Tuesday, July 5, 2011

German Chocolate Cake

My Mama's birthday is June 30th and this cake has been my present to her the past few years.  This is one of her favorite cakes and is one that I don't mind making because I don't have to frost it.  I HATE frosting cakes, especially when they are supposed to turn out nice looking.  Cake decorating is definitely not my specialty!

German Chocolate Cake

1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons instant coffee
1/3 cup boiling water
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Coconut Pecan Filling

4 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
2 cups lightly packed sweetened flaked coconut

FOR THE CAKE:  Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 350 degrees.  Generously grease two 8 and 1 1/2-inch round cake pans with vegetable shortening and cover pan bottoms with rounds of parchment paper.  Grease parchment rounds, dust cake pans with flour, and tap out excess.

Mix cocoa and instant coffee in small bowl; add boiling water and mix until smooth.  Cool to room temperature, and then stir in buttermilk and vanilla.

Beat butter in bowl of electric mixer set at medium-high speed until smooth and shiny, about 30 seconds.  Gradually sprinkle in sugar; beat until mixture is fluffy and almost white, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, beating 1 full minute after each addition.

Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl.  With mixer on lowest speed, add about one third of dry ingredients to batter, followed immediately by about one third of cocoa mixture; mix until ingredients are almost incorporated into batter.  Repeat process twice more.  When batter appears blended, stop mixer and scrape bowl sides with rubber spatula.  Return mixer to low speed; beat until batter looks satiny, about 15 seconds longer.

Divide batter evenly between pans.  With rubber spatula, spread batter to pan sides and smooth top.  Bake cakes until they feel firm in center when lightly pressed and skewer comes out clean or with just a crumb or two adhering, 23 to30 minutes.

Transfer pans to wire racks; cool for 10 minutes.  Run knife around perimeter of each pan, invert cakes onto racks, and peel off paper liners.  Reinvert cakes onto additional racks; cool completely before frosting.

FOR THE FILLING:  Mix egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl, beat in butter, then gradually beat in cream and vanilla into mixture.  Pour into medium, nonreactive saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture is puffy and just begins to thicken, 15 to 20 minutes.  Pour mixture into a medium bowl and cool to room temperature.  Stir in pecans and coconut.

TO ASSEMBLE:  Halve each cake round to make four layers for the completed cake.  Place one of the cake bottoms on a serving plate.  Spread about 1 cup filling over cake half.  Place another halved cake round over filling.  Repeat this stacking and spreading process with remaining filling and cake, ending with a final layer of filling.

*I like to decorate the top of the cake with toasted whole pecans.
*For a friend's birthday, I baked the cake batter in a sheet pan and made mini german chocolate cakes, they turned out really fun.

Recipe from The Best Recipe (by the editors of COOK'S ILLUSTRATED magazine)

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