Best-Ever German Chocolate Cake
dark chocolate cake, salted creme fraiche caramel, and good, homemade milk chocolate frosting takes this old-fashioned dessert into 2010
My husband and I had a few friends over for a comfort food-themed dinner the other night. For dessert? German Chocolate Cake! I made this cake for a friend, who had a German Chocolate cake for his birthday each year when he was growing up.
spreading the filling–rich with toasted pecans, almonds, and coconut–onto the first layer
You can use your favorite chocolate cake recipe for the cake layers. I use a tweaked version of an excellent recipe I’ve been using for years, on Epicurious. (I use chopped bittersweet instead of semi-sweet chocolate, and less sugar.)
The filling is a combination of the salted creme fraiche caramel recipe I posted a few weeks ago, plus the addition of some chopped toasted pecans, almonds, and toasted sweetened coconut. The frosting is light and milky, almost mousse-like. It is a nice balance for the full-on sugar overload of the filling. (Hey, I’ve gotta keep some tradition in there somehow!)
German Chocolate Cake
1 two-layer chocolate cake (Use your favorite recipe. I like this one.)For the filling: 1 ¼ cup sugar 1/3 cup water ½ cup heavy cream 1 stick unsalted butter 2/3 cup crème fraiche 1 vanilla bean, scraped 1 cup toasted chopped pecans 1/4 cup toasted chopped almonds 1 1/4 cup toasted sweetened coconut
kosher salt to taste
First, have all your ingredients pre-measured and close at hand.
In a skillet, combine the water and sugar over high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until the sugar has liquefied, and turned a dark amber color. (This will take about 10-12 minutes.) Immediately, stir in the butter. Turn off the heat. Stir in the heavy cream–it will bubble up, and then subside.
Finally, stir in the creme fraiche, scraped vanilla bean, chopped pecans, almonds, coconut and kosher salt. Let it cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate to thicken until a spreadable consistency.For the frosting: 2/3 cup whole milk 2 tbsp heavy cream 1 cup icing sugar, divided 3 egg yolks 2 tbsp flour pinch of kosher salt 1 tsp vanilla extract 9 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped, melted and cooled
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
In a pot, scald the milk and heavy cream. In a large bowl, mix together 3 tbsp of icing sugar, the egg yolks, and the flour. (It will be a thick paste.) Slowly temper the hot milk into the yolks, mixing as you go. Strain the mixture back into the pot, then heat on medium-low heat until reduced and thickened, about 3 minutes. Cover and let the custard cool in the refrigerator for about an hour.
When the custard is chilling, dice up the unsalted butter into 1 tbsp pieces. In a bowl, beat the cooled custard with the remaining icing sugar, melted and cooled chocolate, salt, and vanilla extract on medium speed. Slowly, add the butter 1 tbsp at a time, with the mixer continuing on medium speed. Taste the frosting, and beat in a little more icing sugar if you wish.
The frosting is thick and ready to spread!
To assemble the cake:Place one cake layer on a cake stand or large plate. Spread with about 3/4 of the caramel filling evenly, right to the edge. Top with the second cake layer. Cover the entire cake with the frosting–you’ll probably have leftover frosting, perfect for a little midnight snack! Top the cake with the remaining filling. Pipe rosettes around the perimeter of the cake with the leftover frosting if desired.
Posted: February 26th, 2010 under Uncategorized.