The Chocolate Doctor’s Old-Fashioned German Chocolate Cake

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

German Chocolate CakeGerman Chocolate Cake is not originally from Germany at all, but was invented by an American, Sam German, who developed a dark baking chocolate in 1852. Sam was the founder of Baker’s Chocolate Company. The cake was named in honor of him and not the country.

My recipe is what you might call an heirloom recipe—a classic German Chocolate Cake with a bit of a twist. We fill and top frost the cake with a caramel-style chocolate-coconut-pecan frosting. I couldn’t resist adding a little cocoa to the frosting for a more complex flavor that uses our outstanding cocoa powders.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 50 minutes
Ready In: 2.5 hours
Yield: 1 3-layer 8-inch cake serving 10 people

For the cake:

4 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, broken into pieces
2 tablespoons Choclatique Black Onyx Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 tablespoons of strong black coffee
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk

For the frosting:
1 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon Choclatique Black Onyx Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 tablespoons Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sweetened flake coconut
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Line the bottoms of 3 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper; spray with food release and dust with flour.
  3. Mix together the chunks of chocolate, the cocoa powder and coffee in with the boiling water and stir until the chocolate has melted; set aside to cool.
  4. In a large bowl, cream 1 cup of the softened butter with 2 cups of sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  5. Stir in the 4 egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Add in 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract and the chocolate-water mixture until thoroughly blended.
  7. In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt together. Add the flour mixture into the liquid ingredients, alternating with buttermilk, in 3 additions finishing with the flour. Using an electric mix beat until batter is smooth, about 2 minutes.
  8. Next, using another very clean bowl, whip the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter, keeping as much volume as possible. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans.
  9. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until the cakes have browned lightly and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean.
  10. Allow the cake layers to cool in pans completely before removing.

For the frosting:

  1. Pour the evaporated milk into a large saucepan add the cocoa powders, 1 cup of sugar, 3 egg yolks, 1/4 cup of butter and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  2. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat to medium and cook stirring constantly, about 10 to 12 minutes until thickened.
  3. Remove from heat and mix in the coconut and pecans, beating the frosting until cooled and spreadable.
  4. Fill and frost the cake with the coconut-pecan frosting.

ChefSecret: Yes, buttermilk! It goes great with chocolate and be careful to only use evaporated milk, not sweetened condensed milk in the frosting. The cans look alike, but the frosting will be too sweet if you use the wrong stuff.

Serving Suggestions: I don’t like my German Chocolate Cake overly frosted or too sweet so I seldom frost the sides of the cake. Instead I set the slice on the side and place a dollop of freshly whipped cream on the point of the cake. However, if you would like to frost the sides of the layers of the cake in addition to the top frosting, simply double the frosting recipe and knock yourself out.

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