Laid-Back Fudge

Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce

German Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Baklava

Souffle au Chocolat (Chocolate Souffle)



German Chocolate Cake

Tips: A chocolatey, two-layer cake filled and topped with a coconut pecan frosting, German Chocolate Cake is not swank--but it is delicious. This is an unusual layer cake for this country, as the sides are not frosted. The layers are tall, so your cake pans must be 2" deep. Make the frosting first, as it must chill for 2-1/2 to 3 hours to reach spreading consistency, and you can make and cool the cake in that time. This should be eaten within 2 or 3 days of completion, and it doesn't freeze. A perennial favorite in my family!


  • 2 c. shredded, sweetened coconut
  • 1-1/4 c. chopped pecans
  • 1 c. evaporated milk
  • 4 egg yolks, from eggs graded "large"
  • 1/2 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 9 Tbsp. (1 stick + 1 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, cut into pats
  • 1 tsp. vanilla


  • 2 c. buttermilk
  • 3/4 c. (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pats
  • 2-1/2 c. flour
  • 2-1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 2/3 c. Dutch process unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 eggs, graded "large", beaten to mix
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
For Frosting:
Combine coconut and pecans in small bowl and set aside. Pour small amount of evaporated milk into heavy-bottomed, nonreactive 2 quart pot. Add egg yolks. With large spoon, beat to mix well. Gradually and alternately add remaining evaporated milk and both sugars, beginning with evaporated milk and stirring well after each addition. Add butter pats. Place over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture just comes to a boil (it may appear as though very slight curdling takes place as mixture heats--OK). Remove from heat immediately; mixture will be thin. Stir in coconut and pecans, then add vanilla. Cool briefly, then chill. As frosting chills, beat occasionally with large spoon. Frosting should thicken considerably to spreading consistency in 2-1/2 to 3 hours, but it's OK if it needs to chill longer--this frosting won't harden completely.

For Cake:

Grease two 9" by 2" deep round layer cake pans with vegetable shortening. Line bottoms with wax paper cut to fit, grease paper, then dust entire inside of pan lightly with flour, knocking out any excess. Set aside. Adjust rack to center of oven; preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In small, heavy-bottomed, nonreactive saucepan, combine buttermilk and butter pats. Set over low heat; stir often just until butter is melted. Remove from heat; set aside to cool until just warm.

Meanwhile, into large bowl sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. With whisk or large spoon, mix well until of an even color. When buttermilk mixture is warm, add beaten eggs and vanilla; with fork, beat in to mix well. Add all at once to dry ingredients. With whisk or hand-held electric mixer, stir until dry ingredients are moistened, then beat just until batter is well-combined (a few small lumps may remain--OK). Divide batter, which will be thin, evenly among prepared pans. Run batter up sides of pans slightly by tilting pans in a circular motion. Drop each pan three times onto a flat surface from a height of about 3" to distribute air bubbles in batter.

Bake in preheated oven 30-35 minutes, reversing pans back-to-front and exhanging oven positions about halfway through baking time. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in center emerges with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Do not overbake. Remove to cooling rack. Let layers stand 10-15 minutes.

Gently loosen cakes from sides of pans. Invert onto cooling racks; remove pans and gently peel wax paper from bottoms of layers. Re-invert to cool completely, right side up, before frosting.

To assemble:
If necessary, trim tops of cooled layers so they are level. Place one layer upside down on serving plate. Top with half of the chilled, thickened frosting. Spread frosting almost, but not quite, to edges of layer. Top with second layer, right side up. Press cake together gently to force frosting to edge of first layer. Top second layer with remaining frosting and spread evenly over top. Serve immediately or chill until needed; refrigerate any leftovers.

To cut this cake, you'll need a large, sharp, heavy knife. I use a knife with a serrated edge, though I know people who use a straight-edged knife here; try both and see which you prefer. You'll also need something to drink when you eat this--a glass of milk or a cup of coffee are fine accompaniments.

8-10 servings

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