“Do you wanna come with me? ‘Cause if you do then I should warn you, you’re gonna see all sorts of things. Ghosts from the past; [children in our] future; the day the Earth died in a ball of flame. It won’t be quiet, it won’t be safe, and it won’t be calm. But I’ll tell you what it will be: the trip of a lifetime.”
The Ninth Doctor, Doctor Who
Not exactly the most conventional wedding vows, eh? David and I chose to write our own and exchanged them amidst lots of laughter, family, and friends in the Wasatch Mountains. After promising to agree to disagree on the important things in life, such as root beer and mushrooms . . . and ya know, love each other and stuff, David and I chose the above quote as a way of asking for the other’s “i do.”
Ridiculous? Yes. Serious and real? Abso-freakin-lutely. It is this combination of the ridiculous and the serious that I think makes me most happy and most comfortable.
David and I are both accomplished professionals that don the suits and talk the talk and understand the realities of life in which we operate. But . . . at the end of the day we are two idealistic kids that want our ninja turtle sweat pants, mugs of hot chocolate with extra marshmallows, and an epic mario kart battle before snoring in front of a movie. Our incredible friends had the Doctor Who vows framed for us and they remind me every day that I’m living the trip of a lifetime. As my eyes scan the words, I see the mountain forest behind David, Mum and Dad out of the corner of my eye, the calvin & hobbes guest book, the wildflowers, and the super mario fondant covered chocolate turtle cake. The ridiculous things and the serious things that make my life what it is. And I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
Chocolate Turtle Cake
Salt Cake City made a truly incredible Turtle Power cake for our wedding. I have always intended to replicate the flavors of our wedding cake since we don’t live close enough to pop by and grab some from cake extraordinaire Jennifer. This chocolate turtle cake has two layers of moist, fudgey chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream, caramel sauce, and chopped pecans in the middle. Then the turtle cake is covered with a thin layer of chocolate buttercream and scraped for a naked effect. Finally, a thick layer of rich chocolate ganache and sprinkles of extra pecans. Chocolate Overload. Chocolate Decadence. Caramel Pecan Turtle Goodness. There is no perfect name that embodies all the flavors of this chocolate turtle cake.
60 minPrep Time
25 minCook Time
1 hr, 25 Total Time
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup melted semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups sugar minus 1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar (yep - just pull it right out)
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda (on top of baking powder)
- all other measurements remain the same
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 Tablespoon milk
- 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons corn syrup
- 1/4 cup caramel sauce
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 365 degrees Fahrenheit. (Low Altitude: 350 degrees.) Butter the bottom and sides of two 9-inch cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Measure out buttermilk and oil into large mixing bowl. Melt slightly more than 1/4 cup chocolate chips in the microwave and add 1/4 cup of melted chocolate to the buttermilk and oil. Whisk. Whisk in eggs and vanilla. Set aside.
- Separately stir together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking powder. (Low Altitude: also add baking soda.)
- Slowly add dry ingredients into buttermilk mixture, whisking as you go. Then, slowly whisk in boiling water.
- Divide batter evenly between two cake pans and bake for 20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. (Low Altitude: 25 minutes.) Remove cakes from oven and allow them to cool in the pans for ten minutes. Then turn them out onto cooling racks and cool completely.
- To make buttercream frosting, beat together buttercream ingredients until smooth.
- Assemble cakes by placing first layer on a cake stand and smoothing 1/3 of the buttercream on top of the first layer. Sprinkle 2/3 of the pecans over the buttercream. Spoon caramel over the pecans. Top with second layer. Cover the cake with remaining buttercream, scraping the sides to get a slightly "naked" effect. (If you're a buttercream fanatic, you may want to double the buttercream recipe.) Place assembled cake in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- To make ganache, heat heavy cream in the microwave until just about to boil but not boiling. Pour over room temperature chocolate chips and let it sit for five minutes. Stir chocolate and cream until melted and smooth. Stir in corn syrup. (This will seem very liquidy, but don't worry - it will set.)
- Remove cake from refrigerator and pour a generous dollop of ganache on top of the cake. You can let it naturally fall over the edge or direct the spillover by pushing the chocolate with the edge of a spatula. Add as much ganache as desired. Sprinkle remaining pecans on top. Allow the ganache to set.
- This cake may be stored on the counter or in the refrigerator for several days. For some reason, I love cold chocolate cake, so I usually store mine in the refrigerator.
If anyone is not a fan of nuts, just leave out the pecans! It is still delicious.