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German Chocolate Cake

August 10, 2012

My birthday is this weekend and in honor of that auspicious occasion, there are 2 things I like to do to celebrate: have my once a year real honest-to-goodness hand mixed chocolate milkshake and make my favorite cake – German chocolate – which is something I also do only once a year.

And, like most other recipes, my German chocolate cake has to be from scratch using “German’s Sweet Chocolate” and not cocoa or any other kind of chocolate.   To me, a REAL German chocolate cake is ONLY made with “German’s Sweet Chocolate.”  And, in fact, whenever I see a German chocolate cake made with a Devil’s food cake, I shudder.  It’s just not right. This recipe, however, is.

German Chocolate Cake 


1 pkg. (4 ounces) Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate

½ cup water

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

1 cup – 2 sticks – butter, softened

2 cups sugar

4 eggs, separated

1 tsp. Mexican vanilla

1 cup of buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350°.  Cut 3 circles of parchment or wax paper that will fit into the bottoms of 3 – 9 inch – round cake pans. Spray pans with baking spray and place circles into the pan bottoms.

Place the chocolate and water in a small bowl and microwave for 1 ½ – 2 minutes or until chocolate is almost melted – stirring after 1 minute. Continue microwaving in 30 second increments,  stirring after each 30 seconds until chocolate is completely melted. Don’t overcook or the chocolate will burn.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt – set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form – set aside.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, blend in  melted chocolate and the vanilla.  Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beating well after each addition.

Gently stir in the beaten egg whites into the batter and pour even amounts into the 3 prepared pans.

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and immediately run a butter knife around the cake layers.  Cool in pans for 15 minutes and then carefully remove the layers from the pans to wire racks. Carefully remove the paper from the cake bottoms and allow the layers to cool completely before filling and frosting.

Coconut Pecan Filling and Frosting: 

6 egg yolks

1 can (12 ounce) evaporated milk (NOT sweetened condensed milk)

6 ounces of canned coconut milk (can be found in the Asian food section)

2 ¼ tsp. Mexican vanilla

2 ¼ cups sugar

18 TBSPS. butter

11 ounces (about 4 cups) of toasted coconut

2 ¼ cups of toasted chopped pecans

Toast pecans in one layer on a cookie sheet in a 350° oven for 5 – 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.

Toast coconut in one layer on a cookie sheet in a 350° oven for 5 – 8 minutes or until it just begins to turn brown on the tips.  Remove from oven and set aside.

In a large saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, milks and vanilla until well blended.  Add sugar and butter and cook on medium heat about 12 minutes or until thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and add coconut and pecans, mixing well.

Allow icing to cool to room temperature – about one hour – stirring occasionally.  When cooled, ice between and on top of the layers as well as sides.

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