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February 20, 2012 / Kate

More Capownie! (aka dessert turducken again, aka yes I’m a crazy person)

CAke + Pie + brOWNIE = :-)

All right, here it is, my baby, the product of my mad genius, my Frankenstein’s monster: The Capownie. I’m not sure what I can say about this that hasn’t already been said here or here, except that it tastes far better than something that ridiculously excessive has any right to taste. For those who aren’t fans of the whole reading thing, I’ve made this nice infographic of the Capownie ingestion sequence:

I should also add that this is, and may always be, a work in progress. While I think everything works pretty well here, deep down I’m convinced this thing only stays together by sheer force of crazed will. Please send me a pic if you try it! Goodnight and good luck.

CAPOWNIE

Serves: A lot.

It’s best to make the various parts of this cake over a few days.

Basic Pie Pastry (for both pies)

3 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp sugar
1 cup butter
3/4 cup very cold water, approximately (you can substitute cold vodka for half of the water)

Mix flour, sugar, and salt in food processor fitted with steel blade. Scatter butter over dry ingredients and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, 10 to 15 seconds. Sprinkle water slowly over the top of the flour mixture while pulsing mixer. Use only enough water to make the dough stick together when a small amount is squeezed in your hand; be careful not to over mix. Dough will be slightly crumbly. Separate dough into thirds (with one 1/3 being slightly smaller than the other two). Gently shape dough into discs (without kneading) and wrap tightly in plastic, and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

BOTTOM LAYER

Brownie

Adapted from King Arthur Flour’s “Fudge Brownies”

1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup unbleached flour
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

On a lightly floured surface, roll out a larger portion of dough into a 15″ circle. Carefully place in ungreased 9″ pie pan lined with a parchment paper round; ease the dough carefully down the sides and bottom of the pan pressing it lightly into the bottom edge. Trim dough to leave only 1/2″ overhang. Tuck overhanging dough under so that folded edge is flush with rim of pan and edge stand up over the top of the pan. Flute the edges with your fingers. Chill shell until firm, about 1 hour or overnight (cover in plastic wrap if chilling overnight).

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter completely, then add the sugar and stir to combine.

Add cocoa, salt, and baking powder and stir until smooth. Add beaten eggs and mix well; then add vanilla and mix. Add the flour and chips, again stirring until smooth.

Pour brownie batter into chilled pie shell and bake for 15 minutes. Brownie will not be fully cooked. Prepare pecan pie filled while brownie and shell are in the oven.

Pecan Pie Filling

3 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
generous 1/3 cup light corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup pecan halves

Keep oven at 350°.

Melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in corn syrup, vanilla, and salt. Lightly beat eggs in a medium bowl, then whisk in corn syrup mixture. Add pecans and mix well.

Pour mixture over partially baked brownie batter in the pie shell. Bake until filling is set, 40-50 minutes. Cool completely. Wrap in plastic and store at room temperature until needed.

NOTE: You will need at least one 10-inch by 3-inch deep cake pan to complete the following recipe.

Chocolate Cake

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated “Old-Fashioned Chocolate Layer Cake”

12 tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), very soft
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup boiling water
1 rounded tsp instant espresso
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 oz)
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1 1/2 tsps baking soda
1 tsp table salt
1 cup half and half
2 tsps vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks

Adjust oven rack to middle position; preheat oven to 325°.

Grease one 10-inch-round by 3-inch-high cake pan with softened butter; line bottom with parchment paper round and grease; dust pans with flour and knock out excess.

Combine chocolate, espresso, and boiling water in a bowl; stir until chocolate is melted. Add 1/2 cup of sugar and stir until thick and glossy; set aside.

Whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Combine half and half and vanilla in small bowl. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk eggs and yolks on medium-low speed until combined, about 10 seconds. Add remaining sugar, increase speed to high, and whisk until fluffy and lightened in color, 2 to 3 minutes. Replace whisk with paddle attachment. Add cooled chocolate mixture to egg/sugar mixture and mix on medium speed until thoroughly incorporated, 30 to 45 seconds, pausing to scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add softened butter one tbsp at a time, mixing about 10 seconds after each addition. Add about one-third of flour mixture followed by half of milk mixture, mixing until incorporated after each addition (about 15 seconds). Repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining milk mixture (batter may appear separated). Scrape down sides of bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix at medium-low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with rubber spatula to incorporate any remaining flour.

Spoon small amount of batter into cake pan until bottom is coated approx 1/3” deep. Bake for 7-10 minutes until batter is soft but solid enough to support the pie. Remove pecan pie from its pan and place in the middle of the cake pan. Spoon remaining cake batter on top of pie. Bake cake until toothpick inserted into center comes out mostly clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes (depending on the oven it can take up to 1 hour and 30 minutes). Cool cake in pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto wire rack. Cool cake to room temperature before frosting.

Forgive the quality of the video below, I made it pretty late at night. It was the easiest way to show putting a pie into a cake isn’t scary.

TOP LAYER

Apple Pie Filling

2 – 2 1/2 lbs baking apples, peeled, cored and diced (I like Braeburns and Gala)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 rounded tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
2 tbsp maple syrup

In a medium saucepan cook apples and lemon juice on medium heat, stirring regularly until they are soft (but still hold their shape), about 10 minutes — some apple pieces may start to break down, that’s okay. Drain all liquids. Return to heat; add corn starch, stir and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Add maple syrup, stir and set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out a larger portion of dough into a 15” circle. Carefully place in ungreased 9” pie pan lined with a parchment paper round (I find it easiest to “roll up” the dough around the pin and then unroll it over the pan); ease the dough carefully down the sides and bottom of the pan pressing it lightly into the bottom edge. Trim dough (with kitchen scissors) to leave only 1/2” overhang.

Cheesecake

Crust

5 crushed graham crackers
1 tbsp packed brown sugar
4 tbsp melted butter

Mix graham crackers and sugar together. Add butter and stir until combined. Press mixture lightly, but firmly, onto bottom of pie crust in pie pan.

Cheesecake Filling

Adapted from Bakerella’s “Cheesecake Bars”

1 1/4 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp flour
1 egg
3 oz. sour cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the sugar, cream cheese, and flour with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy. On medium low, add eggs one at a time, mixing well with each addition. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until just combined. Pour on prepared crust, cover edges of crust with foil or crust protector, and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven.

Roll out smaller dough disc to 10” circle. Gently spoon all of the apple filling on top of the cheesecake. Place dough over filling to cover, trimming to fit just over the bottom crust (you may have to wet the bottom crust slightly with water until a thin paste forms so that the top crust will stick to it). Cut vents in the top crust and bake for 25 minutes until top pale but cooked. Cool completely; cover in plastic wrap and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

NOTE: You will need at least one 10-inch by 3-inch deep cake pan to complete the following recipe.

Vanilla Cake

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated “Yellow Layer Cake”

4 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup half and half, room temperature
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp table salt
16 tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

Adjust oven rack to middle position; preheat oven to 325°.

Grease one 10-inch-round by 3-inch-high cake pan with softened butter; line bottom with parchment paper round and grease; dust pans with flour and knock out excess.

Beat eggs, half and half, and vanilla with fork in small bowl; measure out 1 cup of this mixture and set aside. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment; mix on lowest speed to blend, about 30 seconds. With mixer still running at lowest speed, add butter one piece at a time; mix until butter and flour begin to clump together and look sandy and pebbly, with pieces about the size of peas, 30 to 40 seconds after all butter is added. Add reserved 1 cup of egg mixture and mix at lowest speed until incorporated, 5 to 10 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add remaining egg mixture (about 1/2 cup) in slow steady stream, about 30 seconds. Stop mixer and thoroughly scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Beat on medium-high until thoroughly combined and batter looks slightly curdled, about 15 seconds longer. (To mix using hand mixer, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Add butter pieces and cut into the flour mixture with a pastry blender. Add reserved 1 cup of egg mixture; beat with hand mixer at lowest speed until incorporated, 20 to 30 seconds. Increase speed to high, add remaining egg mixture, and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Stop mixer and thoroughly scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Beat at high speed 15 seconds longer.)

