My friend Suellen loves German Chocolate Cake. And I love my friend Suellen. So for her birthday, I brought in a German Chocolate Cake. And y’all. This cake was gooooood! It had a lot of steps, but was really pretty simple. Lots of butter. Lots of chocolate. Lots of eggs. And lots and lots of yumminess!
It’s basically three steps. First, you make the cake. Follow the directions carefully, to keep the cake light and fluffy. Then, I made the filling, and refrigerated it overnight (don’t add the pecans until right before you assemble the cake, so they’re still crunchy). I also made the frosting the night before, and the morning I assembled it I let it come to room temp, then whipped it to make it more spreadable.
Of course, you could make it all at the same time, but I really liked having the frosting and filling sit overnight.
German Chocolate Cake
(adapted from David Lebovitz)One big, tall 9-inch cake; about 16 servings
For the cake:
2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons water
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ¼ cup + ¼ cup sugar
4 large eggs, separated
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the filling:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1 1/3 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted (I used sweetened, because I couldn’t find unsweetened…because of this, I decreased the sugar a little)
For the syrup:
(I halved the syrup, because I ended up having a lot left. This is the halved recipe)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoons dark rum
For the chocolate icing:
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1. Butter two 9-inch cake pans, then line the bottoms with rounds of parchment or wax paper. Preheat the oven to 350°.
2. Melt both chocolates together with the 6 tablespoons of water. Use either a double-boiler or a microwave. Stir until smooth, then set aside until room temperature.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter and 1 ¼ cup of the sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the melted chocolate, then the egg yolks, one at a time.
4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
5. Mix in half of the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture, then the buttermilk and the vanilla extract, then the rest of the dry ingredients.
6. In a separate metal or glass bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold soft, droopy peaks. Beat in the ¼ cup of sugar until stiff.
7. Fold about one-third of the egg whites into the cake batter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining egg whites just until there’s no trace of egg white visible. Don’t overmix!
8. Divide the batter into the 2 prepared cake pans, smooth the tops, and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool cake layers completely.
To make the filling:
1. Mix the cream, sugar, and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Put the 6 tablespoons butter, salt and toasted coconut in a large bowl.
2. Heat the cream mixture and cook, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the spoon (an instant-read thermometer will read 170°.)
3. Pour the hot custard immediately into the coconut mixture and stir until the butter is melted. Refrigerate at least an hour, or overnight. Add the pecans when ready to assemble the cake.
To make the syrup:
1. In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and water until the sugar has melted. Remove from heat and stir in the dark rum.
To make the icing:
1. Place the 8 ounces of chopped chocolate in a bowl with the corn syrup and 1 ½ ounces of butter.
2. Heat the cream until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let stand one minute, then stir until smooth. Let sit until room temperature, then whip. Or, refrigerate overnight, bring to room temperature, and whip to form a spreadable frosting.
To assemble the cake:
Remove the cake layers from the pans and cut both cake layers in half horizontally, using a serrated bread knife.
Set the first cake layer on a cake plate. Brush well with syrup. Spread a thin layer of frosting, then ¾ cup of the coconut filling over the cake layer, making sure to reach to the edges. Set another cake layer on top.
Repeat, using the syrup to brush each cake layer, a thin layer of frosting, and ¾ cup of the coconut filling over each layer, including the top.
Ice the sides with the chocolate icing, then pipe a decorative border of chocolate icing around the top, encircling the coconut topping.