German Chocolate Cake or German’s Chocolate Cake

Vietnamese food

This is an America cake-a chocolate cake with coconut and pecan filling between layers and at the top. They are seen with chocolate frosting or whipped cream.  It owns its name to an America Chocolate maker, Sam German who developed a type of dark & sweet chocolate baking bar  “German’s sweet chocolate baking bar” for the American Baker’s chocolate company. It is 48% cacao.  Some recipes call for different kinds of chocolate. If you can not find German’s chocolate bars, use different kinds of chocolate of your choices.

I choose & adapted this recipe from  Pillsbury’s and Country Living instead of the recipe in Baker’s company book. Both recipes are not much different but Pillsbury’s is simpler and still produce an amazing light cake.  I think Baker’s will make a lighter cake by looking at ingredients and technique-5 eggs,separated and 2.5 cup cake flour.

I  will try fresh coconut flakes next time or may reduce the sugar in filling but it is really good right now.  The filling needs to be cool to spreading consistency so make it first or put it on ice to speeding up cooling process. Pecan is not popular in Vietnam but I think peanut maybe a good replacement.

Chocolate cake
4 oz German’s sweet chocolate baking bar, coarsely chopped                      
1/2 cup boiling water                                                            
1 cup butter, soft at room temperature                            
2 cups sugar                                                                  
4 large eggs                                                                    
2 cup all purpose flour, bleached or unbleached
1/4 unsweetened cocoa powder or 1/4 cup all purpose flour          
1 tsp baking soda                                                            
1/2 tsp salt                                                                      
1 cup buttermilk                                                              
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
9-in. round cake pans-two or three.                                            
Coconut-pecan filling and frosting
1 cup sugar                                                                    
1 cup evaporated milk                                                    
3 large eggs, slightly beaten                                                        
1/2 cup butter                                                                
7 oz sweetened, flaked coconut  about 2⅔ cup lightly packed or 1½  firm packed                      
1 tsp pure vanilla extract                                                  
1½ cup chopped, toast pecan or almond

  1. Make Coconut-pecan filling and frosting first.  Put milk, sugar, beaten eggs, and butter in a medium saucepan.  Cook on medium heat, stir constantly, until seeing bubbles.  Stir in  coconut flakes, chopped nut, and vanilla.  Remove from heat, the mixture will thicken when cooling down.   
  2. Heat oven to 350 oF.  Butter or oil inside cake pans, bottom &side. Slightly dust the pans with flour or cocoa powder. 
  3. Put chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl, add boiling water and stir until chocolate melt. Set aside
  4. Combine flour, baking soda, cocoa powder (if used),salt in a bowl and mix well.
  5. In a large bowl, blend butter and sugar at medium high speed until light and fluffy.  Add egg, one at a time, beating well after each. Turn the speed to slow, add remaining ingredients except topping: melt chocolate, buttermilk, vanilla, and  flour mixture, and mix until just combined. Scrap the side and bottom if needed.  Pour batter into prepared pans.  Bake for 30-40 minutes until the cake start pulling from the side and a toothpick inserted in the center came out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes.  Use a small knife and run it around the pan to detach the cake side with the pan. Remove from the pan,  put the cake on the wire rack with the cakes’top up and cool completely.
  6. If you have two cakes, slice each into 2 layers.  If you have three cakes, keep them whole.  
  7. If coconut-pecan mixture is not thicken to spreading consistency.  Put it  on ice and stir until spreadable.Divide the filling/frosting into 3 or 4 portions in its container. Put 1 layer on the platter or cake stand, spread 1/3 or 1/4 coconut-pecan mixture between layers and top. Leave the side bland or cover with chocolate frosting or whipped cream of your choices. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

*Toast nut:  chopped them coarsely with a knife. Put them in a sautepan over medium hi or medium heat and stir it constantly a few minutes.   When you see few light brown spots and smell  aroma of nut, test by biting into a tiny piece.  The nut should be soft but  not have the raw taste. Transfer them to a plate in a thin layer.The nuts will continue cooking with the heat in them and getting crunchy when cool down.  If you have a large hole sieve, use them to separate and discard the tiny pieces which might get burn or just use your fingers.  Add nut in the last minutes.

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