Monday, January 9, 2012

German Chocolate Cake

This cake is not from Germany and has nothing to do with that country. Then why is it called so ? According to Joy of Baking "Richard Sax in Classic Home Desserts says this cake was being made in the 1920's and eventually became popular nationwide after a recipe appeared in a 1957 food column of a Dallas newspaper. While the name "German" Chocolate Cake seems to suggest a tie to Germany, the name refers to the type of chocolate used in the cake which, in turn, is named after the Walter Baker & Company employee, Samuel German, who developed the chocolate in 1852. German's® Sweet Chocolate is a semi sweet baking chocolate that has a mild flavor and is much sweeter than other semi sweet chocolates (it tastes like a candy bar). Baker's® sells this chocolate and it is sold on the baking isle of most grocery stores".

In Dubai I found the brand in a few supermarkets like Safest-way but it was way too expensive to justify its use in a single cake. That's where this recipe came in handy as it uses unsweetened chocolate and is very easy to make.

I must say that not everyone who ate this was a fan and that was because of the coconut in it. I am personally a coconut lover and I loved it, especially when heated a little so that the ganache is all warm and melty.

Recipe Source - David Lebovitz

Ingredients - Given as is from his website with my changes in red.

One big, tall 9-inch cake; about 16 servings

For The Cake
2 Ounces Bittersweet Or Semisweet Chocolate Chopped (I used Milk Chocolate)
2 Ounces Unsweetened Chocolate, Chopped
6 Tbsp Water
226 Grams (8 ounces/2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, At Room Temperature
1 1/4 Cup + 1/4 Cup Sugar
4 Large Eggs, Separated
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Cup Buttermilk, At Room Temperature
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
For The Filling
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Cup Sugar
3 Large Egg Yolks
85.05 Grams (3 Ounces) Butter, Cut Into Small Pieces
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Cup Pecans, Toasted And Finely Chopped
1 1/3 Cups Unsweetened Coconut, Toasted
For The Syrup
1 Cup Water
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 Tbsp Dark Rum (I omitted this)
For The Chocolate Icing
8 Ounces Bittersweet Or Semisweet Chocolate, Chopped
2 Tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
42.5 Grams (1 1/2 Ounces) Unsalted Butter
1 Cup Heavy Cream

Bake The Cake
1. Butter two 9-inch cake pans, then line the bottoms with rounds of parchment or wax paper. Preheat the oven to 350°.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
5. 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.
6. In a separate metal or glass bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold soft, droopy peaks. Beat in the ¼ cup of sugar until stiff.
7. 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.
8. 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 cake layers completely. While the cakes are baking and cooling, make the filling, syrup, and icing.

Make The Filling
1. 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°.)
3. Pour the hot custard immediately into the pecan-coconut mixture and stir until the butter is melted. Cool completely to room temperature. (It will thicken.)

Make The Syrup
1. In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and water until the sugar has melted. Remove from heat and stir in the dark rum (If using)

Make The Icing
1. Place the 8 ounces of chopped chocolate in a bowl with the corn syrup and 1 ½ ounces of butter.
2. 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.

Assemble The Cake
Remove the cake layers from the pans and cut both cake layers in half horizontally, using a serrated bread knife.
Set the first cake layer on a cake plate. Brush well with syrup. 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, using the syrup to brush each cake layer, then spreading ¾ cup 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.

Happy Eating!!

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