Spoon small amount of batter into cake pan until bottom is coated approx 1/3” deep. Bake for 7-10 minutes until batter is soft but solid enough to support the pie. Remove apple pie from its pan and place in the middle of the cake pan. Spoon remaining cake batter on top of pie. Bake cake until toothpick inserted into center comes out mostly clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes (depending on the oven it can take up to 1 hour and 30 minutes). Cool cake in pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto wire rack. Cool cake to room temperature before frosting.

Vanilla Frosting (for between the two cake layers)

6 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 tsp table salt
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp vanilla
7 tbsp half-n-half

Melt butter in a heat proof bowl in the microwave, let cool slightly.

In medium bowl, whisk together salt and sugar. With standing mixer on lowest speed, gradually add to melted butter and vanilla. Add half-n-half, 1 tbsp at a time, beating until sugar is well moistened and frosting is no longer stiff, stopping once to scrape down bowl. Increase speed to medium-high; beat until creamy, stopping once to scrape down bowl, about 1 minute.

Place chocolate cake on a platter and frost the top with all of this; place the vanilla cake on top.

The Best Caramel Buttercream (for outside of cake)

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp butter, cold

1 tsp vanilla extract
16 tbsp unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
2 tsp kosher salt
2 cups powdered sugar

Pour 1 cup water into 2-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan; add sugar to center of pot to keep granules from adhering to sides of pot. Bring to boil over high heat, covered. Uncover pot, insert candy thermometer, and continue to boil until syrup is thick and straw-colored, registering 300 degrees on candy thermometer, about 15-20 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; continue to cook until sugar is medium amber, begins to smoke, and registers 350 degrees on candy thermometer, about 5 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, when temperature of syrup reaches 300 degrees, bring cream and salt to simmer in small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat. (If cream reaches simmer before syrup reaches 350 degrees, remove cream from heat and set aside.)

Remove sugar syrup from heat. Pour about one-quarter of hot cream into sugar syrup; let bubbling subside. Add remaining cream; let bubbling subside. Whisk gently until smooth; whisk in butter. Set aside until cool to the touch, about 25 minutes.

Combine vanilla, butter, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar, and mix until completely incorporated.

Turn mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add caramel. Beat frosting on medium-high speed until airy and thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until stiff, about 30 minutes, before using to frost the outside of the cake.

10 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Michael / Feb 21 2012 12:53 pm

    Congratulations! I’m not sure I’d ever attempt this, but I’m glad to know where I can read about people who do!

    • Kate / Feb 21 2012 8:10 pm

      Thanks! I like to boldly go where no one will go again.

  2. ediblesubstance / Feb 21 2012 1:46 pm

    This is mental! But I like it :)

    • Kate / Feb 21 2012 8:11 pm

      That’s pretty much my thoughts exactly :-)

  3. Cap'n Stephel / Feb 21 2012 4:40 pm

    Whoa. That’s got to be one of the most impressive baking undertakings I’ve seen

    • Kate / Feb 21 2012 8:13 pm

      Thank you! I don’t think it’s as hard as looks, just very time consuming. And it uses every cooking bowl and utensil in your house, which is impressive.

  4. 35aweek / Feb 23 2012 5:22 pm

    If loving this is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

  5. MINNIE THE GREAT / Nov 28 2012 8:10 pm

    I don’t even know how to make this and I know how to make all of these recipes.wow

  6. Seini / Apr 4 2014 4:22 am

    I made the capownie for my birthday cake this year and it was truly amazing. Thanks for the super duper awesometastic idea! Great instructions too :-)

Trackbacks

  1. Dessert Turducken aka Capownie! « Summer of Pie

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