Thursday, April 5, 2012

Happy Birthday to my Hard Working Husband & a German Chocolate Cake

Today is my husband's birthday and yep you guessed it! He is at work (again), birthdays, holidays, weekends or not, he is almost always, always working. Although we LOVE the overtime (it really helps with the whole Dave Ramsey plan), we do miss him a lot. He had requested a few months ago a German Chocolate Cake (yep, noted and pinned so I wouldn't forget). I had never made a German Chocolate Cake, but that's what he wanted, that's what he was gonna get.

He almost blew my whole idea because yesterday he requested that I make him Camping Cakes for him to take to work for his birthday (camping cakes is his one and only cake recipe he always requests for his birthday). And so, of course, I did. I made THREE camping cakes and he took them to work last night (because he said his birthday is at midnight, so he must take birthday cake last night). Today is his actual birthday and so today I made him the German Chocolate Cake he requested (it was something NEW and exciting and I really wanted to make one).

Now the challenge was to get the cake to his work, a large oil refinery. My little guy and I came up with a plan. We would bake the cake after he left for work and then take it down there around 8pm. We arrived at the oil refinery, and had to get him to meet us outside somehow. We lured him out to his truck, my son was hiding in there (yes we brought a spare key) and then we SURPRISED him with his German Chocolate Cake. Mission Accomplished and my little guy was SO HAPPY! He was thrilled that he got to scare his dad even more then bringing him the cake.

Okay, we did give him a whole cake, but I knew I would NEVER get a piece unless I stole one in the parking lot. I even brought my own knife, plate and fork just so I could cut a piece of cake before he whisked it away. :-) And good thing I did. He said all the guys ate it in a matter of minutes (I even had to call him when I got home because our three kids and I were all trying to share the ONE piece I cut and it was just not enough. He had to steal another piece for the kids, and I am sure they will be eating it for breakfast tomorrow). The kids said "this cake is AWESOME"!!!

Now, I will say this cake is not a throw together, bake, frost and your done in 30 minutes or less (the cake actually took me from start to finish 3 hours). This cake takes a little time. It's not hard, it's just a lot of steps but I can tell you that everyone says "it is worth it". If you want to make a German Chocolate Cake, then I would definitely recommend this recipe.

German Chocolate Cake
recipe found at Big Mama's Home Kitchen, originally from David LeBovitz

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

To make the cake:Butter three 8-inch cake pans, then line the bottoms with rounds of parchment or wax paper. Preheat the oven to 350°.

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.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter and 1-1/4 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the melted chocolate, then the egg yolks, one at a time.

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

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.

In a separate metal or glass bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold soft, droopy peaks. Beat in the  1/4 cup of sugar until stiff.

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.

Divide the batter into the 3 prepared cake pans, smooth the tops, and bake for about 22-26 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Watch them closely.

Cool cake layers completely.

While the cakes are baking, make the the filling, the syrup and the icing.

For the filling:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
6 tbsp (or 3 oz) butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1-1/2 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted (or sweetened)

To make the filling:Mix the cream, sugar, and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Put the butter, salt, toasted coconut, and pecan pieces in a large bowl.

Pour the hot custard immediately into the pecan-coconut mixture and stir until the butter is melted. Cool completely to room temperature. (I will try this again, but I was unable to get this mixture to thinken. I added about 1 cup of powdered sugar threw it in my blender and was good to go). I've been told if you wait, it WILL thicken.

For the syrup:
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp dark rum (we used Malibu Dark Rum with coconut flavor)

To make the syrup:In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and water until the sugar has melted. Remove from heat and stir in the dark rum.
For the chocolate icing:
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp light corn syrup
3 tbsp (or 1-1/2 oz) unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream

To make the icing:

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

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, then refrigerate until ready to use.
To assemble the cake:

Remove the cake layers from the pans.

Set the first cake layer on a cake plate. Brush well with syrup. Spread 1/3 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 1/3 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. David LeBovitz says: "It may seem like a lot of chocolate icing, but use it all. Trust me. You won’t be sorry."

Here's a little history I found at David LeBovitz : Although Germany is famous for tall, multi-layered torten with alternating layers of cream, cake, fruit, nuts, beer, sausages, etc…German Chocolate Cake is decidedly the result of good-old American ingenuity. Deep, dark chocolate cake is layered with a rich filling of toasty coconut and pecans, then glazed with a slick, bittersweet chocolate icing. It’s based on a recipe using Bakers™ Chocolate, a company which employed Samuel German in 1852, hence the name. The first version of German’s Chocolate Cake—of which the apostrophe is part of the original name, was created in the mid 1950′s.

1 comment :

  1. German Chocolate Cake is my Dad's favorite cake. I've been making it for as long as I can remember. I have to double errrr triple, the frosting recipe because I cannot stop eating it out of the HOT saucepan..

    NOM... Happy B-day to your hubs!


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