Sunday, September 30, 2012

German Chocolate Cake

I was trying to think of what to make for my next blog post. I figured I would make a dessert since I have not blogged one yet. While discussing the multitude of options with my Wubby I learned that she HAS NEVER HAD GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE. Seriously? I don’t know how this happened. I don’t really know why it seemed so shocking to me. There are plenty of things that I have yet to try that many others already have. Maybe it’s just because I have had this cake on many occasions. I don’t know. The one thing that I am sure of is my mind was made up. I was making a German Chocolate Cake.

Why is it that German Chocolate cake is called such? While tasting my brilliant creation (I am VERY modest) we had this discussion. I never really thought about it, but Germany doesn’t have coconuts… at least that I know of. So I did some research. The cake is actually named after a Sam German. It was named after him in 1852. Why for him… I know that now too! He developed a dark, baking chocolate that was used in this cake. There you have it. The German Chocolate Cake is anything but German. Who knew.
Now onto the recipe…
 This is taken from Bobby Flay’s Bar American Cookbook.
Chocolate Cake:
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature. (You will need some extra butter for buttering the pans.)
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light muscovado sugar (This is a version of unrefined brown sugar. I could not find this so I used light brown sugar)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups strong brewed black coffee at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*** Caramel Frosting and Chocolate Ganache recipes follow
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter 2 nine-inch cake pans and then line the bottom with parchment paper. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. (I put all these ingredients in my Kitchen Aid mixer.)
Melt the 12 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder and cook for a minute. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the brown sugar and granulated sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Now add the coffee, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients in small batches. Mix until everything is just combined.
Pour the batter into the evenly into the two buttered pans. Bake at 325 degrees on the middle rack for about 40 – 45 minutes. To test if they are done insert a toothpick into the center. It will come out clean if it is done. Let the cake cool in the pans for 20 minutes. Then transfer the cakes onto a wire rack and cool an additional hour before frosting.

  • 1 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 3/4 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup goats milk (I used additional whole milk instead)
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, chilled
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 teaspoons coconut rum (optional)
  • 1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped pecans, toasted (I did not use any pecans as my Wubby doesn’t like them)
  • 1 1/4 cups sweetened shredded coconut
Combine the milk, coconut milk, and goats milk (or additional milk) in a small sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Turn to low heat and keep here while you prepare the caramel.
For the caramel combine the sugar and 1/4 cup of water in a medium saucepan on HIGH heat. Let the mixture cook without stirring for about 8 minutes. It will begin to change color. At this point make sure you are watching it very closely… it happens fast. When the color of the mixture is an auburn remove it from the heat. SLOWLY and CAREFULLY whisk in the milk mixture. It will be very hot and bubble up. Add the vanilla seeds and corn syrup. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium. Continue to cook stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until the mixture is reduced in half. This will take about 55 minutes.

Once your mixture resembles a caramel sauce remove from the heat and add the butter, vanilla, rum and salt. Pour the mixture into a medium bowl. Stir in the pecans (I did not) and coconut. Let frosting cool to room temperature stirring occasionally.
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
To make the ganache bring the cream to a simmer. Put the chopped chocolate (or chocolate chips in my case) into a medium bowl. Add the hot cream and corn syrup. Let this sit for about 30 seconds and then whisk it all together. Let your ganache sit for 10 minutes before pouring on cake.

Once the cakes have cooled cut each one in half horizontally. Place one cake layer on a cake round and top it with 1/3 of the cooled frosting. Top that with another layer of cake and then another 1/3 of the frosting. Repeat once more. Top everything with the last round (which should be the top of one of the cake slices.) Place the cake on a wire rack and pour the ganache over the top letting the excess drip off. Top this with some toasted coconut. Let the cake sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours before slicing.
The cake is rich. And GOOD. So enjoy!

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