Sunday, August 8, 2010
sunday supper: german's chocolate cake
This is only the second cake I've ever baked from scratch, the first being a carrot cake. And, although, it was pretty delicious tasting it was not so pretty looking. Also, it was a lot harder to bake than I thought it would be. My egg whites never became "soft, droopy peaks" and I still don't understand how to "fold" ingredients.
But, at least now I know why it's called German (or correctly German's) Chocolate Cake. It has nothing to do with Germany, this cake is all Americana. The original recipe was created by a Texas homemaker and was first published in a Dallas newspaper in 1957. It called for "Baker's Sweet Chocolate" which is a baking chocolate created by Sam German back in 1852, hence the name German's Chocolate Cake.
Surprisingly, most foodie blogs are not using the original recipe. Instead, they're using David Lebovitz's recipe or some variation of his recipe. I'm not sure how similar his is to the original one, but the recipe I used was from 'always order dessert', which is an adapted recipe from David Lebovitz.
There are a few things I'm going to do differently next time -
Add more pecans to the filling.
Add more coconut and/or bigger coconut flakes to the filling: I used little flakes because I already had them. They're good in carrot cakes, not so good in German's Chocolate Cake.
Cook the filling longer so it's thicker: My filling was a tad runny, but that may have been because I needed to let it cool longer. Or maybe that's why I need to add more pecans and coconut.
Cut the filling ingredients in half: I had a lot left over. Of course, this would depend on if I want to try making thicker filler and what I do with the frosting (see below).
Make better frosting: I did not like my ganache at all- it was very bitter tasting. I'm not sure what to do to make it taste better, so I would either just try again and hope for the best, or I'd omit it all together and just put the filling all around the cake. You can never have too much coconut/pecan filling if you ask me.
Omit the syrup: I'm not even sure what it does to the cake. I didn't have a pastry brush, so trying to brush it on with my fingers did not work very well.
Make it a 2-layer cake, instead of a 4-layer cake: Part of the reason my cake didn't look pretty was because when I cut the cakes horizontally they ended up not being even. So, next time it will just be a very pretty 2-layer cake. Unless, I figure out how to cut cakes in half horizontally so they aren't all funky, lop-sided.