refrigerator for ½ hour to set. With a pastry bag, fill cannoli and decorate to your liking. Cover and serve with toppings of your choice.
This cake is the green cousin of the beloved carrot cake. While at first it doesn’t sound too appetizing, the combination of vanilla, apples and kale creates the perfect balance of sweetness, and an ultra-moist cake. This is also a natural and quick alternative to making a green cake for St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve had people ask me if I use food coloring to obtain the grassy green color, but it really is just the quantity of kale that is packed into the batter. The cake is superb by itself with coffee but that much better when dressed with layers of dulce de leche and chocolate ganache.
serves 16; PREP time: Active: 30 MIN.; TOTAL: 2 hours
6 cups (about ½ pound) chopped kale
3 Fuji apples, peeled
2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
2 Boxes of Betty Crocker Super Moist French Vanilla Cake Mix
2 cups water
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
12 oz. cacao 60% bitter-sweet chocolate
5-6 heaping tablespoons dulce de leche
Preheat oven to 350°. In food processor or high-speed blender combine the apples, kale and unsweetened almond milk and puree until finely blended.
In a separate mixer bowl, combine cake mix, water, vegetable oil, eggs and cinnamon. Beat with an electric mixer until blended, about 2 ½ minutes.
Pour into 32 greased and floured 9- x 1½-inch round baking pans. Bake as directed on box, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool thoroughly on racks.
To make the dulce de leche chocolate ganache: In a medium saucepan, combine and heat ingredients over low heat, stirring constantly just until everything has completely blended to a velvety consistency. Remove from heat and chill until cool enough to spread, about 1/2 hour, checking and stirring every 5 to 10 minutes. Use immediately.
With a cake knife, slice each of the cakes through the middle. Put layers together by using the top layer of each cake as the bottom piece. With a cake knife, slice each of the cakes through the middle. Put cake layers together by using the top layer of each cake as the bottom and middle pieces. Once topping is set, layer generously with dulce de leche chocolate ganache and frost tops and sides of cake layers.