Todd Wilbur's Top Secret Restaurant Recipes

For Applebee's regulars, this is a hands-down favorite. In a hot skillet comes a delicious slice of white chocolate and walnut cake (it's similar to a brownie in texture) topped with a scoop of ice cream and warm maple butter sauce bubbling as it hits the pan. Commence with the salivating.

To re-create this pile of pleasure at home you start by making the cake from scratch. For the white chocolate, get a couple of 4-ounce bars or one 8-ounce bar and chop it into chunks. White chocolate chunks work best in this recipe, but you can certainly use white chocolate chips in a pinch. While the blondie cake is baking, whip up the sauce -- it will be fluffy at first. When you're ready to serve the dessert, zap the sauce in the microwave until it's hot and creamy. Arrange the decadence in a hot skillet and serve it sizzling to happy, drooling mouths.

Ingredients

Blondie

4 egg whites

½ cup butter, softened (1 stick)

½ cup light brown sugar, packed

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup milk

8 ounces white chocolate (cut into chunks)

½ cup chopped walnuts

Sauce

½ cup butter, softened (1 stick)

½ cup powdered sugar

¼ cup cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons maple syrup

¼ teaspoon salt

8 scoops vanilla ice cream

½ cup chopped walnuts

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

To make the blondie cake whip the egg whites until they are stiff and form peaks. Add softened butter, ½ cup packed brown sugar, ¼ cup granulated sugar, and vanilla and mix with an electric mixer until smooth.

In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well until smooth. Mix in milk, white chocolate chunks, and walnuts. Pour ingredients into a greased 9-by-13-inch baking pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until cake is golden brown on top. Slice cake into 8 equal slices when cool.

While cake bakes, combine all ingredients for the sauce in a medium bowl with an electric mixer.

To prepare dessert, heat a small skillet on your stove over high heat for about 5 minutes. A cast-iron skillet is best. (You can also serve the dessert on a plate, but you'll miss out on the showy sizzle.) Arrange the cake in the center of the skillet or plate. Heat up the sauce for 30 to 60 seconds in the microwave until hot. Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the cake, then drizzle some of the sauce over the top, followed by a tablespoon of chopped walnuts. Serve immediately.

Serves 8.

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