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,
- 1-1/4 c. chopped
- 1 c. evaporated
- 4 egg yolks, from
eggs graded "large"
- 1/2 c. firmly
packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 c. granulated
- 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
- 2/3 c. Dutch process
unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp. baking
- Pinch salt
- 2 eggs, graded
"large", beaten to mix
- 2 tsp. vanilla
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.
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.
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
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