When I’m talking Turtles, I’m not thinking about the creepy, crawly kind. No, my palate is mentally tasting those wonderful candies of my youth.
These tasty treats originally were made by the Johnson Candy Company, which later took the name of DeMets. DeMets has marketed this candy shop classic for many years.
Although Turtles have been produced since the early 1900s, they have changed hands several times. In 1943, Nestlé owned the trademark, but in 2007 DeMets got it back.
DeMets is well known for its specialty chocolates, including Turtles. We are told that they use as much as 7,000 tons (yes, tons) of chocolate and 13,000 tons of nuts each year. Just this week, news came out that these two food items are going to be more expensive this year. Better get a supply now.
When I was young, Turtles were one of my favorite candies, but they were rather expensive and our family wasn’t able to afford much of them. So, we learned to make our own Turtles at home. After all, how hard could it be? Caramel goes on top of a small mound of pecans, then chocolate covers the caramel. Small pecan pieces are placed under the Turtle to look like the feet and head.
Not wanting to infringe on DeMet’s trademark, I decided to call the following cake Chocolate Caramel and Nut Cake. This trio of popular flavors comes forth in this cake, but let’s be real. A cake can never truly give us the flavor we want when we think of the great candy that uses the same ingredients.
The cake of course is chocolate, and there is a ribbon of caramel and nuts in middle, making it delicious. When the cake is sliced, I suggest topping it with a dollop of whipped topping or whipped cream, sprinkled with chocolate chips and nuts and drizzled with caramel.
For those who prefer to bake from scratch, you can use the recipe for the cake layer of the popular German Chocolate Cake. I think this might be a lighter cake layer, which should make this cake even better.
Chocolate Caramel and Nut Cake
• 1 box German chocolate cake mix
• 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
• 1 (11 oz.) bag of caramels
• 1 can sweetened condensed milk (like Eagle Brand)
• 1 (6 oz.) pkg chocolate chips
• 1 cup chopped nuts (I prefer pecans)
Mix cake as box directs. Pour half of the batter into a 9x13 pan. Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool 10 minutes. Melt butter, caramels and milk together. Pour over cake mixture. Sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts over caramel mixture. Pour rest of cake batter on top. Bake 20 minutes longer at 350 degrees.
— Prudence Hilburn of Piedmont, Alabama, has won more than 30 national cooking awards and written several cookbooks, including, “Simply Southern and More.” Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.prudencehilburn.com.