Friday, April 9, 2010

X-Treme Weekend...

So it's the final countdown to my (deep breath) 36th birthday on Sunday...whew...did I say 36? I only feel that's good right? (for extra brownie points tell me I look 25)

Well in honor of my old day we are having family and besties over for dinner and desserts on Saturday night. I'm making 2, yes 2 de-lish treats...Both from the Annual 2004 Southern Living Cookbooks (yes another wonderful SL recipe)

First, not for the weak at heart



* 1 1⁄2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
* 2 (3-ounce) packages ladyfingers
* 1 (13-ounce) jar hazelnut spread
* 20 individually wrapped caramel candies
* 2 1⁄3 cups whipping cream
* 1 1⁄2 cups chopped pecans
* 1⁄3 cup confectioners' sugar plus 2 tablespoons
* 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
* 2 tablespoons crème de cacao
* 3 (1-ounce) semisweet chocolate baking squares


Microwave chocolate morsels on high for 90 seconds or until melted, stirring at 30 second intervals; cool 5 minutes, and set aside.

Split ladyfingers, and stand halves around edge of a 9-inch springform pan, placing rounded sides against pan; line bottom of pan with remaining halves. Reserve remaining ladyfingers for another use. Spread hazelnut spread evenly over ladyfingers on bottom of pan.

Cook caramels and 1⁄3 cup whipping cream in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, just until melted. Stir in pecans until coated; spoon caramel mixture evenly over hazelnut spread.

Beat 1⁄3 cup confectioners' sugar and cream cheese in a medium bowl at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add crème de cacao; beat until blended. Beat in melted morsels until blended.

Beat remaining 2 cups whipping cream in a medium bowl at medium speed with an electric mixer until stiff; fold into cream cheese mixture, and spoon evenly over caramel layer in pan.

Shave baking squares with a vegetable peeler evenly on top. Sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar. Chill 1 hour before serving.

I have made this about 5 times and each time people pass out from pleasure. Tip make this one day in advance.

Next up b/c I have to have a strawberry cake on my birthday....this has fresh strawberries in it!
I think I'm going to do this one in cupcake fashion for all the kids....besides I want to borrow Bestie's cupcake tower for a decoration!


  • 1 (18.25-ounce) package white cake mix
  • 1 (3-ounce) package strawberry gelatin
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
  • Garnish: whole strawberries


Beat the cake mix and next 7 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute. Scrape down the sides, and beat at medium speed 2 more minutes, stopping to scrape down sides, if needed. (Strawberries should be well blended into batter.)

Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch cakepans.

Bake at 350° for 23 minutes or until cakes spring back when lightly pressed with a finger.

Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

Spread Strawberry Buttercream Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately, or chill up to 1 week.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Classic White Cake Mix without pudding.

To make ahead: Place finished cake in the refrigerator, uncovered, and chill for 20 minutes or until the frosting sets. Cover well with wax paper, and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. To freeze, wrap chilled cake with aluminum foil, and freeze up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

This frosting is tricky b/c of the butter content and fresh strawberries, so definitely not one to take on a hot summer day.

Winner of Funky Monkey snacks to be announced tonight so hurry for another chance to win


Aly @ Analyze This said...

That looks DELICIOUS!!! You must be a great cook!

Happy almost 25th birthday pretty lady!! Much love, xoxo!

carissa @ lowercase letters said...

happy birthday a few days early! i hope your celebration is fab! i really thought, "what 36? impossible. she looks 23 (even better than 25)!!!" the chocolate torte sounds amazing. i so want to make it. thanks for sharing the goodness with us!

sHp said...

Happy almost birthday, sweet lady! I hope you have a fabulous time!

I so have to make those lady fingers - yum yum YUMMY!


I'm just the MOM said...

Happy early 25th! I'll be entering my 30s on the 27th..whoa.
So um, ya thanks for the lady fingers treat! Will have to make these for my special day!

Southern Belle Mama said...

Those desserts are making me drool! Due to my new "get fit" mission, I'm refraining from desserts until I can learn the concept of moderation, but if I were at dinner with you guys, I'd have to throw moderation out the window and have a huge piece of both!

Happy Early Birthday!

Ashley Bray said...

Happy Birthday early and save me a piece of either one!! You are only as old as you feel and it is only a number.
I will be 35 this year and can't wait. Remember like a glass of wine, we only get better with age.
Have a great one!!

Kelly Marie said...

Happy almost birthday lady!! You don't look 36 AT ALL!!!! The desserts sound so yummy (:

Anonymous said...

It's probably a GOOD thing that I am lactose intolerant and can't have cream cheese or the other dairy ingredients in that dessert... I like being thin (ish) ;) Happy Birthday and no you don't look a day over 25 (it's what's on the inside that counts anyways!!) ~~HUG~~

Christa said...

Have a great Birthday weekend! Those lady fingers look amazing!

DREW'S MOM said...

Happy Early Birthday! They both sound amazing... YUM!

Together We Save said...

Oh my goodness!! These look wonderful!! Have a wonderful birthday weekend!!

Taylor @ The Undomestic Momma said...

I cant wait for tonight and tomorrow night!!!!! And we look the same age so Im with look 23 :)

Kitchen Belleicious said...

Well Well Well. Look who is the new awesome cook in town! Lara! It is fabulous and looks so yummy I am craving that ladyfinger cake so much now I feel like i must go make it! LOL! You are such a great cook! Kuddos to you! Love ya and have a great weekend!

Christi said...

Yum! Hope you have an amazing birthday! And you are so rockin 25!!!

Annie said...

You for sure do not look a day over 25...seriously!!

Have fun celebrating your mid-20's :)

Juliana said...

Happy Early Birthday! We are never too old to have a happy childhood and you my dear, look at least 1O years younger!

Shannon said...

Happy 25th (wink, wink) B'day! Those desserts look delish! Hope the fam spoils you rotten!

Hello! I'm Kate. said...

Happy Birthday! I'm loving the desserts; my bday cake every year is a strawberry cake w/ strawberry icing! but i love chocolate too! Hope you had fun!!!

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Beki - TheRustedChain said...

Holy cow, that looks delicious!!

Happy Birthday to you!

Kathleen said...

I hope you have a happy bday! Both desserts sound fabulous and I just bookmarked them. I love Southern Living recipes!!!!

Diana said...

Happy Birthday!!!

Have a good weekend and come see me soon.

Missy said...

ah yummy!I love your blog!

For everything about fashion:

Much More Than Mommy said...

WOWSERS! Looks good! Hope you had a great time celebrating your birthday!!

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