Maggiano’s Little Italy specializes in Italian-American cuisine served in a warm and friendly atmosphere. Maggiano’s menu features both classic and contemporary recipes – authentic pastas, signature salads, prime steaks, fresh seafood, regular chef specials and specialty desserts. Maggiano’s 46 locations nationwide offer lunch, dinner, delivery and carryout service. Banquet spaces for special occasions are also available at select restaurants. Maggiano’s is owned and operated by Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE: EAT), one of the world’s leading casual dining restaurant companies, serving more than one million guests daily. Brinker owns or franchises more than 1,600 restaurants in 30 countries and two territories. In addition to Maggiano’s, Brinker owns and operates Chili’s Grill & Bar.

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Caramel Italian Cream Cake

Serves 12

Cake:
3 cups shaved coconut
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
Caramel Frosting
Cream Cheese Frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place shaved coconut in a single layer in a shallow pan. Place pecans in a second shallow pan. Bake coconut and pecans at the same time 5 to 7 minutes or until coconut is toasted and pecans are lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add granulated and brown sugars, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

Add vanilla, beating until blended. Combine flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in pecans and 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut. Beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form, and fold into batter. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9 inch round cake pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 23 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour).

Prepare Caramel Frosting. Immediately spread frosting between layers and on top of cake. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting over sides of cake; press 3 cups toasted shaved coconut onto sides of cake.

Caramel Frosting:
1 cup butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Bring first 3 ingredients to a rolling boil in a 3 1/2 quart saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly (about 7 minutes) Stir in cream, and bring to a boil; remove from heat. Pour into bowl of a heavy duty electric stand mixer. Gradually beat in powdered sugar and vanilla at medium speed, using whisk attachment; beat 8 to 12 minutes or until thickened. Use immediately.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended; stir in vanilla.

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