Since the hubby wants a German Chocolate Cake every single year for his birthday, I got to make one earlier this week. Cakes definitely are not my strong suit, but I really focused on making this cake look prettier than I have in the past. I'm super happy with the way it ended up looking, but the taste of the cake is what really stood out! It's not an extremely difficult cake to make, but there are still impressive elements like the homemade caramel and the yummy dark chocolate ganache. I got this recipe, like the majority of my recipes, from my incredible mom!
This cake is composed of 3 elements - the cakes themselves, the filling (homemade caramel sauce with toasted coconut and pecans), and chocolate ganache. Here are the directions for each in the order that I made them.
Chocolate Cake -
13 oz sugar
13 oz flour
1.5 oz cocoa powder
.3 oz baking soda
.1 oz baking powder
.24 oz salt
13.5 oz water
4.24 oz canola oil
.62 oz vinegar (I used apple cider)
.24 oz vanilla
Sift dry ingredients together. Mix wet ingredients together, then add to dry and mix until dry ingredients are wet and the batter is smooth. Pour into greased cake pans (I used three 8 inch pans and didn't cut them, but you can also use two 9 inch pans and cut your cakes in half - 4 layers instead of 3) lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees until a tooth pick comes out clean, approximately 20-25 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely before cutting.
Caramel Filling -
8 oz sugar
2 oz water
3/4 tsp lemon juice
6 oz heavy cream
1 oz butter
1.5 - 2 cups of unsweetened coconut flakes
1.5 - 2 cups of chopped nuts (I used pecans)
Mix together the sugar, water, and lemon juice and stir over medium/high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Without stirring, let it cook until a medium golden-amber color. Don't let it get too dark or it will taste burnt. While your sugar mixture is cooking, heat your heavy cream to a boil and then just keep it warm. When the sugar reaches the amber color, remove from heat and gradually add the warm cream while whisking briskly. It will bubble up, so make sure your pan is big enough to accommodate. Swirl in the butter. Let cool completely. Toast your coconut and your chopped nuts at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes or so, then stir and continue to bake until golden brown. I started checking the coconut before 5 minutes since it seemed to brown more quickly. Mix with the caramel sauce, leaving some coconut and nuts out for garnish.
Chocolate Ganache -
10 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 oz heavy cream
Heat the cream to a boil and pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 2 minutes. Stir with a whisk, starting with small motions in the center and gradually widening the circle, until completely incorporated.
Once you've made all your elements and your cakes are completely cooled, you can begin assembly. My mom taught me that if you're worried about your cake slipping around and ending up lopsided, you can build your cake inside of another clean cake pan lined with wax paper (to make it easier to lift the cake out of the pan). I did this, as well as freezing my cake for 10 minutes or so in between each layer. Alternate your cake layers evenly with the caramel filling. Once you've layered everything, poor your chocolate ganache over the cake. If you'd rather go for the more rustic look, you can just leave the ganache as is, running down the sides. I scooped back up the excess ganache, and filled in the cracks between the layers as best I could. I gradually smoothed out the ganache with an offset spatula. Finally, top the cake with remaining toasted coconut and nuts as you see fit. And voila! You have a gorgeous and impressively homemade cake.
Hope you guys like this recipe as much as I do and I'd love to hear your experience and see photos!