Friday, September 25, 2009

German Chocolate Cake

I have never attempted German Chocolate cake before, partially because Spencer has never been a big fan of coconut so I didn't want this huge cake to go to waste after making it.  While I was looking at different cake recipes I came across a German Chocolate cake recipe and showed Spencer and he said "that's one of my favorite cakes" and I just looked at him in shock.  After telling me that I asked if he wanted me to make this and he immediately said yes.  I just couldn't believe we had been together this long and I never knew that this was one of his favorite cakes.  He's eaten a few things with coconut in but not a whole lot and I never thought he would be a fan of this recipe since there is quite a bit of coconut in it.  Once I found out that he was a fan, I knew I had to make this cake.  The recipe that I decided to use was  David Lebovitz's.  I've previously tried one of his recipes and loved it and I've heard tons of good things about his other recipes so I figured this would be a safe one to go with. 

Spencer's birthday was last week, so I decided I would make this for him for his birthday cake.  I wanted him to be surprised by this, so while he was out with the guys one night I made it.  He absolutely loved it.  It turned out so good, and I was very pleased with the end result.  Everyone that tried it went on and on about it.  The cake was very moist, the filling was great as well as the icing.  It was definitely a hit, to say the least.

Everything came together pretty easily.  Since this is a layered cake it is a little involved, but it's not overwhelming at all.  The recipe for the syrup makes a lot, I added generous portions to all of the layers and even brushed the sides with it but there was still tons left over so you could half the syrup recipe and still have plenty.  If you like a lot of filling you may consider doubling the recipe, I spread it on the layers fairly thin but if you would rather have a thicker filling it would be best to double the filling recipe.  The only problem that I encountered was with the icing.  I'm not really sure what happened, but it never thickened up.  I let it chill for a few hours and it was still as runny as it started out, then I let it chill over night and it was still the same as it started out.  After that I let it chill for a few more hours and when there was no improvement I started looking for other frosting recipes.  Most of the German Chocolate frosting recipes I cam across were basically the same as the filling recipe, since I wanted to stick with the chocolate on the outside (like the original recipe) I looked for chocolate frosting recipes.  The recipe I finally decided on was  Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Frosting.  I've heard so many good things about this frosting so I figured I wouldn't be disappointed in it, and I wasn't, it turned out great.  I will try to attempt the original frosting again, but I did love the cake exactly the way it was. 

German Chocolate Cake
German Chocolate 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


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


1 Cup water
¾ Cup sugar
2 Tablespoons dark rum


8 Ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1 ½ Ounces unsalted butter
1 Cup heavy cream


Butter two 9 inch cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment (or wax) paper and preheat oven to 350.

Place both chocolates and 6 tablespoons of water in either a double boiler or microwave safe dish.  Melt chocolates and stir frequently to ensure it doesn't burn.  Once it's melted and smooth, set aside to let cool to room temperature.

With a mixer beat butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in chocolate and then egg yolks one at a time. 

Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. 

Mix half of the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture, then mix in the buttermilk and vanilla and then finish adding the dry ingredients. 

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Beat in 1/4 cup of sugar until the mixture is stiff.

Fold 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the batter, then fold the remaining egg whites in until no whites can be seen.

Divide the batter evenly and pour into the two 9-inch, greased cake pans.  Bake for about 45 minutes, until toothpick can be inserted in the center and come out clean. 

Cool layers completely.

While the cakes are baking and cooling prepare frosting, filling and syrup.

To make filling:

In a medium saucepan mix the cream, sugar and egg yolks.  In a separate bowl put three ounces of butter, salt, toasted coconuts, and pecan pieces.

Heat the cream mixture and stir constantly.  Heat until mixture thickens and coats spoon. 

Pour the hot custard immediatly into the coconut mixture.  Mix and stir until the butter is completely melted.  Set aside and let cool completely.

For the Syrup:

In a small saucepan heat the sugar and water until the sugar has dissolved.  Remove from heat and add the rum, stir well.

For the icing:

Place 8 ounces of chopped chocolate in a bowl with corn syrup and 1 1/2 ounces butter.  

Heat the cream until it just begins to boil.  Remove from heat and pour over chocolate.  Let the mixture sit for 1 minute and then stir together.  Let sit until room temperature.

***Like I said earlier, I couldn't ever get this icing to come to the right consistency for me so I used  Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Frosting.  It turned out great, so if you don't want to attempt the original frosting this one works just fine.  

To assemble the cake:

Remove cakes from the pans and cut both cakes in half, horizontally with a sharp knife.

Place the first cake layer on a plate, brush with syrup, spread 3/4 cup of the coconut filling over the layer.  Be sure the filling is spread over the entire layer.  Set another layer on top of the cake.

Repeat process using the syrup to brush on each layer, spread thin layer of filling-3/4 cup of filling over each layer, including the top layer.  

Ice the sides with the chocolate icing.  Use a decorative tip and pipe the top of the cake around the coconut filling mixture.  
German Chocolate Cake


Recipe Source: David Lebovitz 

Frosting: Hershey's


Carrie said...

I made this for my mother-in-laws birthday, it was WONDERFUL!

Stephanie said...

That looks absolutely gorgeous!

James Young said...

That looks like a very delicious cake. German chocolate cake is one of my favorite sweets and one of the easiest cake to bake.. Yum..

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