Recipe: Salted Caramel Hazelnut Cake Brownies.

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That’s a long name right there.

The recipe I started with was simply called “Nutella Cake.” But what I ended up with was so much more. It was snowing, and I really wanted to bake something, but I wasn’t about to go back out to get any missing ingredients. I found a recipe for Nutella Cake in my binder. It looked like something someone probably gave me, but it was very vague and it seemed to be missing some key details, like how to mix the ingredients together (did it matter in what order?) and what temperature to bake the thing at (when in doubt, go with 350). It also called for Nutella (obviously) which I thought I had, but it turns out all I had was this:

salted caramel hazelnut spread (not Nutella)

salted caramel hazelnut spread (not Nutella)

Although this was clearly not Nutella, I deemed it a suitable replacement, and marched onward with the cake. Upon further investigation, I realized that the recipe called for butter – a lot of it. I, alas, had only a little. Refusing to leave my house in the snow, I improvised, replacing most of the butter with shortening. The batter seemed awfully thick, more like brownies than cake, but I didn’t let that dissuade me from baking it. When it was done baking, it definitely looked more like brownies.

not nutella, not cake.

not nutella, not cake.

It smelled pretty good, and appeared to have baked properly, so I went with it, and waited for it to cool. When it finally cooled, I sliced into it, and sure it enough, it was definitely more brownie-like.

definitely brownies.

definitely brownies.

The next step was to eat one. And then another one. And then another one. They were THAT good. Two people even said they were the best brownies they ever had (wow!). Even though they were neither Nutella nor Cake like the original recipe claimed, the Salted Caramel Hazelnut Cake Brownies were definitely a major success, and will be made again. Maybe I’ll even make them for my own wedding this Spring….and now you can make them too!

wedding worthy.

wedding worthy.

Salted Caramel Hazelnut Cake Brownies.

What you’ll need:

1 box of chocolate cake mix

1 egg

4 oz of shortening

———–

1 8 oz package of cream cheese (softened)

2 oz butter (half a stick)

2 oz shortening

1 cup confectioners sugar

1 cup Jif salted caramel hazelnut spread

What you’ll do:

Preheat the oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, egg and shortening. The batter will be thick. Grease a 9×13 pan, and spread the batter across the bottom (using your hands makes it easier). Set aside. In a separate bowl, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and shortening until smooth. Mix in the sugar and salted caramel hazelnut spread until there are no lumps. Pour mixture evenly on top of the cake mixture in the pan. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the cake starts pulling away from the sides of the pan. Let cool completely, cut and serve.

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The Magic Pan.

So I was having dinner at my cousin’s house tonight, and she told of an old crêperie that used to be in Philadelphia called “The Magic Pan.” I’d never heard of this place (apparently it’s been gone for quite some time), but I just adore the name. So from henceforth, my crêpe-making pan will also be known by this charming moniker.

where the magic happens.

Yes. I did it. I made crêpes for the first time. I altered the recipe slightly (I’ll post it this coming Recipe Sunday, for all you crêpe fans, so be sure to tune in). Anyway, I was really careful to keep the layers thin, as two people mentioned that when they tried making them for the first time, they wound up looking more like pancakes.

not pancakes.

So, the hardest part was actually deciding what to fill them with! Often when presented with too many choices, one loses the ability to choose. So I knew I had to use the mini pears, that was a given. And the first crêpe I ever had was from a street vendor in Paris, and it had Nutella in it and that was heavenly, so I busted that out too, and noticed while doing so, an unopened jar of Marshmallow Fluff – this was going really well. After some careful consideration, I settled on two combinations: Nutella and banana for half of them; and Fluff, mini pear and caramel for the other half.

pretty maids, all in a row.

When they were all filled, I gave them a final dusting of powdered sugar.

crepes are the new cupcake.

This was so much fun – I love the fact that you can fill them with anything! I see much more experimenting in the near future. This may even wind up being a crêpe Christmas.The Magic Pan will definitely be gettin’ a lot of action. Now if I could just find a magic man… 😉