German Chocolate Cake


I know I’m a little behind schedule and I apologize for that, however “behind schedule” does not equal “not thinking about the blog.”  Even while I’ve been sunbathing on a gorgeous beach, I occasionally thought about being behind in my blogging.  Yes, eight seconds in one month does equal thinking about the blog!

I’ve contemplated cheating and combining Decemeber and January baking projects in order to be all caught up, but I’m not going to do that…not entirely.  With that said, and without further ado, I present December’s cake: German Chocolate Cake.

I found the recipe at Marzipan Mom’s blog via Tastespotting – my favourite place to find recipes online.

German Chocolate Cake
from Baked, New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
Yield: 1 (8-INCH) CAKE

For the german chocolate cake layers:
2¼ cups cake flour
¾ cup dark, unsweetened cocoa powder, like Valrhona
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup hot coffee
1 cup buttermilk
1¼ cups (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2¼ cups sugar
5 large eggs
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 ounces dark chocolate, melted and cooled

For the coconut pecan filling:
1 1/3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
1 1/3 cup toasted pecans, chopped coarsely

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter three 8-inch cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust with flour, and knock out the excess flour.

Sift the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium mixing bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the coffee and buttermilk.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat to incorporate. The mixture will look light and fluffy.

Add the flour mixture, alternating with the coffee/buttermilk mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the melted chocolate.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack and remove the pans and let cool completely. Remove the parchment.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Spread half of the coconut evenly across the pan and place in the oven for 5 minutes or until the coconut begins to brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

In a large saucepan, stir together the sugar, butter, evaporated milk, vanilla, and egg yolks. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. After the mixture begins to boil and thicken, remove from the heat and stir in the toasted coconut, regular coconut, and pecans.

Place the pan over an ice bath (a large bowl filled with ice) and stir the mixture until cool.

Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Trim the top to create a flat surface and evenly spread one third of the filling on top. Add the next layer, trim and frost with one third of the filling, then add the third layer. Trim the top, and frost with the remaining filling. The cake will keep in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 2 days.

It’s been nearly three years since I stopped making cakes for sale and I’ve yet to go back to the kitchen I was renting and collect all my baking supplies.  As I was about to start frosting this cake I realized I needed a piping tip and began searching all my kitchen drawers for one. I kept saying to myself out loud, “what kind of baker doesn’t have a single piping tip in the house? How can I not have a piping tip anywhere in my kitchen?”

My search came up empty-handed and I ended up piping my frosting with a resealable bag which burst mid-way through frosting the cake. I also happen to be out of parchment paper as well…

In the end, the cake turned out OK.  The cake itself was a lovely rich  and moist chocolate cake and the pecan/coconut filling was naturally delicious. The chocolate I used for the outside frosting appeared to be a bit old and had that funky old chocolate taste to it which came through in the frosting as well.

I think it would have been much better without the chocolate frosting and instead with extra pecan/coconut filling.  Next time I’ll go back to my previous version (sadly, not immortalized on this blog) of the leaning tower of German Chocolate Cake.  Hmm, I’ll see if I can dig through my archives for some photo evidence of that monstrosity.

Until then, roll on January!

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