Monday, April 23, 2012

German Chocolate Cake

When I was single one of my best friends would always tell me that drama seem to find me.

She would do this thing where she would hold up her hand and say, "This is the world", then she would call her other hand Dawn and circle the "world hand" around the "Dawn hand". It has been a joke ever since.
(If you are still thinking about it, "The world revolves around me")

I did have my fair share of drama in my life and she always listened patiently and offered advice or just a hug. This same friend introduced me to a super cute guy and was convinced we were meant for each other. 
Of course she was right! Love her, thanks Erica.
Funny thing happened though, I married that cute guy, had 3 boys and my world started revolving around them. 
I put their needs before mine now. Don't get me wrong, I love it and would not have it any other way. I am so blessed and I love my husband and boys more than anything on this planet!

However, when my birthday rolls around a little bit of "it's all about me" comes out. I love birthdays! My husband doesn't quite understand, he loathes attention. I, on the other hand, bask in it's sunlight. There, I said it, it's out there! For one day of the year it's all about me. 
Honestly, I don't need alot of presents, honest!I like presents, but that is not what is important to me. I just want my family and friends around celebrating with me.
Birthdays are a great excuse to get together! 
A great excuse to eat cake too! No one wanted to make cake for their "cake making friend" and that's perfectly ok, I wanted to try a new recipe anyway. 

My mom would almost always make us a German Chocolate Cake and that is what I wanted. Since my mom lives 3,000 miles away, I had to tackle it.
Side note: Call me crazy, but I always thought it was called that because it was German. Um... no.. a man who's last name was German created it. Duh... that makes sense and why it is called German's Chocolate Cake. 

Ok enough about me, let's talk cake....

You will need:
(adapted from David Lebovitz)

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

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

I know it sounds overwhelming, but let's break it down!

Butter two 9-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.

Next, let's make the chocolate icing and pecan filling.
You will thank me later that we did this first.

Chocolate Icing

Place the 8 ounces of chopped chocolate in a bowl with the corn syrup and 1 ½ ounces of 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.
I recommend putting this in the fridge until you are ready for it.
That way it will be firmer to ice with.

Pecan Coconut Frosting

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°.)

Pour  immediately into the pecan-coconut mixture and stir until the butter is melted. 

Cool completely to room temperature. (It will thicken.)

Coconut Simple Syrup:

1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Bring water and sugar to a boil. Stir in the coconut, remove from the heat and let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. Strain the liquid into a clean saucepan, bring to a boil and let cook until the mixture is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Let cool.

German Chocolate Cake

Butter two 9-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 (I chose the microwave, less dirty pots to clean).
Stir until smooth, then set aside until room temperature.

Gather all your ingredients, make sure you have everything before you get to mixing.

Sift together all the dry ingredients. I like to do this before the other steps. 
It's just a thing, go with it.

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.

Mix in a third of the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture, then half the buttermilk and the vanilla extract, then half the dry, then the rest of the buttermilk, then end with the dry.

In a separate metal or glass bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold soft, droopy peaks.
This is what droopy looks like to me.

Beat in the ¼ cup of sugar until stiff.

Yes, it's a few steps, hang in there.

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 2 prepared cake pans, smooth the tops, and bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool cake layers completely.

FINALLY, let's put it together!

Brush the layers with the simple syrup.

Layer on the coconut filling.

Add the chocolate icing to the sides.


So here's the thing, I decided to put my name on it because I wanted my cake to have some sparkle and personality.

When I showed my friends this picture, EVERY time they laughed.
Is it sad I made my own cake or vain that I put my name it?
Whatever the reason they are snickering about me and my cake.

Then my sister had a brilliant idea....

Put Mommy on it!
Yes, I love that!
My life does revolve around being a Mommy right now.

If you want to know how to make the multi colored letters....

Roll the colors like a sausage and line them up.

Flatten them out.

Cut out as you like!

I hope you enjoyed this way too long post, but hey, it's my birthday so it's all about me.

At least for a day.

Baking from my heart to your kitchen,

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