German Chocolate Cake, My 2nd Blogiversary & A Present For You!

by Kate on November 10, 2012

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Another year has passed and I can hardly believe that Food Babbles is 2 years old! I baked a cake for the occasion, German chocolate cake. This is my very favorite cake. It’s funny. My step-mother makes German chocolate cake for my dad each year for his birthday because it also happens to be Dad’s favorite cake. My brother, Matt gets German chocolate cake for his birthday too. Yep, you guessed it, Matt’s favorite cake also. But me? I have never been baked a German chocolate cake. No one has ever even given me a store-bought German chocolate cake! You know what I get? Usually it’s a store-bought nondescript cake with overly sweet grocery store bakery icing that I don’t even eat. Truth be told, I actually cannot stand most birthday cake. I’m just picky that way. Thankfully, Mike’s mother made me homemade cupcakes this year that were out of this world. Vanilla on vanilla and perfect in their simplicity. But each year I do wonder why in the world do Dad and Matt get the good cake, huh?? So this year, I made my own damn cake.

I had planned on making this for my birthday at the end of last month but instead, I got a hurricane for my birthday and as you know, my family and I were dealing with my brother being in the ICU so there were a few reasons this cake didn’t happen until today. Speaking of Doug, I am thrilled to report that he has made a full recovery! He was released from the hospital last weekend as we had hoped. He’s completely back to his old self, like nothing ever happened. I am in awe and amazed at this miracle. It truly is just that, a miracle. Now the plan is to make sure that he is monitored more closely and blood work will be done more frequently to ensure that his medication levels are within normal levels so that hopefully nothing like this ever happens again!

So back to cake and anniversaries. This year has been fantastic for Food Babbles. As you remember, this site got a fabulous facelift and now looks exactly like I envisioned it. I also learned even more about photography this year. I learned more about how my camera actually works. I went from shooting on the auto setting to experimenting with the manual settings. I read a lot about aperture, depth of field, and all sorts of photo geeky stuff but I truly learned a lot. I found that I gathered a lot of amazing information from the Tasty Food Photography e-book from Pinch of Yum. Great information! So much so that I posted a link to it over in the far right side bar in case you also want to learn more about food photography. I don’t think I had as much of a drastic change in my photographs this year as I did last year but I do feel like I started to see more consistent results over the course of the year.

The first year I went from this…

This is SO tasty but that picture, Yikes!

… to this.

Have some lighting issues but better than that pasta!

The first post of my second year looked like this…

Cinnamon Cider & Caramel Cider Apples looking good with better lighting

… and a recent post now.

Progress

I also learned this year that there is absolutely NO WAY I can possibly manage to do those nice sequence shots of recipes that I used to do. Honestly, I look back on that first year and I’m not sure how I accomplished that with Maddy but now with two little girls running around (did I mention Molly started walking!?!?) there’s no way I have the time to do that. Perhaps at some time in the future I’ll get back to that but in the meantime, I hope you like the way I’ve been doing things.

Last year I remember telling all of you how I started this blog because I had stopped working full-time to stay home with Maddy. With time on my hands, I found myself baking and cooking more and decided to put it all out there for the world to see. Another year later, I can officially say I no longer have time on my hands! Thanks to all of you! Yes, this lack of free time is actually a good thing. The girls take up the majority of my time but any other time I may have is not spent on Food Babbles. Sometimes it’s baking and taking pictures. Other times it’s writing posts and trying to find a bit of time to chat to you all on Facebook or Twitter. The rest of the time is spent reading and responding to the lovely comments you all leave me!

I love that you all have become so much more engaged! I feel like there are so many readers that I’ve really connected with and come to know more about your lives. I love that aspect of this blog. I love “meeting” all of you and connecting with your through common interests. I truly love hearing from you and appreciate each comment you leave me. I adore when you take time out of your day to share your thoughts with me. Thank you again for another fantastic year here. I can’t tell you how very much I appreciate all of you. Thank you for reading my words, making my food and talking to me. You guys make me so happy and I hope that I make you happy as well!

