Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December Challenge and German Chocolate Cake

Hello!  Happy December!  The holidays are officially here and I couldn't be happier.  I'm determined to make this holiday season awesome and fully enjoy all of the parties, dinners, and festivities I'll be attending throughout the month.  Sometimes being overcommitted stresses me out, but I think this year I have a lot to look forward to and can't wait to start celebrating.

As I alluded in Monday's post, I've decided I am going to blog every day in December.  For some bloggers, this is no big deal - some of my favorites update 2 or 3 times a day!  While I've still been cooking a lot, I've tended to put the blog on the backburner for a while, which is a regret of mine.  So I figured no time better than now to commit to a more dedicated blogging schedule.  I started this blog more than a year ago mainly to chronicle my cooking adventures, but also to find a creative outlet and to embrace my passion for cooking, nutrition, and the world of blogging.  Hopefully posting every day will allow me to reconnect with why I started the blog in the first place, and also to find more of a voice in this awesome blogging community! 

With that, let's kick this holiday season off with a bang and talk about German Chocolate Cake.  This cake requires some time and patience, but let me assure you it's worth it!  The presentation of a layer cake is always impressive, making this a great option to take to a holiday dinner party this season.

I recently made this cake for my mom's birthday, and my whole family loved it.  I was especially glad this guy was home and I got to share my cake with him!

It's super rich, so don't say I didn't warn you when you feel a little lightheaded the next morning!  

I'm not too experienced in the cake baking arena, so I knew in order to succeed, I must turn to The Bible:
It's never failed me.  If you don't own a copy, put it on your Christmas list.  Now!

I gathered my ingredients and got to work.  Here's what you need:

Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before you get started.  This will allow for even baking and smooth, creamy frosting.  If you've ever made lumpy frosting, you'll know exactly why you don't want cold ingredients!

Making the cake was pretty easy - directions are detailed below - but there are basically 3 or 4  steps of combining ingredients, (including beating egg whites until soft peaks form - essential for an airy, not dense, cake) then you bake it in 3 cake pans for only about 30 minutes.  

Once cooled completely, make the frosting (directions below), and layer between each cake.

Then, completely frost the sides and top, producing the end result.  You could decorate if you want, but I kind of prefer the rustic, homemade look.

So here you go!  

German Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting
Recipe Source:
For the cake: The Joy of Cooking
For the icing: Martha Stewart

For the cake:
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 oz sweet baking chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup buttermilk or sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

For the frosting:
4 sticks butter
5 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray three 9x2" round cake pans with cooking spray - be sure to coat them well!

Sift together flour, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Set aside.  

Combine and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth the chocolate and boiling water.  Set aside.

Combine the buttermilk and vanilla.  

In an electric mixer, beat until creamy 2 sticks of butter.  Gradually add and beat until light and creamy, 1 3/4 cups of sugar.  Beat in 4 egg yolks, one at a time.  Add the melted chocolate and beat until just incorporated.  Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the buttermilk mixture in 2 parts.  Beat on low, and make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.

In another bowl, use a hand mixer to beat 4 egg whites and the cream of tartar until soft peaks form.  (This will take a while - maybe 5 - 7 minutes).   Gradually add in 1/4 cup sugar.  Fold in one quarter of the egg whites to the yolk mixture, then fold in the remaining whites.  

Divide the batter among the 3 cake pans evenly.  Bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick or fork can be inserted in the center and come out clean.

Allow the cakes to cool completely, and frost with buttercream frosting:

For the frosting:
Beat the butter and sugar (I add the sugar in one cup increments) on medium high speed of an electric mixer.  Add the vanilla, and beat until fluffy.  Total time is about 5 minutes.

Phew!  If you made it to the end of this post, congratulations!  Something healthy next time, I swear...

No comments:

Post a Comment