If I were anywhere near as witty as none of you are fooled into thinking I am, I would somehow find a way to weave nose hair plucking and after hour (i.e. TRIPLE XXX) cooking shows into my story of how I made this cake.
I would make it seem absolutely hilarious that my roommate’s boyfriend, for whom the cake was made, discussed these topics in great depths with his friends while sitting around my kitchen table. And eating. This cake.
No really. Nose hair plucking techniques.
That’s what this cake spurred them to.
That is…until they unanimously agreed that I should pitch an after hours cooking show to the Food Network. That I would host.
And then spent the next twenty minutes coming up with perverse and highly suggestive permutations of my blog name. Somehow I never realized this, but “Eats Well With Others” lends itself well to that.
….make this cake?
At your own risk. For boys will be boys and if you give them a slice, there’s no telling what kind of conversation will ensue.
But the ladies? The ladies will gobble this down in no time flat. Then they’ll listen to what the boys are talking about, realize exactly the kind of males that are out there, existing, in this world (the kind who talk about exfoliation at the DESSERT TABLE!?!?!?). And then they’ll stress eat another slice.
Then again. Pumpkin, butterscotch and brown sugar? They’d probably have another slice anyway.
**If you ever wanted to learn more about me and the inner workings of my mind, head on over to Taste and Tell where I’m being featured in Deborah’s Blogger Spotlight!
While this would be my ideal dessert for Valentine’s Day, I recognize that some of you are probably going to go a more traditional route. Like, um. Chocolate.
But if you go the Russell Stover route, I will cry. Many tears. Not worth the calories.
But you know what is? Chuao Chocolatier Chocolates.
They sent me three of their chocolates to try – a Love Child bonbon (an aphrodisiac blend of a port wine drenched dried strawberry in a chocolate ganache), a Firecracker bonbon (guaranteed to blow your mind with chipotle caramel fudge, popping candy and sea salt in dark chocolate), as well as their new potato chip chocolate bar (for real). And I swooned. Fell.In.Love. For real.
Luckily, they’re giving all of YOU guys an opportunity to win a chance to taste these babies also! They’re hosting a crazy contest for Valentine’s Day that is open only to specific blog readers, with the winning prize being a trip for two to San Diego for two nights, dinner at the beachfront THE SHORES restaurant, and attendance at a private chocolate and wine pairing event with Master Chef Michael Antonorsi.
Entrants will ALSO have a chance to win one of 14 Limited Edition Sweetheart boxes filled with 22 signature Chuao Chocolatier bonbons featuring delectable aphrodisiac ingredients. Forget buying yourself chocolate and flowers from your “secret admirer” this V-Day. Just enter this contest, and keep your fingers crossed!
And EVERY reader gets a chance to save money on Chuao Chocolatier chocolates by entering the code “HEART” to get a 20% discount off any purchase made between now and February 14th.
Here’s how to enter:
Pumpkin Layer Cake with Butterscotch Filling and Brown Sugar Icing
Makes 1 9-inch layer cake, adapted from Annie’s Eats
For the cake:
- 2 cups AP flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup tightly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
For the filling:
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 stick unsalted butter cut into 4 pieces
- 3/4 cup chopped nuts (I used Oh Nuts! cinnamon pecans)
For the icing:
- 2 cups tightly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- Line the bottoms of 2 round 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Grease the parchment, as well as the sides of the pans. Preheat the oven to 325°. Center a rack in the oven.
- To make the cake, combine the flour, baking soda, spices and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine pumpkin puree and buttermilk and mix until smooth. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase to high speed and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well, and scraping down the bowl between additions. Add the vanilla extract and beat on high for 30 seconds. With the mixer running on low speed, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients, starting and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to finish mixing the batter, until smooth and thoroughly combined.
- Immediately divide the batter between the prepared cake pans, spreading evenly. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans 10 minutes. Invert onto a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
- To make the filling, heat the cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat until hot (do not allow to boil or simmer). Combine sugar and lemon juice in a separate saucepan and stir with a whisk to combine (the sugar will resemble moist sand). In a separate pot, caramelize the sugar for 4-5 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a whisk to break up any lumps. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the hot cream, one half at a time. Add the butter, one piece at a time, stirring to incorporate completely before adding the next piece. Cool in the refrigerator 45 minutes. Place in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on high speed for 2 minutes, until light (but not fluffy). Add the chopped nuts and stir to incorporate. Set aside.
- To make the icing, heat the brown sugar, heavy cream, 2 – 1 oz. pieces of butter, and cream of tartar in a 2-3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, while bringing the mixture to a boil. Allow the mixture to continue boiling while stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Transfer the bubbling hot mixture to a stainless steel bowl and allow to stand at room temperature for 1 hour before proceeding. Place the cooled mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, adding the 6 remaining pieces of butter one at a time, until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to high and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on high for an additional 1 minute until light and fluffy.
- To assemble the cake, place one of the pumpkin cake layers on a cake platter or a cardboard cake circle. Spread butterscotch filling evenly on top of cake. Top with remaining layer of cake, pressing down firmly. Frost sides and top of cake with brown sugar icing. Decorate with extra frosting and cinnamon pecans. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before cutting and serving.