Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mountain Man decorates a German Chocolate Cake

I can always count on my Mountain Man when I'm in a crunch...He decorated this cake all by himself! So I might have offered a few words of advice and had him practice the border a few times on a piece of parchment paper, but I think he did a pretty darn good job!

Before we bite into this cake though, I have to tell you something... I wasn't going to say anything at first, but I can't lie to you! I'd feel too guilty...I mean, Christmas was only 4 days ago.

See, the truth is... I originally wrote this post a few weeks ago...okay, so it the day after Thanksgiving, but it was after a night when I had a lot of things that needed to get done! It was the the week of Thanksgiving, I had to pack for our trip to Abilene, decorate a birthday cake for some folks in the office and decorate a wedding cake!

Then everything just got away from me.. next thing you know it was Thanksgiving and then Christmas cookies started popping up and this post kept getting pushed back and pushed back. But I couldn't wait any longer! I had to share this German Chocolate Cake that MM decorated and the wedding cake I decorated.

Just as I was figuring out my plan of action for that evening MM offered to help me out so that I wouldn't have to be up till all hours of the night.

In all honesty, I was a little hesitant of his offer at first, mostly because I had never seen a cake that he had decorated. I knew he'd do a fine job with the filling and frosting for the cake, but decorating? I just didn't know...

He made a good argument though: When we have our own bakery there are definitely going to be times when I need his help and shouldn't he get the practice in now before its the real deal?

He got me. How could I argue with that? And it was so gosh darn thoughtful.

I guess I would have to say this is our first cake- baked by me and decorated by him.

Oh and did I mention that this cake was delicious? We had two birthdays in one week at the office and thankfully they both liked German Chocolate Cake so I got to kill two birds with one deliciously chocolate stone.

I had actually never made a German Chocolate Cake before so when I was searching for a recipe and came across one on David Lebovitz's site I was super excited to try it. Funnily enough, the recipe was almost identical to the one on the bar of Bakers' German Chocolate! I did use David's recipes for chocolate icing and filling though.

German Chocolate Cake
Recipe is combination of Baker's Chocolate/David Lebowitz/Allrecipes
Bake time: 30-40 minutes Oven temp: 350
Yields 3 8-inch cakes

1 package Baker's German Sweet Chocolate (4oz)
1/2 cup water
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar + 1/4 cup
4 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
Coconut-Pecan filling
Chocolate Frosting

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 3 8-inch cakes and line bottom with parchment paper.
Microwave chocolate and water in microwaveable bowl for about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 minute (or add water and chocolate to a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until chocolate is melted). Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt, set aside.
Beat butter and sugar in large bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy.
Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Blend in melted chocolate and vanilla.
Add flour mixture alternatively with buttermilk, beating until just blended.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and 1/4 cup sugar on high speed until stiff peaks form.
Fold egg white into chocolate mixture.
Pour batter equally into pans and transfer to over, baking 30-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Cool in pans for at least 15 minutes before removing cakes to cool completely.
Once completely cooled, fill with Coconut-Pecan filling and cover with Chocolate Frosting (recipes below)

Coconut-Pecan Filling
1 cup cream
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup coconut
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Arrange chopped pecans on small baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until pecans become aromatic. Remove from oven and set aisde.
Combine sugar, milk, egg yolk, butter and salt in large saucepan and whisk until blended.
Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil and begins to thicken.
Stir in coconut and pecans and remove from heat.

Allow to cool slightly before using.

Chocolate Frosting
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate or (4 oz bittersweet and 4 oz semi sweet)
2 TBS light corn syrup
1 1/2 oz butter
1 cup cream

In a large bowl add chocolate and light corn syrup.
Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until just boiling.
Pour hot cream over chocolate and stir/whisk until chocolate melts and mixture becomes completely smooth.

Allow to cool and thicken slightly before using. (We even stuck it in the fridge for a little bit)

So what do you think?? Pretty good right?!

And let's not forget about the wedding cake!

I had to take these pics the night I finished the cake, which explains the quality of the pictures. I was very excited about the final product though and Kay was such a wonder to work with! I've definitely been lucky so far with the brides I've worked with.. all have been so understanding and open to my thoughts and ideas. I just hope all the brides will be so kind.

In other news, we're hitting the road (a 17 hour road) this evening for some New Years skiing out west. Mountain Man has already given me the okay to sleep the majority of the way so hopefully by the time I wake up tomorrow afternoon we'll be in snowy Colorado where we'll be spending a week on the slopes, ringing in 2011 with good friends. So if I'm not around the next few days, please understand.. just call me Peekaboo Street ;)

Happy Baking!!