After the ugly cupcakes last week I thought twice about posting this German Chocolate Cake because it won’t win any photo contests either. Two things changed my mind. First of all it tastes really good. Second without either of us knowing what the other was making both Anna and I made the same cake!
At our house a cake like this is an occasion cake. My husband recently celebrated his birthday and he loves German Chocolate Cake so that was a perfect excuse to make it.
The cake layers baked up unevenly and I worried that the texture would be disappointing but it was very nice. The cake was moist and had a fine crumb. When I make special occasion cakes I almost always use superfine sugar. I think the texture of the cake is better with superfine sugar, but that could be my imagination.
My husband and I both loved the frosting for this cake! I wondered about adding the chocolate to it, but I’m not sorry I did. It tastes wonderful, but the cake is very monochromatic with the addition of the chocolate to the frosting. If appearance isn’t an issue this is definitely a good recipe. It’s a little less sweet than some other recipes. Perhaps a double recipe of the frosting and covering the whole cake would be the answer to hiding some of the appearance problems? The cake would still be monochromatic but super yummy!
It was really difficult to slice this cake and have a photo worthy slice. The pecan and coconut impede the progress of the knife through the layers, and as I mentioned it wasn’t pretty to begin with. Or, maybe I need to improve my slicing skills?
German Chocolate Cake
6 oz German’s sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1⁄2 cup water
2 1⁄2 cups cake flour, sifted before measuring
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 lb butter, softened
1 3⁄4 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
4 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
12 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces and softened
2 ounces German’s sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup coarsely chopped pecan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease three 9-inch cake pans, line them with parchment rounds and flour the sides. Set aside (I’ve had good luck with flour-added baking spray plus parchment).
Put the chocolate in a heat proof bowl and slowly pour hot water over it. Let it sit for a couple of minutes, then stir until melted and smooth.
Sift together the cake four, baking soda and salt.
In an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low and stir in the melted chocolate. By hand or using lowest speed, add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk (beginning and ending with the buttermilk).
Beat the egg whites to almost stiff peaks in a separate bowl. Fold about 1⁄2 cup of the batter into the egg whites to lighten it up, then fold the egg whites into the batter.
Divide the batter among the three cake pans and bake on middle and lower racks for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs. ( I only baked mine for 30 minutes. I suggest you check the cakes as early as 25 minutes.)
Cool the cakes for a few minutes and remove from the pans. Remove the parchment, invert cakes back to upright and cool on racks.
Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a 2 quart saucepan until thick, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, butter, and chocolate. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until it is smooth and thick enough to lightly coat a spoon, about 5 minutes. Keep heat low or egg yolks will scramble. Remove pan from heat and stir in the vanilla, coconut and pecan.
Let the frosting cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until thickened but not quite solid, stirring it couple of times.
Spoon about a third of the frosting on top of one cake. Spread it out almost to the edge. Place a second cake on top of the frosting, repeat with another third of the frosting. Place the last layer on top and frost just the top of the cake, letting a little drizzle down the sides. The frosting is too fragile and soft to frost the sides.