Cake that took bake-off prize


April 11, 2007|By Julie Rothman | Julie Rothman,Special to The Sun

Phyllis Markee of Portland, Ore., was looking for a cake recipe that she believed won the Pillsbury bake-off contest several years ago.

She remembered that it used a box of devil's food cake mix as the base but also called for a jar of butterscotch-caramel fudge sauce. She still had a sealed jar of the sauce she would like to use.

Fortunately, Michele Haas of Baltimore had the recipe for a Macadamia Fudge Torte created by Kurt Wait, which was the 1996 grand prize winner of the Pillsbury bake-off.

I was unable to locate a butterscotch-caramel fudge sauce, so I substituted a butterscotch-caramel ice cream topping made by Smuckers. Because the sauce is served as a warm accompaniment to the finished torte I'm sure it made little or no difference. This is one impressive dessert; no one would ever imagine it was made with a mix as the base.

Macadamia Fudge Torte

Serves 12

FILLING: 1/3 cup low-fat sweetened condensed milk, not evaporated

1/2 cup chocolate chips


one 18.25-ounce package Pillsbury Moist Supreme Devil's Food cake mix

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/3 cup oil

16 ounces canned pears, drained

2 eggs

1/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts or pecans

2 teaspoons water

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9- or 10-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. In small saucepan, combine filling ingredients. Cook over medium-low heat until chocolate is melted, stirring occasionally.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, cinnamon and oil. Blend at low speed for 20 to 30 seconds or until crumbly. Mixture will be dry. Place pears in blender container or food-processor bowl with metal blade, cover and blend until smooth.

In a large bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups of the cake-mix mixture, pureed pears and eggs; beat at low speed until moistened. Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed. Spread batter evenly in spray-coated pan.

Drop filling by spoonfuls over batter. Stir nuts and water into remaining cake-mix mixture. Sprinkle over filling.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool for 10 minutes. Remove sides of pan. Cool 1 1/2 hours or until completely cooled. Spoon 2 tablespoons warm sauce (recipe below) onto each serving plate. Top with wedge of torte.

If desired, serve with vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt garnished with chocolate curls.

Per serving (with 2 tablespoons sauce): 421 calories, 6 grams protein, 17 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 62 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 39 milligrams cholesterol, 399 milligrams sodium

Sauce for Torte

Makes about 3 cups

17 ounces butterscotch-caramel ice cream topping

1/3 cup milk

In small saucepan, combine sauce ingredients. Cook over medium-low heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until well blended, stirring occasionally.

Per tablespoon: 34 calories, trace protein, trace fat, trace saturated fat, 7 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 1 milligram cholesterol, 17 milligrams sodium


Anne Mayer of Baltimore is looking for a recipe for Chinese Chews. The soft and chewy bars contain pecans and brown sugar.

Charles Warner of Santa Rosa, Calif., would like to have a recipe for making his own peanut butter.

If you are looking for a hard-to-find recipe or can answer a request, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278, or e-mail recipefinder@

The nutrition analyses accompanying recipes in today's Taste section were calculated by registered dietitian Jodie Shield, except where noted.

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