German Chocolate Cake

2 hours

Yield: 1 large cake | about 16 servings

German Chocolate Cake

German chocolate cake between layers of coconut pecan filling frosted with rich chocolate icing.

Ingredients

    For the cake:
  • 2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup 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
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 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 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted
  • For the syrup:
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
  • For the chocolate icing:
  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Butter two 9-inch cake pans and line each with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Place both chocolates in a heatproof bowl together with the 6 tablespoons of water. Set over a pot of barely simmering water. Stir until smooth, then set aside until room temperature.
  3. With an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1 ¼ cup of the sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the cooled, melted chocolate. Next add the egg yolks, one at a time.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder.
  5. Add half of the dry ingredients to the creamed butter mixture and mix just until combined. Add the buttermilk and the vanilla extract, then the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix just until combined.
  6. In a very clean 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 and gently mix just until there’s no trace of egg white visible. Don't overmix.
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans, smooth the tops, and bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
  9. To make the filling:
  10. Mix the cream, sugar, and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Put the butter, salt, toasted coconut, and pecan pieces in a large bowl.
  11. Heat the cream mixture and stir constantly until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon.
  12. Pour the cream mixture immediately into the pecan and coconut. Stir until the butter is melted. Cool completely to room temperature. It will thicken as it stands.
  13. To make the syrup:
  14. In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and water until the sugar has melted. Remove from heat. Stir in rum. Set aside.
  15. To make the icing:
  16. Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl with the corn syrup and butter.
  17. 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. Set aside too cool to room temperature.
  18. To assemble the cake:
  19. Remove the cake layers from the pans. Using a long serrated knife, cut both cake layers in half horizontally, forming 4 layers.
  20. Set the first cake layer on a cake plate. Brush well with syrup. Spread ¾ cup of the coconut filling over the cake layer all the way to the edges. Set the next cake layer on top. Repeat the steps for each remaining layer, including the top layer.
  21. Ice the sides with the chocolate icing, then pipe border of chocolate icing around the top, encircling the coconut topping.
  22. Enjoy!

Notes

Adapted from David Lebovitz

http://foodbabbles.com/2012/11/german-chocolate-cake/

So for my second anniversary, I have a little present for you! You know how I adore Abby Dodge. I feel so lucky to have met her several times now and to be a part of her Bake Together projects each month. Each of her recipes inspires me and makes me drool. As one of our parting gifts from Pie Party this year, we each received a copy of her latest cookbook Mini Treats & Hand-Held Sweets: 100 Delicious Desserts to Pick Up and Eat.

I love this cookbook! It has quickly become a favorite of mine. Mini pies, tarts, cakes, whoopie pies, cookies, candy and ice cream! I adore all things mini and think you will also. So I have a copy for you too!

Here’s the scoop:

To Enter: {Mandatory Entry} Simply leave me a comment telling me, what would you like to see in the coming year here on Food Babbles? More of something? Less of something? Or is there something else entirely that you’d like to see a post about? Tell me! I’d love to know how to make this site even better for you.

Optional Bonus Entries: Be sure to leave a separate comment for each of these that you complete since each individual item completed will be counted as an entry!

– “Like” Food Babbles on Facebook

–  The Tate’s Bake Shop Bake-Off is in its final days so I would love for you to head on over and vote for my Chocolate Walnut Cranberry Pear Tea Bread. Thank you!!

– Share this post on your Facebook timeline.

– Follow me on Pinterest and pin a picture from this post.

– Follow Food Babbles on Twitter

– Tweet the following:  It’s a blogiversary! Enter to win a copy of @AbbyDodge ‘s Mini Treats & Hand-Held Sweets via @KDBabbles http://wp.me/p2x6xO-1fJ #giveaway

– Follow Food Babbles on Google+

Entries will be accepted until 9pm EST on November 14th. Winner will be selected via random.org. The winner will be contacted by the email address provided and will have 24 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within that time frame, another winner will be selected via random.org. This giveaway is open to US residents only.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies… Tasted these at Pie Party. Amazing!

Good Luck!!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.

 

*Disclosure: This giveaway is being provided by Food Babbles. The cookbook was purchased by me and I was not compensated in any way. All the opinions expressed here are my own.