Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Classic German Chocolate Cake ... with a Slight Twist

A classic, homemade German chocolate cake, except instead of spreading the traditional coconut pecan frosting all over the cake, I've added a new twist of chocolate ganache.
A classic, homemade German chocolate cake, except instead of spreading the traditional coconut pecan frosting all over the cake, I've added a new twist of chocolate ganache.

Classic German Chocolate Cake

German chocolate cake is the traditional cake for my son's birthday and even when given a choice of any kind of cake, German chocolate is the one he picks. It is his daddy's favorite cake too, and you gotta admit, made from scratch anybody can see why. Rich, moist chocolate cake filled and topped with a gooey, buttery, decadent coconut and pecan filling - it is just ♫delicious♫.

It is interesting to learn in the history of German chocolate cake that it is not German at all!  Instead, it was simply a reader submitted recipe to a local Dallas newspaper back in 1957.  This homemaker had baked a chocolate cake using a product called Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate, a product named after Sam German, who developed this chocolate for Baker's Chocolate in 1852. She submitted the recipe to the paper, and the cake quickly became a popular request across the country. As it's popularity grew exponentially, eventually coconut made it's way into it, and over time, the cake was named German Sweet Chocolate Cake, and eventually, simply German Chocolate Cake.

Of course, not being one who is known to leave well enough alone, while I wanted to do this one in the traditional manner - meaning not frosted all over with the buttery cake filling, but left to only being between the layers and on the top - I'm not particularly fond of the traditional way of leaving the edges of the cake naked either. So, after pondering this for a bit, I thought that with the richness and sweet nature of this cake as it stands on its own, a simple chocoate ganache, just on the edges of the cake, seemed the perfect solution.

Recipe: Classic German Chocolate Cake

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 40 min
Total time: 1 hour 10 min

Yield: About 10 to 12 servings


For the Cake:
  • 4 ounces of sweet or semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 1/2 cup of boiling water
  • 2-1/2 cups of cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 egg whites (reserve yolks)
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • Chocolate ganache, optional, recipe below
  • Coconut Pecan Frosting, recipe below
  • Toasted chopped pecans and chocolate curls, to garnish, optional
For the Chocolate Ganache:
  • 6 ounces of semisweet chocolate
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
For the Coconut Pecan Frosting/Filling:
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter
  • 2 cups of evaporated milk
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • 2-2/3 cups of sweetened, flaked coconut
  • 2 cups of chopped pecans


For the cake, remove the eggs, butter, and buttermilk from the refrigerator and let it all come to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut out rounds of parchment paper by tracing circles using the outside of a 9-inch round cake pan. Butter the cake pans and place parchment rounds into the bottom of each pan; set aside.

Roughly chop the chocolate and place into a small bowl. Pour the 1/2 cup of boiling water over the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth; set aside to cool.

Stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a mixer bowl, using the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Transfer the whipped whites to a separate bowl and wipe the mixing bowl clean. In the mixer bowl, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the sugar together until fluffy. Add the reserved egg yolks in, dropping them in one at a time and blending each in before adding the next. Turn mixer to low and add the vanilla, and the chocolate.

Begin adding in the flour 1/2 cup at a time, alternating with the buttermilk and until fully incorporated. Remove bowl and fold in the reserved egg whites until blended in. Divide batter evenly between the three pans.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Set pans on cooling racks and let cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Turn the cakes out of the pan and carefully peel off the parchment paper, allowing cakes to fully cool on the cooling racks.

When ready to frost the cake, set bottom layer on a serving plate or cake holder and frost the sides with the ganache, if using. Use one-third of the coconut pecan frosting on the first layer. Continue with the next two layers until all are done, finishing with the last third of the frosting on the very top. Garnish if desired.

For the ganache, roughly chop the chocolate and place into a medium sized glass bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream to scalding and pour over the chopped chocolate. Let stand 5 minutes; stir until well combined and smooth. Set in the refrigerator to allow to cool and thicken, stirring occasionally.

For the frosting, in a double boiler, or using a bowl over a heavy bottomed saucepan filled with water, over medium high heat, melt the butter; stir in the milk, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla. Reserve the egg whites for an omelet or other use. Cook and stir until mixture begins to thicken. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the coconut and pecans; mix well. Allow mixture to cool, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Can also refrigerate until needed, giving it a stir on occasion.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on January 19, 2010
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