Friday, August 20, 2010

From My Kitchen: Let's Talk Turtle

When we were in St. Louis we visited Terrapin Park. It's a little park full of sculptures of turtles, large and small. I took tons of pictures that I wanted to share with you, but today is recipe day.

What's a girl to do?

Daddy, Sam, Isaac and Alex hanging with one of the turtles.

At first I thought, "What the heck. It's my blog. I can do what I want!"

This makes me think of a bad science fiction flick. Run, Amelia! Run!

But I hate to disappoint those of you who like my recipes, and I've already abused you enough with my sudden unexplained absence, so I decided to get creative. I was desperately wishing I hadn't already posted my Mock Turtles, so I would have a recipe to go with the turtle theme.

Alex checks out his terrapin friend while Sam offers back up. Isaac isn't so sure about this one!

Then, luckily for you, I remembered this delicious Turtle Cake that I used to make quite often. I guess it got crowded out by other things, but now that I've rediscovered it, I'll be making it again soon. It's a bonus that it starts with a cake mix, so it goes together in a snap. And who can resist the combination of rich, moist chocolate cake and buttery carmel? Not me!

And not these guys, either! (See how seamless this whole Turtle Cake/Terrapin Park post is? No, really. It's a work of art!)

Amelia, Sam, Isaac and Alex go for a s-l-o-w ride.

So without further ado, here's the recipe for some chocolate-caramel decadence.

Turtle Cake
1 box German chocolate cake mix
1 14-ounce bag of Kraft caramels
1/2 C. butter or margarine
1/2 C. evaporated milk
1/2 C. chopped walnuts or pecans

Prepare the cake mix according to the directions on the box. Spoon half the batter into a 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes.

Melt the caramels, butter and evaporated milk in a small saucepan or in the microwave, stirring until smooth. Pour over the baked cake and sprinkle with chopped nuts.

You can omit the nuts, but that's really what makes it a turtle cake. Without the nuts, well you've still got a delicious cake, but it's not technically a turtle cake anymore. Still, since you've made it this far in this madcap post, you've earned the right to do whatever you want. Throw caution to the wind and leave those nuts out if you so desire!

Pour the rest of the batter over the caramel layer and bake for another 15 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.

Seriously. I thought these would be cute shots, but now that I see them full-sized "ominous" is the only word that comes to mind. This bugger looks poised to eat my flower-picking darling!

This time of year I like to cover the cake and keep it in the refrigerator so the caramel doesn't get too runny. But don't worry, unlike its namesake, this turtle cake moves pretty fast -- at least in my house!

And now for those of you still with me (thanks, Mom!) the last of the gratuitous Terrapin Park shots.

Here's Amelia just moments before she slid right off the turtle's back and to the ground. It was a good six-foot drop. Some other dad at the park who was on her side of the turtle threw his iPhone and ran to catch her. He missed. Amelia scraped up her back and bruised her knee a little. Thankfully the iPhone survived so we didn't have to buy the guy a new one!

Amelia hams it up for the camera. See, no harm done!

Isaac makes friends with a hatchling.

Alex checks out the turtle eggs.
Sam welcomes a little turtle to the world.

Just think, if this were the good old days, you would have at least gotten invited over to eat the Turtle Cake while I tortured you with slides of my vacation. I guess everything isn't better in the digital era, now is it? :-)

© Trippin' Mama 2010


Suzy said...

You're right ... some of those pics are kind of scary! Run from the turtles, kids! RUN!!!

Pam said...

Cute post! The cake sounds delicious.

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