Sunday, January 22, 2017

Inside Out German Chocolate Cake

I guess today I am doing a little reflecting on life. When I was a kid, life was just a playground. When I was a teen life became dramatic because problems felt like the end of the world. Now at this point in life I realize that it is the struggles in life that has shaped us into who we are today.

Knowing that there are more problems to come-some will be worse and some not, helps to change your perspective about the problem. It allows you face the problem head on with some dignity.

Then the day after you have dealt with the problem (which is my favorite part), is the rebirth. The beginning of a new day. Which means its time for some birthday cake! This sweet German Chocolate cake recipe is a keeper and a wonderful choice on such a day. The traditional icing as a filling and the chocolate glaze ladled over the top amps up the standard in quite a delicious way.

So enjoy a slice of this special cake and focus on the many things that a new day can bring. After all, you just successfully drove over a bump in life's journey. Enjoy!

Inside Out German Chocolate Cake
adapted from Epicurious

6 tbs melted butter
1/8 tsp almond extract
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup boiling water
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup and 1 tbs dutch cocoa

1 tbs vanilla extract
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
7 oz sweetened flaked coconut
4 oz chopped pecans/volume is 1 cup

1 1/4 or 2 1/2 sticks of cups of butter
10 oz semi-sweet chocolate (chopped bar or chips)
3 tbs light corn syrup

Prepare 3 round 9 inch cake pans by oiling the interior and lining the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Fill a large bowl with the melted butter, egg, egg yolk, milk, vanilla and almond extract. Beat on low speed until blended. Set aside.

In another bowl, sift together the salt, baking powder, baking soda, flour and cocoa powder. Whisk in the sugar. Empty the sifted ingredients into the wet mixture and stir together until it becomes like a thick frosting. Pour in the boiling water and stir again until thoroughly mixed in.

Measure out 1 1/2 cups of the batter and fill one cake pan. Repeat this process for the other 2 cake pans. Should you have any batter left after the measurements, divide evenly into the 3 pans.

Place the cake pans in the oven, starting with 2 on the upper third and one on the bottom third of the oven racks. Bake for about 10 minutes, then rotate pans 180 degrees and switch racks. Let bake for another 10-15 minutes. Cakes are done when tester comes out clean. Remove pans from oven and place on cooling rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the outside edge of the cake and inside edge of pan, then invert onto racks. Peel off the parchment carefully and re-set the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Once the cakes are done, then it is time to make the filling. Take out 2 baking sheets. Fill one with the chopped pecans and one with the sweetened coconut. Spread the contents of each pan out evenly. Put the coconut pan on the lower third rack and the pecan pan on the upper third rack. The total baking time for both will be about 12-18 minutes, however, the contents of the pans will have to be stirred every 4-6 minutes. Once toasting time is complete, remove pans and set aside. Then re-set the oven temperature again, this time for 425 degrees.

Take a baking pan and place a pie pan in the center. Fill the baking pan full of water until it comes up to the halfway mark on the pie pan. Fill the pie pan with the sweetened condensed milk and mix in the vanilla extract. Seal the top of the pie pan with foil. Place baking pan water bath with pie pan in the center into the oven. Set the timer for 45 minutes. After this interval, remove the pan and add more water in order for the level to get back to the original depth. Place in oven and bake again until milk is thick and brown. This should take about 30-45 minutes. Once done, empty contents into a heat proof bowl and stir in coconut and pecans. Cover and set aside.

For the glaze, melt the butter in a saucepan and remove from heat. Stir in the corn syrup and the chocolate. Continue to stir until all is melted and reserve out about 1 cup. Chill the cup in the refrigerator for about an hour or place in freezer and check periodically until it reaches a spreadable frosting consistency.

For assembly, place pieces of parchment on top of a round cake board, covering the circumference and about 1 inch in width. Place one cake layer in the center of the round. Measure out half of the filling and place it on the cake. Use a spatula dipped in water, smooth out the filling evenly and leave about 1/4 inch border of cake on the edge. Repeat with the second layer. Then place the third layer on top.

Take out the spreadable frosting and frost sides and top of cake. Should you not have enough for a thin coat, chill some more from the saucepan to finish. Lastly, pour the glaze from the saucepan over the cake, so it drips down the sides. Should some of the sides not be covered, use a spoon and scoop up the excess glaze that has dripped to the bottom. Spoon over the sides not covered.

Place cake in fridge to set for about 1 hour. Before serving, carefully remove pieces of parchment paper around the base of the cake. Then bring cake to room temperature and slice.

Tips and Notes:
1. The butter/chocolate glaze may not be your preference, but bear in mind the filling is designed to be the stronger of the two. A sugary glaze or sweet ganache may be too much in combination with the filling.

2. The layers of this cake are not thick. Should you desire more thickness, increase the ingredients and bake time of the cake batter.

3. There are many ways to cook the condensed milk, but this method is a little safer than boiling the can. Also, the hue and thickness of the cooked milk is a personal preference for the filling.

                                  **LAST YEAR: Apple Dulce De Leche Empanadas*