|Course : Cakes
Preparation / Directions:
1. For candied pecans, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons water, 1 teaspoon butter, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until mixture boils and all sugar granules are dissolved.
2. Add chopped pecans to mixture and stir for 1 to 2 minutes over heat. Be sure that all pecans are well-coated.
3. Pour mixture onto a large plate and continue to stir until mixture hardens and begins to break up. You should be able to separate all of the nuts.
4. For the croutons, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Pour the slice bread cubes onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the bread has turned light brown. Stir halfway through cooking time.
5. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Pour baked croutons into the pan and sauté until the bread is well-coated with butter. Combine the 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle this mixture over the croutons while stirring so that the croutons are well-coated with cinnamon/sugar. Remove croutons from the heat and pour them onto a plate to cool.
6. Prepare apples by carefully mixing them with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar in a large bowl. You want to be sure you don't stir hard enough to break up the apples. Microwave the apple for 1 to 2 minutes or until hot.
7. To assemble the dessert for serving, first roll four cup-size scoops of ice cream in the pecan pieces. You can do this step ahead of time if you like, keeping the pecan-covered scoops in your freezer.
8. Place an ice cream scoop onto a small plate, then pour about a tablespoon of caramel over the ice cream. Dribble another tablespoon around the base of the ice cream onto the plate.
9. Spread the hot apples around the base of the ice cream being sure to divide them evenly amongst the four servings.
10. Divide the croutons into four portions and sprinkle them on the apples around the base of the ice cream scoop on each plate.
11. Spread a generous portion of whipped cream onto the top of each scoop of ice cream.
12. Top off each dish with a fresh strawberry.
Note: Roll a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream in the candied pecans. Surround the ice cream with warm cinnamon apples and drizzle caramel over the top. Sprinkle fresh cinnamon-butter croutons on the dessert and you've got an irresistible clone of one of Outback's most popular menu items. For the croutons, it's best to use the Bushman Bread clone. But if you're not up for bread making, try a sweet bread, like Hawaiian Sweet Bread or Pillsbury Honey White B