Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Love Story...

My husband loves...very few things openly: me, our dog, firearms, computers and German chocolate cake. The last of these is a bond so strong that when I offered to make him a really kickass, gun-inspired cake for his recent 30th birthday, he responded by saying that he'd really rather have the German chocolate cake that they make at the grocery store.

Low, man, really low.

And so, I begrudgingly complied with his request (after all, it was his birthday) and as I sat there poking around at the light brown, coconut and pecan filling, I couldn't help but wonder what all the hype was about. DH doesn't seem to be able to pinpoint the exact cause of his obsession, but since the day we met, I've known that, when in doubt, this is the cake to roll with as far as he's concerned. He also has a habit of mentioning that he only gets it once a year, for his birthday (totally not true!) so I'm putting my coconuts on the table and making him the biggest and best post-birthday German chocolate cake ever!

I've missed typing this: First, we start with some ingredients!

First, grease and flour your pans. For this cake, you've got options. It'll make +/- 8 cups of batter. You could use 3 9-inch pans if you've got them. In my case, I went with a 10-inch round pan (yes, my cake is HUGE. I had no complaints!)

Next, prep your first two mixes:

First is the chocolate. I know this is called a German chocolate cake, but when you live in a small town with limited access to finer baking goods, you sort of have to go with what works. I took the sweetest chocolate chips I could get (milk) and it worked out fine. Along with 1/2 cups of water, melt 4 oz of chocolate in a small bowl.

It won't take long if you do it in the microwave -- around 20 seconds will do the trick! Stir until everything is smooth and set it aside to cool.

Second is the cake flour, baking soda and salt. Sift these together and set them aside.

Now it's onto the fun part!

In your mixer bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until everything is light and fluffy.

Beat in 4 egg yolks, one at a time until everything is well-incorporated, then add the chocolate/water mixture and vanilla.

Once that's all mixed, start mixing the flour mixture and buttermilk in, adding each in thirds and mixing until everything is just mixed.

In a metal (or glass) bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

Yep, that's my reflection in the top of the bowl!!
Fold a third of the egg whites into your cake batter. Then mix in the rest, being careful not to overdo it!

Put your pan(s) into the oven and bake! If you're going with the 3 9-inch pans, 30 minutes or so will be perfect. As I mentioned, I used a 10x3 round pan and it took well over an hour to bake. The toothpick never lies, however, so when it comes out clean, your cake is done!

The filling comes next. 

In a medium sauce pan, add the sugar, evaporated milk, butter and egg yolks (save the extra whites for a yummy omelette tomorrow morning!)

Cook over low heat, stirring constantly (I mean it!) until the mixture starts to get thick. 

I generally judge it by how long I can see the bottom of the pan between passes with the spoon. Once the mixture starts to hold for a second before covering the spot, it's right on. Remove the pot from the heat and add the coconut, pecans and vanilla. 

Stir well and set it aside to cool. 

Once the cake and filling are cooled (the filling will thicken up, don't worry!) spread the filling in between the cake layers (I cut my 10 inch cake in half and filled it) 

Now, traditionally, these cakes don't get frosted. Instead, you'd mix 4 oz of semi-sweet chocolate with 2 tsp of shortening and drizzle it over the cake. However, Mr. LMC whined that he wanted a frosted cake, and a frosted cake he got! I hope he's hungry!!

Happy Baking!! 



German Chocolate Cake


½ cup of water
4 oz of German (or milk) chocolate
1 cup of butter, softened
2 cups of sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup of buttermilk
2 ½ cups of cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
4 egg whites

1 cup sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
½ cup butter
3 egg yolks (beaten)
1 ½ cups flaked coconut
1 cup of pecans (chopped)
1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp shortening
4 oz chocolate

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F (325 F if you’re using a 10x3 pan) Grease and flour 3 9-inch cake pans.

2. In a small bowl, heat the water and chocolate until the chocolate is melted. Stir until smooth and set aside to cool

3. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.

4. In your mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time until everything is well incorporated. Blend in the chocolate mixture from step 2 and add the vanilla extract.

5. Alternating in thirds, beat in the flour mixture and buttermilk until everything is just mixed -- do not over mix!

6. In a large metal or glass bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold a third of this mixture into your cake batter, then fold in the rest -- again, don’t over mix!

7. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean!

8. For the filling, combine the sugar, evaporated milk, butter and egg yolks. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract, coconut and pecans. Set aside and let the mixture cool and thicken.

9. Spread the filling between the cake layers and on top of the cake.

10. Melt the shortening and chocolate in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. Drizzle over the top of the cake and enjoy!