Last week my parents came to visit - it was a whirlwind of activity! We packed in as much fun as we could and had plans to do much more...movies, a baseball game and we even talked about going to the casino for their buffet and a few hands of poker, but we just ran out of time! (I've never played poker in a casino so it sounded exciting to me! I've already got my poker face down pat - it's the one I use when the mister is talking to me...he has NO idea that behind my poker face I'm having an entirely different conversation!) We did go to the Chihuly Glass and Garden Museum which was a true highlight if there ever was one...
This was my favorite piece at the Chihuly Exhibit...it's so large it's the only piece in the special glass conservatory built to hold it and it's just breathtaking! We walked inside and stared up at this mammoth assemblage of glass flowers...then I noticed the Space Needle through the glass roof! Look closely, you'll see it, too! When I win the lottery I'm going to buy me a Chihuly...right after I buy ONE, one-way ticket to Italy!
There wasn't a whole lot of cooking going on last week either...but I did find time to make the best German Chocolate Cake I've ever tasted...I knew it would be good...I just didn't expect it to be PERFECT! The cake itself has a very thick batter and is rich with a sweet chocolate flavor, thanks to...
German's Sweet Chocolate! Sam German was an American who worked for Bakers Chocolate...Mr. German came up with the sweet dark chocolate recipe and used it in a chocolate cake...and that's why there is an apostrophe there...it's German's recipe and when the cake recipe was published it was called German's Chocolate Cake! But over the years the apostrophe was removed, leading people to think this was a German cake from Germany! Not so! I have removed the apostrophe even though I used German's chocolate, because the cake recipe is not Mr. German's, but mine! Confused?
Two cakes were made from one batch...two 6-inch rounds and two 8-inch rounds...I made the 6-inch round cake for a friend's birthday, German Chocolate Cake is her very favorite and I kept the 8-inch cake for us. This cake has a very moist crumb, and is about as chocolaty as you can get...German's chocolate and cocoa powder and instant coffee, which just enhances the chocolate taste...no kidding...and it doesn't give it a mocha flavor - just a deeper chocolate flavor...my eyes could roll back into my head just thinking about it!
Then there's the frosting...Coconut-Pecan - it's mind-blasting good! The frosting recipe IS from Mr. German's original recipe, it can be found on the inside of the Bakers German's Sweet Chocolate Bar box. It is to-die-for...but don't, you wouldn't want to miss it!
Most German Chocolate Cakes do not have the sides frosted - and neither did the original one - just the thick Coconut-Pecan frosting between the layers and on top...but I felt the cake was too naked, so I made a quick chocolate butter-cream to go on the sides...and that's what put this cake into the number one slot. This one gets 5 dangs on the ol' Dang Meter...it's dang, dang, dang, dang, dang good!
German Chocolate Cake - Pots and Pins
1 pkg. (4 oz.) Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate
1/2 cup water
4 eggs, separated 2 cups flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee, crushed to a powder or 1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
(Coconut-Pecan Frosting Recipe below)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cover bottoms of three (9-inch round) cake pans with parchment paper and then grease the parchment paper and the sides of pans. (I used two 8-inch round cake pans and two 6-inch round cake pans only because I needed two cakes from one recipe, normally I would use the three 9-inch pans.) In a medium microwaveable bowl, combine chocolate and water and heat in microwave on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until chocolate is almost melted, remove and stir until chocolate is completely melted. Set aside.
In a medium bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, instant coffee (make sure you've crushed the granules to a powder!) baking soda and salt. Set aside. Beat egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Remove egg whites to another bowl or scoop out onto a piece of parchment. In the same bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in melted chocolate and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well until blended after each addition, but do not over-beat, that's what makes a cake dry.
Add egg whites to cake batter, and fold in, by hand, until no streaks are left. Pour into prepared pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick in centers comes out clean. Immediately run a knife around cakes in pans. Cool in pans for 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack to cool completely. Frost when cakes are cool.
Coconut-Pecan Frosting - From Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate Cake
4 egg yolks
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 pkg. (7 oz.) coconut, shredded (2 2/3's cup)
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
Beat egg yolks, milk and vanilla in large saucepan with whisk until well blended. Add sugar and butter; cook on medium-heat 12 minutes or until thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add coconut and nuts; mix well. Cool. Frost cake between layers and on top.
The recipe for Chocolate Butter-cream will be posted soon...I figure I've used up all the ink on this post already!