My.Oh.My...company's coming and she LOVES German Chocolate Cake! My sweet sister-in-law is flying in for a long weekend, and we are looking forward to a relaxing and fun time!
My mom-in-law always made Mary a homemade German Chocolate Cake for her birthday up until a few years ago, so I thought this would be the perfect time to surprise her with a homemade and absolutely World's Best German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Pecan Filling and Dark Chocolate Ganache.
And when I tell you that this tastes even more wonderful than it looks, you're going to want some too!
I've made a lot of German Chocolate Cakes through the years, but this recipe has been perfected to give us exactly what we want...a rich, dark chocolatey fudgy cake that is full of texture and flavor!
So many standard recipes for this cake have you whipping egg whites, but in my humble opinion, that technique doesn't add to either the texture, flavor or appearance of this beautiful cake. And I actually prefer this cake without any Rum Syrup slathered on the top of each cake layer - it is so perfectly moist on its own that it really doesn't need anything extra to be special.
The Coconut & Pecan Filling is perfect as well - not gummy, not too sweet, just studded with fresh toasted pecans and sweet coconut. It's so good that even my non-coconut lovers LOVE this cake!
And the Dark Chocolate Ganache just takes this cake to the next level. You can either frost the sides of the cake and pipe a decorative border around the top of the cake, or if you have a gang of folks just hanging around waiting for you to finish this up so that they can eat it already, it is perfectly wonderful drizzled over the top and down the sides of this beauty!
We had a lot of fun with the kids discussing the history of German Chocolate Cake and how it is not really a "German" thing at all, but really started with an American named "German" who developed the recipe for this type of dark chocolate. And although I looked at several stores, about the only place you can buy "authentic" Baker's German Chocolate Bars appears to be on Amazon.
I use Hershey's Cocoa Special Dark in the cake, and Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate in the Dark Chocolate Ganache. To say that this is rich and chocolatey is really an understatement, but for a cake this moist and flavorful? We pulled out all the stops!
Happy German Chocolate Cake Mary! We are so glad that you came for a long weekend visit - and it was nice to celebrate YOU!
(And I'm already thinking about some homemade German Chocolate Cookies, German Chocolate Cupcakes or even a German Chocolate Cheesecake for your next visit!)
GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE:
¾ cup unsalted butter
1-1/4 cups Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa or dark cocoa powder
1 cup strong brewed coffee
1 cup buttermilk (room temperature)
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
1-1/2 cups white sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon Rodelle Pure Vanilla Extract
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour (sifted and spooned to measure)
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
COCONUT PECAN FILLING:
1-1/2 cups pecans (lightly toasted)
1 cup evaporated milk (regular - not low fat)
1 cup brown sugar
3 egg yolks
½ cup butter
2 teaspoons Rodelle Vanilla Bean Paste
1-1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (chopped)
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
HOW I MAKE THIS:
1. MAKE THE CAKE: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch (or two 9-inch) round cake pans and dust the sides of each pan with cocoa powder, then line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper.
2. Combine the butter and cocoa in a large saucepan and cook until melted. Slowly add the coffee and buttermilk, whisking to combine. Remove from the stove and add the sugars, eggs and vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and mix just until combined; add remaining flour and mix just until combined.
4. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans.
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edges of each cake. Remove from the pan and cool completely.
7. MAKE THE COCONUT PECAN FILLING: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Chop the pecans and spread evenly on a baking pan. Toast for 5 minutes; remove from oven.
8. In a medium heavy saucepan, stir together the evaporated milk, brown sugar, egg yolks and butter. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture is bubbling and starting to thicken. Remove from heat and add the vanilla, coconut and pecans. Frosting will continue to thicken as it cools. Cool completely.
9. MAKE THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE/FROSTING: Place the chopped chocolate, corn syrup and butter in a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour over the chocolate. Let stand one minute, then whisk or stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature. If you want to FROST the sides of your cake, refrigerate the Chocolate Ganache/Frosting for 30 minutes after it has come to room temperature. If you want to DRIZZLE the Chocolate Ganache, cool to room temperature.
10. ASSEMBLE THE CAKE: Using a cake leveler or bread knife, cut the dome off the top of two of the layers so that they are the same height. Keep the third layer domed for the top layer of your cake. Set the first cake layer on a cake plate. Spread 1/3 of the Coconut Pecan Filling over the cake layer, making sure to reach to the edges. Set another cake layer on top, spreading 1/3 of the Coconut Pecan Filling over the top. Place final (domed) layer on top, spread with remaining Coconut Pecan Filling.
11. If you are going to FROST the sides of your cake, use a frosting spatula to frost the sides, then pipe a decorative border of chocolate icing around the top. If you would rather DRIZZLE the Chocolate Ganache, drizzle over the top and top edge of the cake, allowing the Fudge Ganache to drizzle down the sides.
YIELD: 12-16 servings
Initially posted February 2016; Revised & reposted September 2017.
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