German Chocolate Cake

Author: Matilda Lou // Category:
So, it's been a long time since I posted.  I've been busy with work, school, life, and the thought of this blog has been in the back of my mind, but always took a back seat to everything else.  However, as Sunday the 8th of January would have been my grandfather's 81st birthday, I decided to bake.

Grandma always baked a cake for Grandpa on his birthday.  In my memory, it was always German chocolate cake, but my mother recalls it being red velvet when she was growing up.   Having been raised in the era when red food coloring was not available on the market, I suppose that's the reason for the switch, but not being able to ask him now which he liked best, I went with my memory.

I've thought about tackling a German chocolate cake from scratch for a while, but was daunted by the idea the coconut pecan frosting would be complicated or involve making caramel...a process that intimidates me.  I searched for a recipe Saturday evening and found one that seemed to be held up as the supreme example and thus, the cake:
The coconut pecan filling was surprisingly simple and the final product was UHH-Mazing!  The ganache was not as firm as I wanted it to be, but it didn't matter once it was in your mouth.  Mary and her niece came over to share it and we sang to her as a belated birthday.

Happy birthday, Grandpa.  Not a week goes by that I don't repeat one of your sayings, wish I could ask your opinion or advice, and you are missed every day.  I hope Grandma made you a heavenly cake now that you're together again.

Love always,
Matilda Lou

German Chocolate Cake (recipe from David Leibovitz http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2005/09/german-chocolat-1/)

One big, tall 9-inch cake; about 16 servings

For the cake:
2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons water
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ¼ cup + ¼ cup sugar
4 large eggs, separated
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
3 ounces butter, cut into small pieces
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1 1/3 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted

For the syrup:
1 cup water
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum

For the chocolate icing:
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 ½ ounces unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream

1. Butter two 9-inch cake pans, then line the bottoms with rounds of parchment or wax paper. Preheat the oven to 350°.

2. Melt both chocolates together with the 6 tablespoons of water. Use either a double-boiler or a microwave. Stir until smooth, then set aside until room temperature.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter and 1 ¼ cup of the sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the melted chocolate, then the egg yolks, one at a time.

4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

5. Mix in half of the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture, then the buttermilk and the vanilla extract, then the rest of the dry ingredients.

6. In a separate metal or glass bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold soft, droopy peaks. Beat in the ¼ cup of sugar until stiff.

7. Fold about one-third of the egg whites into the cake batter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining egg whites just until there’s no trace of egg white visible.

8. Divide the batter into the 2 prepared cake pans, smooth the tops, and bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool cake layers completely.  While the cakes are baking and cooling, make the filling, syrup, and icing.

To make the filling:

1. Mix the cream, sugar, and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Put the 3 ounces butter, salt, toasted coconut, and pecan pieces in a large bowl.

2. Heat the cream mixture and cook, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the spoon (an instant-read thermometer will read 170°.)

3. Pour the hot custard immediately into the pecan-coconut mixture and stir until the butter is melted. Cool completely to room temperature. (It will thicken.)

To make the syrup:

1. In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and water until the sugar has melted. Remove from heat and stir in the dark rum.

To make the icing:

1. Place the 8 ounces of chopped chocolate in a bowl with the corn syrup and 1 ½ ounces of butter.

2. Heat the cream until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let stand one minute, then stir until smooth. Let sit until room temperature. (note: I put mine in the fridge to cool after about 45 minutes of waiting.  I'm impatient!)

To assemble the cake:

Remove the cake layers from the pans and cut both cake layers in half horizontally, using a serrated bread knife.

Set the first cake layer on a cake plate. Brush well with syrup. Spread ¾ cup of the coconut filling over the cake layer, making sure to reach to the edges. Set another cake layer on top.

Repeat, using the syrup to brush each cake layer, then spreading ¾ cup of the coconut filling over each layer, including the top.

Ice the sides with the chocolate icing, then pipe a decorative border of chocolate icing around the top, encircling the coconut topping.

(It may seem like a lot of chocolate icing, but use it all. Trust me. You won’t be sorry.)

1 Response to "German Chocolate Cake"

harrytommy Says :
December 29, 2016 at 12:38 AM

Most valuable and fantastic blog I really appreciate your work which you have done about the chocolate cake Matilda,many thanks and keep it up.
chocolate cake Matilda

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