Thursday, March 7, 2013

Inside Out German Chocolate Cake

When my mom requested German Chocolate Cake for her birthday dessert, I was determined to find a new spin on it. So I did what I always do and got to searching epicurious. I found a recipe for German Chocolate Pie, which looked easy and got fairly good reviews. But then I found this recipe and I knew this was the one I needed to make to celebrate her 54th birthday. (Aside: I did save the pie recipe because I figure I won't have quite as much time on my hands in March of 2014.)

This cake took a bit of time to make, but happily, nothing about the recipe is technically difficult. Because of last year's experience (As you might recall, last year the first cake stuck to the pan and Sydney ate the second one. Read about that disaster here.), I chose to make the cake a day ahead of time in case disaster struck; however, I am happy to report that this year, I got it right on the first try!

Inside Out German Chocolate Cake
adapted from recipe found on epicurious

In a large electric mixing bowl, sift together:
3 cups all purpose flour
3 cups sugar
1 1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Mix for 30 seconds.

In a medium bowl, mix together:
1 1/2 cups whole milk
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Add all at once to the dry ingredients. Mix on low for 30 seconds to moisten the dry ingredients. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl. Mix on medium for 1 minute to aerate the cake and develop the structure.

Mix in:
1 1/2 cups hot water
Mix for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl. Mix another 30 seconds or until the batter has an even consistency.

Pour batter into three (3) 8" round greased cake pans lined with parchment paper. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. While the cake is baking, get started on the filling.

Let cool 10 minutes and then remove from pans and transfer to wire cooling rack. Let cool completely before assembling cake.

Place into a large pot:
2 14 ounce cans sweetened condensed milk, labels removed
Fill with water so that cans are just covered. Place pot on stove top and bring to a gentle boil. Let cook, covered, for 90 minutes. Remove cans from water and let cool before opening (if you open them too soon, they will literally explode!). You'll know they'll cool enough to open when the can has contracted to its normal size.

In a large bowl, combine:
14 ounces sweetened flaked coconut (I toasted about three quarters of the coconut)
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted

Once the cans of condensed milk have cooled, open and pour contents into bowl.

2 tablespoons vanilla
Use a spatula to evenly combine. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt:
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter
Turn off heat.

Pour in:
10 ounces semisweet chocolate (I used a mix of baking chocolate + chocolate chips]
3 tablespoons light corn syrup

Cover and let sit for 2 minutes. Then use whisk to combine ingredients until chocolate is completely melted. Put one cup of glaze in glass or metal bowl (I used a glass Pyrex measuring cup) and place in refrigerator for 15 minutes. Stir. Place in refrigerator until glaze has thickened. (You can also place it in the freezer to chill more quickly...just don't forget about it!) Leave remaining in saucepan and cover.

Use a sharp serrated knife to cut off the rounded tops of the cakes so that they are flat.

Place one cake layer on top of an 8" cardboard round covered with aluminum foil. Place on a wire rack with rimmed cookie sheet underneath. Reserve 1/2 cup of filling in separate bowl. Plop spoonfuls of filling on top of cake layer (use half the filling). Use a wet spatula to evenly spread filling. Repeat with second layer and then top with third layer.

Use the reserved filling on sides of cake where filling isn't quite to the edge of the cake so that the sides are smooth. Apply a thin layer of the cooled, thickened glaze all over the sides and top of cake. If you have any of the cooled glaze left over, put it back in the saucepan.

Warm glaze left in saucepan. Pour on top of the cake, starting around the edges and then finishing in the middle, making sure it coats the sides of the cake. (This video gives a great demonstration at minute 3:50.) Let chill for about an hour or until the glaze sets. Transfer to a cake plate. Decorate as desired.

Invite a lot of friends and family (because this cake is HUGE!) and eat up!

I reserved a little of everything (since the cake was going to be ginormous already) and made a little four layer 4" cake for my neighbor, Ann.

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