Monday, August 4, 2014
German Chocolate Cake
We celebrated my dad's birthday while we were on vacation. The only cake I could think to make was German Chocolate Cake. What I didn't realize is that this cake does take a little bit of time to put together. Luckily it was totally worth it - one of the best cakes I've ever made!
My dad loved it too. He took the leftovers home and ate every last bite.
The only thing that went wrong was a broken cake base. I'm sure I wasn't patient enough but one of the layers stuck to the cake pan so I ended up with a 3 layer cake instead of a 4 layer cake.
But...that just meant we got to snack on broken cake while I finished decorating.
It's a long recipe, but believe me it's worth every step.
German Chocolate Cake
2 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
6 tablespoon water
4 large eggs, separated
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum (I used Bacardi)
8 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoon light corn syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold ad cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 1/3 cups sweetened coconut, toasted
For the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans by lining bottom with parchment paper and buttering and flouring the sides of the pans. Set aside.
In a medium size microwave safe bowl, melt the bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate with the water, by microwaving for 30 seconds bursts, stirring between each burst, until smooth. Set mixture aside until the it cools to room temperature.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until they form soft droopy peaks. Slowly add 1/4 cup of the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Transfer the egg whites to a separate bowl. Set aside.
Using the same bowl, return to the mixture and use the paddle attachment to combine the butter with 1 1/4 cups sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add in the cooled melted chocolate. Mix in the egg yolks one at a time. Scrap down the bowl as needed to ensure all is incorporated.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture on low speed just until mixed in. Add in the buttermilk and vanilla extract until combined. Add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. Using a spatula, gently fold in a 1/2 of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it. Then fold in the remaining egg whites just until all are incorporated.
Divide the batter between the cake pans and bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the cake pans for 10 minutes before removing from the pan and placing on a cooling rack to cool completely.
While the cakes are cooling, prepare the rum syrup by combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally and heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the rum. Set aside.
For the icing/ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a heat proof bowl with the corn syrup and butter. In a saucepan, over medium heat, heat the cream just until it begins to boil. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute before stirring. Stir until smooth. Chill in the refrigerator or freezer until firm enough for decorating. You'll want it firm enough to decorated the sides of the cake.
Now for the filling! Put the butter, pecans and coconut in a heat proof mixing bowl; set aside. Combine the cream, sugar and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Heat the cream mixture and cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon. If using a candy thermometer it will read 170 - 175 degrees. Pour the hot custard immediately into the pecan coconut mixture and stir until the butter is melted. Let filling cool to room temperature before putting on cake. The mixture will also thicken as it cools. If the filling is too thin it's okay to add a little more coconut.
Time to assemble the cake. Carefully use a cake cutter or large serrated knife to cut the two cake layers in half horizontally to create four layers. Place the first layer on a cake stand and brush well with the rum syrup. Spread 3/4 cup of the coconut filling over the cake layer and use an offset spatula to cover cake. Continue same process with remaining 3 layers - rum syrup and filling. Once layers and filling is in place, frost the sides of the cake with the icing/ganche.
I did not have pipping tools with me so I opted to cover the whole cake with the icing/ganache. The other option would be to just frost the sides, leaving the filling visible on top, and pipping a border around the top and bottom.
Source: Annie's Eats via David lebovitz
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