Thursday, January 28, 2010
Monday was by husband Brian's Happy Birthday! I was so excited to celebrate his birthday this year. It's the first one we've been married for, and I got to make a new cake and throw a party! I asked Brian what kind of cake he wanted and he picked German Chocolate. I was up for the challenge. I have never made one before and was anxious to being my search the a recipe. I headed right over to food network to search it out. I expected to find a recipe from Ina and maybe a few others. I came across an episode of Throw Down with Bobby Flay where he challenged Harlem, NY bakery Make My Cake to a German Chocolate Cake throw down. Turns out I saw that episode and the cake looked delicious. Make My Cake actually lost the throw down, but I figured it must be a pretty amazing cake for Bobby to want to challenge it. So I went for it.
I made the Coconut/Pecan Frosting and a chocolate ganache the day before. I read over the recipe and it looked like a lot to take on after work on Monday before I had to serve it up that evening. Doing half of it ahead of time was perfect. Then the day of I just had to make the cake, which was very doable, and put it all together.
The coconut/peacan frosting was absolutely delicious. When I tasted it I figured if the cake didn't turn out too great it wouldn't matter because I would just slather it with the frosting and all would be well! I cooked it according to the recipe. I thought it seemed a little runny after the 12 minutes, but once it cooled (I refrigerated it over night) it was just the right consistency for a frosting. I toasted my pecans in a pan on the stove just for a few minutes. The recipe calls for a chocolate frosting to put around the outside of the cake, but her's is a secret family recipe that she didn't give out. I read through the reader comments on the recipe and a lot of people just used a basic ganache and said it worked out great. The recipe I used is below.
Again for the cake I followed the recipe as written. I started melting the chocolate and water in a make shift double boiler with a glass bowl and pan, but apparently my glass bowl wasn't heat proof and it cracked. (Mom it was that little one you gave me.) Yikes! So I carefully got rid of the broken glass and hot liquid and started again. This time in the microwave and it worked like a champ. I used the Baker's German chocolate as recommended. I beat the egg whites, which I had never folded into a cake before, but it definitely made the cake very fluffy and the other ingredients made this a very moist and delicious chocolate cake. And just the right amount of chocolate taste too! One thing different from the recipe, that I found, is that I didn't have enough batter to fill three 9-inch pans, so I just filled two. Not sure if that is a miss print, but it didn't matter. The cook temp isn't included so I just cooked it at 350 for a little more than 30 minutes until my toothpick came out clean.
When I put the cakes together I had quite a bit of the pecan frosting, and maybe that's because I didn't end up with three layers, but I used most of it and no one complained of too much frosting. I forgot to take pictures of the layers as I was putting it together and it was eaten up so fast once we cut into that I couldn't get any pictures then either. Oh well. I'd say the cake was a hit and made Brian's birthday. If you like German Chocolate Cake I strongly recommend giving this recipe a try.
Make My Cake German Chocolate Cake Recipe
4 oz semisweet chocolate, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 tsp vanilla.
Melt chocolate and cream together on low heat until even, add vanilla, chill 15 minutes
Just a few pictures from the party. Brittany and I made this fabulous, if I do say so myself, Happy Birthday sign and hung it over the food table. Brian loves Henry Weinhard's Root Beer, so we chilled some of those and put them in cute bowls. My wrapping paper even matched the sign! It was a very successful birthday party.