Friday, January 27, 2017

German Chocolate Cake





















When I was little I would get so excited watching my Mom make my Dad's birthday cake. His favorite was German Chocolate and she made it every year right on up until the year she moved to Heaven.  When I was little, I couldn't wait to put the candles on and carry it out to him singing happy birthday. He would laugh and be so delighted with his favorite cake. I have now carried on this tradition. When I light the candles and carry it out to him, he bows his head and cries.


German Chocolate Cake

Cake

1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
¼ cup ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons water
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1¼ cup sugar
4 egg yolks (separate yolks and whites in two small bowls)
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

Filling

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans, toasted lightly and finely chopped
1 1/3 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted

Frosting

8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two 9-inch cake pans, and then  line the bottom of each pan with rounds of parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

Pour the water into a small microwave safe bowl and then add the two chocolates. Microwave on 50% for about 30 seconds and stir. Do this again for another 30 seconds and then stir until smooth.  Set the chocolate aside to cool to room temperature.

 In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1¼ cup of the sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and beat in the melted chocolate until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half of the flour mixture, beating until just combined. Add the buttermilk and the vanilla extract, mixing until combined, and then add the remainder of the flour mixture.   

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until they hold soft peaks. Slowly add the ¼ cup of sugar and beat until they form stiff, glossy peaks.  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold one-third of the egg whites into the cake batter to lighten it, and then fold in the remaining egg whites just until there’s no trace of egg white visible.

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 the cake layers completely (leave them in the pans).

Filling and Topping

Lightly toast your pecans in a skillet over medium heat.  Next stir together the heavy cream, sugar and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Put the butter, salt, pecans and coconut in a large bowl and set aside. Heat the cream mixture and cook, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom of the pan as you stir) until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon. Pour the hot mixture immediately into the pecan-coconut mixture and stir until the butter is melted. Cool completely to room temperature.

Chocolate Frosting

Place the chopped chocolate, corn syrup and butter in a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let stand one minute and then stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature.  Once the filling and icing are both cooled to room temperature, refrigerate for 1 hour.

Remove the cake layers from the pans and with a long, sharp serrated knife, cut both cake layers in half horizontally so you have four cake layers. Set the first cake layer on a cake plate. 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 this process over each layer, including the top.  Frost the sides with the chocolate icing, then pipe a decorative border of chocolate icing around the top, encircling the coconut topping.






















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