John takes baked goodies to work all the time. One of the guys at work has been telling him that he makes the best German Chocolate cake EVER. Well, after many months of talking about his German Chocolate cake he as yet to bake and bring in to work. I told John that I should make a German Chocolate for the next treat that he takes to work. John learned that he had an upcoming birthday. I thought that would to the perfect time to make the cake.
History of the German Chocolate Cake
Many think that the cake originated in Germany with its name,but actually its roots lie in Texas. A housewife in Dallas developed the cake recipe in 1957 and her recipe was published in the Dallas Morning News. She named the cake after the kind of chocolate that she used in her recipe.
What is German Chocolate
A chocolate maker by the name of Samuel German developed a new chocolate for the company Baker’s Chocolate. The company named the new chocolate to honor his creation.
Must German Chocolate be used in the Cake?
I believe the hallmark to a German Chocolate Cake is not so must the cake, but rather its filling and top frosting. The filling and/or frosting is a creamy custard like filling that contained coconut and pecans.
German Chocolate cakes can be made with your favorite chocolate cake recipe that contains another chocolate.
In honor of Mr. German( inventor of German Chocolate) and Mrs Clay ( recipe developer), I did not use The Ultimate Chocolate Cake recipe that I love, but developed another chocolate cake recipe using Baker’s German Chocolate.
You can use any chocolate cake recipe I believe, but below is chocolate cake recipe using Baker’s German Chocolate in an attempt to make the cake as authentic as possible.
Full disclosure… I am not a German Chocolate Cake kind of girl. I do not like coconut in desserts or in food. Coconut has only one place in my opinion… in fancy drinks that have an umbrella and fruit topping.
I believe my dislike for coconut is a texture thing since it is okay in beverages.
German Chocolate Cake
- 2 cups Flour
- 1 Tablespoons cark cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch salt
- 4 ounces Baker's German chocolate
- 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 Tablespoons vinegar
- 1 1/4 cup soften unsalted butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon chocolate extract – optional
- 1 teaspoon coffee extract- optional
Coconut Frosting Ingredients:
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 1/2 cup coconut
- 12 ounces evaporated milk
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 3 egg
- pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting Ingredients:
- 1 stick unsalted softened butter
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup chocolate cocoa
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/3-1/2 cup milk
Making the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 and line three 8 inch round baking pans with parchment paper
- In a large measuring cup ( 4 cups) or medium mixing bowl add the first 5 ingredients ( flour baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, and salt). Set aside.
- In your stand mixer beat the butter for about 5 minutes or until it turns light fluffy and pale in color.
- Add in 1 3/4 cups of your 2 cups of sugar to the butter. The remaining sugar will be used with the egg white later.Beat for another 3-5 minutes so the sugar is will blends and the butter comes back to being creamy
- Seperate the egg whites and yolks into two small bowlsAdd the egg yolks one at a time to the butter mixing well between the addition of each egg.
- In a measuring cup add heavy cream, water, and vinegar. Set aside for just a few minutes to allow the mixture to thicken some and become buttermilk.
- Add the flour and butter milk to the butter mixture alternating. Mix just until the flour is blended
- Add the vanilla, chocolate, and coffee extract and mix.
- Using a heat proof bowl create a double boiler. Use a mixing bowl that fits onto and slightly into a saucepan that leaves room for boiling water. Fill the saucepan with water, place the bowl ontop of the pot.Add chopped up Baker's chocolate and brewed coffee. Stir the chocolate as it melts and make sure that the boiling water does not touch the bottom of the bowl of chocolate.
- Add the melted chocolate to the butter mixture
- In a separate mixing bowl beat the egg whites on high speed. Add sugar to the egg whites slowly. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form
- Spoon in about 1 cup of the egg whites into the batter.
- Remove the mixing bowl from the stand mixer and fold in the remaining egg whites.
- Divide the batter between the 3 baking pans.Bake for 30-35 miniutes or until a toothpick comes back cleanCool cakes completely before frosting
Making the Coconut Filling:
- Toast both the pecans and coconut. To do this place pecans on a parchment lined baking sheet and the pecans on another parchment lined baking sheetBake at 350 for about 8 to 10 minutesThe coconut will brown and pecans will become slightly darker
- When the pecans and coconut are both toasted, chop both finely. I used the food processor for both.Place the 1 cup of chopped pecans and 1 1/2 cup of coconut into a large mixing bowl.
- Using a medium size saucepan on the stovetop, add sugar, milk,egg yolks, cubed butter, and salt.Stir the mixture freqently. When the mixture begins to boil it will also start to thicken. Heat and stir for about 5 minutes.Remove the saucepan from the stove.Add vanilla extract
- Pour saucepan contents over the pecans and coconut. Stir well
- Let cool completely.Refrigerate if needed to assist with cooling.
Making the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:
- Cream the butter in a stand mixer for about 5 minutes
- Add the cocoa and vanilla extract and mix
- Add the powdered sugar alternating with the milk.
Assembling the Cake:
- Place one layer of the chocolate cake onto a cake board
- Pipe a boarder of chocolate frosting around the edge of the cake
- Spoon in the coconut mixture into the center of the cake
- Apply the second layer of cake on top of the first layer. Pipe the boarder of the cake with the chocolate frosting and fill the center with the coconut
- Apply the top layer of the cake and follow with the same piping and frosting technique
- Apply a thin crumb coating of the chocolate frosting to the sides of the cake and refrigerate the cake
- When the crumb coat is set, remove the cake from the refrigerator and apply outer layer of chocolate frosting
Decorating the Cake
Usually, a German Chocolate Cake is topped off with the coconut and pecan frosting and maybe a dollop of chocolate frosting or heavy cream.
It is not common to use a German Chocolate cake as the base for a theme cake. But, since it happens to be the birthday of the person who makes and loves German Chocolate cakes, it seemed appropriate to make the German Chocolate cake into a birthday cake.
Modeling chocolate was used for the decorations. I made the boat, the man, and the fish out of modeling chocolate. After shaping the pieces by hand, they were refrigerated so they would harden.
Modeling chocolate is easy to work with in that it is forgiving. It is very pliable and easy to make shapes with. The downside, the warmth of your hands can quickly make it to soft and it can lose the shape formed.
Another great option for making 3 D designs is using fondant.Fondant is firmer and does not soften like modeling chocolate does right in your hands.
I personally like working with fondant, but prefer the taste of modeling chocolate…I guess who doesn’t because it is chocolate after all!!
Wishing Paul a Happy Birthday
Happy Big 5-0 Birthday Paul
If you are looking for a German Chocolate recipe, I hope you will give this one a try. Please leave a message in the comments and let me know what you think about the recipe. And as always, please share pictures of your German Chocolate Cake bake.