Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart. --Haruki Murakami
Welcome to this month's "reveal date" for the Secret Recipe Club. I was assigned to the well-stocked blog of Jenna, author of "Jenna's Cooking Journey". Jenna started her blog while she and her husband lived in Montana. They moved to New Jersey last summer, and, according to her "About Me" page, she is enjoying having more ingredients at her disposal (I can completely relate!). She has a fantastic number of recipes to choose from on her blog. Her original post for this recipe named the dessert "Better Than Sex Cake". It's a fun, catchy name! Once I started poking the cake, though, I was flooded with the memory of watching my grandma prepare it and so I had to call it what she did: a "poke cake". (Yes -- my immature 7th grade mind is snickering at that name, too.)
You can fiddle with the ingredients as much as you like. Swap out the type of cake (I used gluten-free chocolate) for your favorite flavor, use hot fudge sauce instead of the caramel, Heath Bars or your favorite candy for the topping, etc.
Thanks, Jenna, for having such a great blog! Happy Reveal Day!
Chocolate-Caramel "Poke Cake" with Homemade Toffee
Makes an incredibly rich 13" x 9" cake
1 (18 to 20 ounce) box of cake mix, prepared according to directions
2 (15-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
12 ounces caramel sauce, warmed slightly to facilitate pouring (or substitute hot fudge sauce)
8 ounces heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup homemade toffee, roughly chopped (substitute 3 Heath Bars, if desired)
Bake the cake according to package instructions in a well-greased 13" x 9" pan. As soon as it is done and you remove it from the oven, poke the cake all over with the handle end of a wooden spoon. Then pour the sweetened condensed milk slowly over the cake. You can re-poke the cake with a skewer at this point, if desired, to further absorption. Cover the cake with foil and allow it to sit at room temperature until completely cool.
Warm caramel (in the microwave or in a saucepan of water) and pour it slowly over the surface of the cake (warmed caramel is much easier to pour). Use an offset spatula to spread the caramel evenly over the surface of the cake, if desired.
Cover cake well with foil and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, whip the heavy cream with the honey just until stiff peaks form. Spread over the top of the cake with an offset spatula. Sprinkle the chopped toffee (or Heath Bars) over the whipped cream and serve.
(Store in refrigerator.)