Thursday, August 2, 2012

Easy German Chocolate Cake

For my mom's birthday, I decided to make her a German Chocolate Cake--her favorite.

Cricket gave me specific instructions that it couldn't be a big cake--he didn't want the tempting leftovers around for a week. Pretty sure he now regrets that requirement. Nonetheless, I picked up two of these 6" cake pans. I figured they'd be a good size to have on-hand if I ever attempt to make a tiered cake.

After scouring the web, I derived the following recipe. I was happily impressed that, as a German Chocolate Cake should, it gets more moist as the days go by. The sweet coconut filling seeping into the layers of scrumptiousness.

I kinda cheated by using (gasp!) a boxed mix. I kicked up the chocolate factor by adding instant pudding mix, and used sour cream to up the moisture quotient.

The filling is based on the ever-popular Dabid Leibovitz recipe. I simplified it and didn't frost the exterior with chocolate. Instead, I doubled the coconut-praline mixture to have enough for the layers and exterior. YUM!

Cake Ingredients:
1 (18 1/4 ounce) package Betty Crocker Super Moist cake mix - German Chocolate flavor.
1 (4 ounce) box instant chocolate pudding mix - double fudge flavor
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs

Cake Instructions:
1. Preheat to 350 degrees. Line your pans with parchment paper. I used two 6" x 2" pans to keep the size petite, per Cricket's request.

2. Mix all ingredients with electric mixer until smooth.

3. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. The pudding and sour cream increase the cook time than stated on the box, so you may want to check after about 25 min.

4. Let cool on wire rack until completely cooled. I let them cool overnight before frosting them, leaving them in the off oven to avoid Lula's reach.

5. Once cool, use a sharp bread knife to split each layer horizontally & level the tops.

Filling Ingredients: (Double the quantities below to have enough for the exterior.)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
6 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1 1/3 cups sweetened flake coconut, toasted

To toast the pecans and coconut, I used foil to split a baking sheet into two sections. The coconut took about 15 minutes, and the pecans about 10 on 350.

 Filling Instructions:

1. Mix the cream, sugar, and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Put the butter pieces, toasted coconut, and pecan pieces in a large heat-safe mixing 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 pecan-coconut mixture and stir until the butter is melted. Cool completely to room temperature. (It will thicken.)

Assembly Instructions:
1. Use a serrated bread knife to cut your layer cakes horizontally, making the layers as even as possible. For a 2-inch deep cake pan, you'll end up with two layers. Cut off the rounded top so that the layers will rest flat on top of each other.

2. Place a layer of cake on your cake plate and spread the cooled filling on top. Add another layer, and repeat until all layers are in place with filling in between them.

3. Use the remaining filling to coat the top of the cake and sides. The filling will likely run down the edges of the sides onto your cake plate -- but that's okay. It turns out really pretty!

4. It's ready to serve!

[you can see we were too eager to get at it to take a pic]

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