Sooooo, we got invited to a cookout over Labor Day weekend, by some good friends. Yay! We have much in common with them, and always have a good time. It was stated that there were many things to celebrate throughout their family; a birthday, an anniversary, a new job… Everyone is bringing a dish to pass, so of course I volunteer my favorite – “I can bring dessert!” Then I was reminded that the birthday was that of our host, Rocky. Did I mention that these friends live across the street from my parents? They have been wonderful neighbors, and Rocky is always ready to lend a hand when my parents need it. So, I got the opportunity to do a little something special. It seems his favorite cake is German Chocolate. My daughter (whose boyfriend is the son of said neighbors) says she will decorate it. Done deal.
As you can see by the photo, our host is a Harley guy, so my daughter starts working on her ideas for decorating, using some fondant, some frosting. All I need to do is make the cake and the frosting. Easy.
I pulled out the recipe and looked it over. As I recall, one of the things I liked about my mom’s version of this cake over others I have had, is that hers seemed a little more chocolatey. My mother has made a countless number of these over the years, since it is also the favorite of both of my brothers. I knew she had made some improvements. So I asked her, and she said yes, she did increase the amount of chocolate in the cake. So I read the recipe over a few times, remembering things I had done to it in the past. It turned out wonderful. Just make sure you bake it long enough. This is one of those cakes that is quite moist, and the touch test can be deceiving. But…..so can the toothpick test. Use both. I made this in a 9 X 13 cake pan, then cut it in half and stacked it. In a 9 X 13, it took about 55 minutes. Adjust accordingly if you use smaller pans, and watch it closely. This one has a fine line between fully baked and dried out. You will have 4 leftover egg whites. Angel food cake anyone? Remember, If you can’t use them right away, freeze them! It won’t hurt them a bit. Feel free to use different nuts, or leave them out and use more coconut. Or leave out the coconut and use more nuts, chocolate chips, whatever! If using chocolate chips and you want them intact, make sure the frosting is cool before you stir them in.
Check out the final presentation!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ROCKY! I would make you or Colleen a cake anytime! When is your un-birthday?????
- 1 pkg. (4 oz.) BAKER'S GERMAN'S Sweet Chocolate
- 3 Tablespoons dry cocoa ( I used 2 T Special Dark and 1 T Regular cocoa)
- ½ cup strong coffee (preferred) or water
- 4 eggs, separated
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1¾ cups sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup buttermilk (or add 1 T. lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup of milk and let sit for a few minutes. I keep powdered buttermilk on hand just in case, and use as directed for one cup.)
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
- 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- ¾ cup butter or margarine
- 1 pkg. (7 oz.) flaked or shredded Coconut (2-2/3 cups), toasted (toasting is optional)
- 1-1/2 cups chopped Pecans, toasted. (toasting is optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Line the bottom of the cake pan (I used a 9 X 13) with parchment paper and give it a light spray of non stick cooking spray.
- Place coffee in a small mixing bowl. Break up the chocolate into squares and throw it into the coffee with the cocoa. Heat on high in the microwave for at least one minute - hot enough to melt the chocolate. Let it sit for a few minutes to melt the chocolate. Beat the butter and sugar together for about a minute. Separate the eggs, adding the yolks to the butter and sugar, and put the whites in a medium mixing bowl. Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and set aside. Beat the egg yolks and vanilla into the butter mixture for about one minute. Whisk the chocolate mixture until smooth, making sure the chocolate is melted. Mix the melted chocolate into the butter mixture. Dump the dry ingredients into the bowl with the butter mixture, (including the powdered buttermilk if using). Start mixing and add the buttermilk/soured milk. Don't overmix, you can dry the cake out. Once this is blended smooth, fold in the egg whites just until incorporated. Pour into prepared cake pan and smooth it to level. Bake for about 55 minutes. Time may vary according to your oven and will certainly vary if you use 2 or 3 round cake pans.
- When you remove from the oven. immediately run a knife or fine spatula around the edge of the pan. Let cool for at least 15-20 minutes before removing from the pan. You could certainly split this lengthwise as well, and turn it into a 2 layer cake that way.
- If toasting the coconut and/or nuts, just throw them on a cookie sheet and place in the oven at 300° for about 10 minutes until they start to turn golden brown. Set aside to cool.
- Put the egg yolks into a medium saucepan and whisk until smooth. Add the evaporated milk, whisking to mix in the yolk. Add the sugar and butter. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 12-13 minutes, until mixture turns slightly darker and thickens. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, coconut and nuts. Let this cool prior to frosting the cake.