Thursday, July 31, 2014

German Chocolate Cake

The traditional German Chocolate Cake recipe calls for "German's"-style chocolate, which can be a pain to find and doesn't produce a very richly flavored cake. Instead, I used a classic recipe from Hershey's, their Black Magic Cake. I don't know how the recipe can be this easy and this good, but it is. 

German Chocolate Cake
The cake recipe is my very slightly adapted version of Hershey's Black Magic Cake. It's the easiest cake I've ever made; it contains less fat than similar cakes; and it's delicious. You can also bake it in a 9 x 13” pan for 35 to 40 minutes or a 12-cup bundt pan for 50 to 55 minutes. The topping is from very slightly adapted from Betty Crocker.


1 cup white sugar (200 grams)
1 cup dark brown sugar (220 grams)
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (215 grams)
¾ cup natural cocoa powder, such as Ghirardelli or Hershey's (75 grams)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup strong black coffee
½ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grease and flour 2 9-inch round baking pans (or use a baking spray containing flour; I use one by Pam). Preheat oven to 325F for dark-colored pans (such as nonstick); 350F for light-colored pans.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the sugars, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes (batter will be thin). Divide batter between prepared pans.

Bake side-by-side in the center of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes (mine took 33), switching positions after 20 minutes. Cakes are done with a toothpick comes out clean or with a couple moist crumbs. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks and cool completely. Place one cake on a platter and spread half of the topping over the top. Cover with second cake and spread remaining topping over the top. Cake keeps well, covered, at room temperature for 3 days.


3 large egg yolks
1 cup dark brown sugar (220 grams)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/4 to 1/2 tsp sea salt

In a medium saucepan, stir together the yolks, sugar, butter, evaporated milk and vanilla until combined. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thick and bubbly, about 12 minutes. Stir in the coconut and pecans. Remove from heat and cool, stirring occasionally, until mixture is spreadable, about 30 minutes. Stir in sea salt to taste.