German Chocolate Cake

There is nothing my Dad loves more than a good old fashioned German Chocolate Cake. So it was only natural for me to make one for Father’s Day. I mean it’s the least I can do since he gave me life and all. 😉

I have had my fair share of German Chocolate Cakes over the 28 years of my life but this one takes the cake. Pun intended.

german chocolate cake 2

Shocker this recipe is once again from David Lebovitz and it is over the top decadent! Lebovitz simply never disappoints.

For the average Joe (aka my Mama 😉 ) the process is a little labor intensive for a cake but I ensure you that it is worth the time!

The cake itself is very moist and gives you that nice subtle chocolate flavor with the hint of buttermilk that will send you over the edge.

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If that doesn’t get your mouth watering the icing is a bittersweet chocolate ganache. Can I hear an AMEN? The icing is the perfect balance of all the flavors in this sinful delight.

But that’s not all. You don’t even want to get me started on the filling, which is a custard base, enriched with toasted coconut and pecans. I mean who would honestly say no to that!

Okay are you ready? Or Maybe you’re just HANGRY now? Either way here is what I promised the ultimate German Chocolate Cake by one of my favorites.

David Lebovitz German Chocolate Cake

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
8 ounces (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
3 ounces butter, cut into small pieces
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1 1/3 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted

For the syrup:
1 cup water
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum

For the chocolate icing:
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 ½ ounces unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream

1. Butter/Spray two 9-inch cake pans, then line the bottoms with rounds of parchment. 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 beat the butter and 1 ¼ cup of the sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Really 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. *Helpful Tip* while folding keep your bowl on the table and turn counterclockwise. 
8. Divide the batter into the 2 prepared cake pans, smooth the tops, and bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. *Helpful Tip* Another great way to see if your cakes are ready is by touch. Your cake should spring back after touching it.
Cool cake layers completely.
While the cakes are baking and cooling, make the filling, syrup, and icing.*Helpful Tip* you can also pop your cakes into the freezer to speed up the process. 


To make the filling:
1. Mix the cream, sugar, and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Put the 3 ounces butter, salt, toasted coconut, and pecan pieces in a large bowl.
2. Heat the cream mixture and cook, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir because no one likes burnt custard) 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.)


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 when the syrup is cool.


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.


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 or board. Brush well with syrup. Spread 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, then spreading 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. *Get Creative*

coco baking tipsCoco’s Baking Tips:

Make sure to read the recipe twice through before beginning. This will help minimize any mistakes.

Scale out ingredients beforehand and categorize them: cake, filling, syrup, and icing.
This will make you work more efficiently and again less room for error.

These steps are crucial. These simple practices were embedded in all the students that attend The French Pastry School and you will thank me later.

Final words to live by: Clean Work Bench = Clean Product

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