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Sunday, August 8, 2010

German Chocolate Cake

Like most wives, there are several things and smells that remind me of my husband. One of my favorite smells is of coffee perking because it means my husband is home. The smell of fresh cut grass means he would probably love a glass of cold tea brought to him while he takes a break from mowing. His boots by the front door, his ball cap on the dresser, the Bass magazine on the kitchen table, the History Channel movie in the DVD player and the toothpaste neatly squeezed from the end are all signs of my husband's presence in our home. These are things that make me happy and set me at ease. This cake is one of many things that remind me of Ronnie. When I met him, he only ate grilled foods...nothing fried and no sweets. I have since reformed him. He is now a chocoholic..I am very proud!! The dessert he asks for on his birthday and Christmas...and sometimes in between...is German Chocolate Cake. It's his favorite and I can't say that I blame him. I'm addicted to it now too. It's a fair exchange I guess. I have tried only one recipe for German Chocolate Cake and there is a reason for that. The first time I ever made this cake was for my Grandpa's 79th birthday. I asked my mom for a good recipe and she redferred me to the Fanny Farmer Cookbook. (By the way, if you don't own a copy of this cookbook you should!!! Buy a copy, "borrow" your mom's copy, just so long as you get a copy.) My first attempt at the cake resulted in a very unstable, pile of crumbs held together by icing that resembled the Leaning Tower of Pisa. But the taste was to die for! My Grandpa overlooked the appearance. I think this is because my Grandma always said, "The ugliest cakes taste the best!" Thanks Grandma!! I wanted to try to make it again with the hopes of getting a whole cake this time instead of just crumbs. The next Christmas, when asked what dessert he wanted, Ronnie chose a German Chocolate Cake. It was the perfect opportunity! (As if I need an excuse to bake!) It turned out perfect! So good in fact, that it has been asked for by my husband several times and I do not intend on using any other recipe. If it's not broke, don't fix it!!
This cake on my table means I have a very happy husband!

German Chocolate Cake
4 oz. Baker's German Sweet Chocolate
1/2 c. boiling water
1 . butter
2 c. sugar
4 eggs, seperated
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 c. cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. buttermilk
1 recipe Coconut-Pecan Frosting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three-9 inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of the pans with buttered wax paper. (Or spray them with Baker's Joy, which is what I prefer.) Melt chocolate in boiling water and allow it to cool. In a amixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in vanilla and chocolate. Mix the flour with the soda and salt, then add alternately with buttermilk to chocolate mixture, beating after each addition until smooth. Pour into the three prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool in the pans for about 5 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool. Fill, and frost top and sides with Coconut-Pecan Frosting.

Coconut-Pecan Frosting
1 c. sugar
1 c. evaporated milk
1 stick butter, softened
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 c. coconut
1 c. pecans, chopped
Mix together sugar, milk, eggs, and butter. Cook slow over medium heat for 12 minutes to thicken it. Add in coconut and pecans and bring to and cook for a few minutes more until it is spreading consistency. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 20-30 minutes. Frost cake!

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