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Recipe of the Week

Detail of Caramel Apple-Almond Crepes

Caramel Apple-Almond Crepes

A great dish for dessert or breakfast, these filled crepes are quick and easy to make, full of wonderful flavor, and make any occasion special.

Butter-Pecan Stout Cake

Beer? In a cake? Yes! You do get a boost from the flavor of the beer, but it also makes for a lighter, moister cake that stores very well. You could really use this base recipe with almost any flavor of cake mix and pudding (see our recipe for Chocolate Stout Cake for another example) but our testers raved over the butter pecan version the most. If you do not want the bolder flavor of a stout, you can use any beer that you prefer, with flavored brews lending a little bit of extra flavor to the cake. We liked our beer-soaked glaze which gives a crunchy coating to the cake and keeps it moist, but your favorite frosting or glaze can be used as well, or you could skip the glaze or frosting and extra pecans and just dust with powdered sugar. Crumbled pralines can be subtituted for the pecans for an extra decadent touch. You can also make this in round cake pans, cupcakes, or a sheet cake - just adjust the baking time accordingly per the directions on the back of the cake box. For the best flavor make this cake 24 hours in advance, and serve it within 48 hours after making it.

Cake Ingredients:

1 18.25-ounce package butter pecan cake mix
1 3.5-ounce package instant vanilla or French vanilla pudding mix
1 cup stout or beer
1/4 cup melted butter
4 eggs
1 cup chopped toasted pecans

Glaze Ingredients:

1/2 cup stout or beer
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup toasted pecan halves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and heavily grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan. Combine the cake and pudding mixes in a large bowl. Beat in the 1 cup stout and 1/4 cup butter and mix until incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, until the batter is thick and completely smooth. Fold in the chopped pecans. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a cake tester comes clean. While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze. Bring the stout to a boil in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Add the sugar and butter and cook over medium-low until the butter and sugar melt and a thick glaze forms. Keep over low heat until you have finished baking and glazing the cake. Cool the cake in the pan for a few minutes. Poke the bottom of the cake liberally with a cake tester or thin skewer. Pour a thin layer of the prepared glaze over the cake and allow to soak in. Unmold the cake onto a wire rack once the glaze is tacky. Poke the top and sides of the cake liberally with a cake tester or thin skewer. Pour a thin layer of the prepared glaze over the cake, and brush the sides liberally with the glaze. Dip the pecan halves in the glaze and arrange on the top of the cake, using extra glaze if needed to stick them onto the cake. Allow the cake to soak up as much glaze as possible and then repeat with the remaining glaze, glazing right over the pecans as well. Allow the glaze to dry completely before wrapping or placing in a storage container.

Makes 16 servings.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

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