Monday, January 30, 2012

And The Winner Was....

I was having a hard time deciding what recipe to make next from my Baked: New Frontiers In Baking cookbook, so I wrote up a ballot and had my family vote for the dessert that sounded best to them.
They chose German Chocolate Cake, which surprising I love, even if the filling looks slimy and unappetizing.

Baked's recipe has to be the best German Chocolate Cake recipe I have used so far. The chocolate cake had a rich chocolate flavor and was very moist. The filling was thick, gooey and coconuty, so good you could eat it by spoonfuls. (I might have used a mixing spoon for my spoonful.) The only problem I had with the cake, which really wasn't Baked's fault, was the ganache frosting. Baked says "If you prefer to decorate your German Chocolate Cake with a milk chocolate frosting, let the filling set completely and use the milk chocolate frosting recipe on page 60.", so I did. The frosting was silky and rich, and would be fabulous on a chocolate cake, but it was just a little too much with the German Chocolate filling. To solve the frosting problem, I just ate the cake backwards, and it was divine.

German Chocolate Cake
From Baked

Cake Layers:
2 1/4 cups cake flour
3/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot coffee (I used Ghirardelli Mocha Hot Cocoa)
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cups (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups sugar
5 large eggs 
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 ounces dark chocolate, melted and cooled

1 1/3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup sugar 
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter 
1 cup evaporated milk 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
3 large egg yolk
1 1/3 cup toasted pecans, chopped coarsely

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 8-inch cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust with flour, and knock out the excess flour.
Sift the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium mixing bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the coffee and buttermilk.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat to incorporate. The mixture will look light and fluffy.
Add the flour mixture, alternating with the coffee/buttermilk mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the melted chocolate.
Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack and remove the pans and let cool completely. Remove the parchment.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Spread half of the coconut evenly across the pan and place in the oven for 5 minutes or until the coconut begins to brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
In a large saucepan, stir together the sugar, butter, evaporated milk, vanilla, and egg yolks. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. After the mixture begins to boil and thicken, remove from the heat and stir in the toasted coconut, regular coconut, and pecans.
Place the pan over an ice bath (a large bowl filled with ice) and stir the mixture until cool.

Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Trim the top to create a flat surface and evenly spread one third of the filling on top. Add the next layer, trim and frost with one third of the filling, then add the third layer. Trim the top, and frost with the remaining filling.

The cake will keep in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 2 days.

Milk Chocolate Frosting:
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 oz milk chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tbs light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into 1 inch pieces

Place both chocolates in the bowl of an electric mixer. In a small saucepan, bring the cream and corn syrup to a boil, then remove from the heat and immediately pour the mixture over the chocolate. Let stand for 2-3 minutes. Starting in the center of the bowl and working your way out to the edges, whisk the chocolate mixture until completely smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

With the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, on medium speed gradually add the butter pieces and mix until thoroughly incorporated. The frosting should be completely smooth and have a silky look.

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