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Need birthday baking inspiration- dulce de leche? chocolate?

Hello Chowhounds-

I need to bake a birthday treat for a co-worker. It's a big occasion, his 40th. It can be cookies, cake, cupcake, basically anything-- only criteria is that it be sweet and that it be a real crowd-pleaser. He has a particular fondness for dulce de leche and/or chocolate based treats. Any ideas? For some reason I'm stuck.

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  1. What about a tres leches cake since he likes dulce de leche? It's always been really popular when I've made it since it's not that commonly done.

    1. I'm obsessed with alfajores de maizena, which are cornstarch cookies sandwiched with dulce de leche. Sound weird but they are really delicious and could easily feed a crowd. Bet you could make them even better by covering the whole thing in chocolate.

      Here's a great recipe and instructions for making them.
      http://pipinthecity.wordpress.com/200...

      3 Replies
      1. re: QueenB

        These sound delicious, queenb. I'd like to try them; but I'm not the most experienced baker. Before I start doing a bunch of research, perhaps you could save me the trouble and convert 200 grams of butter to tablespoons for me? TIA

        1. re: zook

          Sure, according to http://www.onlineconversion.com/cooki... 200 grams of butter is equal to about 14 Tbsp of butter, so that's 1 3/4 sticks.

          1. re: QueenB

            Thanks so much for the conversion, and also thanks for the website, I'm sure it will come in useful in the future.

      2. Hi - how about the Guiness Chocolate Cake from Nigella Lawson's "Feast" cookbook? I've made it several times and it always turns out excellent.

        1 Reply
        1. re: StefTodd

          I believe I have recipes for Chocolate Turtle Cake, Chocholate Truffle Cake around here somehwhere. And I know that I have seen plenty of Old Southern Carmel Cake with carmel frosting recipes on CH, haven't? I have one of those as well...
          I make these suggestions only since your special guest has a penchant for carmel, and or chocolate, which make beautiful statements for a 40th birthday celebration!

        2. there's a recipe in the king arthur flour cookbook for a "boston latin creme pie," which is boston creme pie, but with dulce de leche in the center instead of pastry cream. that would nail both the chocolate and the dulce de leche, and wouldn't be too difficult--just two layers of moist yellow cake, slap together with the dulce de leche in the middle, and glaze with a little chocolate ganache.

          1. dulce de leche can be used as a frosting for a cake.

            Or start with a packet of cookies, such as MarieLu's (or Mexican Marias), make sandwiches with dulce the leche between. Then dip half of each sandwich in melted chocolate.

            paulj