Thursday, August 25, 2011

the happiest birthday cake

It was my man's birthday yesterday and that means I made him a German chocolate cake from scratch!

This is the second birthday that he's had since we've been a couple. Last year he told me his favorite cake was German chocolate so I went on a hunt to find the best recipe possible!

Many German chocolate cakes have chocolate frosting on them but my research told me that wasn't an authentic version of this beloved cake. Leave it to Cook's Illustrated to provide me with the most decadent, albeit time consuming, recipe out there! Cook's Illustrated hasn't let me down yet with their detailed and scientific approach to perfecting recipes.

The frosting is cooked on the stove and then chilled while the cake is being made. The cake batter is unlike anything I've made before. After it's many additions in a specific order it fluffs up to a beautiful chocolate cloud. It's really something to behold!

Splitting the layers of the cake after baking is the most difficult part of the recipe for me but I find that if I stick toothpicks at the halfway mark around the width of the cake and use those as a guide for my knife, it makes the job much easier.

The photo above shows the toasted pecans ready to be added to the chilled coconut filling. There's really nothing like a freshly toasted tray of chopped pecans. The smell that wafts from them and their toasty crunch adds another level of temptation to the already divine frosting.

Assembly of the cake was a cinch once the layers were split and ready to go. I needed to divide the filling into 4 equal portions to spread between the layers and for a final layer on top. To do this without having to dirty another measuring cup I smoothed the filling in the bowl and then "drew" a line across the top of the filling down the center of the bowl and then another one perpendicular to that, visually dividing it into 4 equal sections in the bowl. Then I spooned out one fourth of the filling at a time. It's not perfectly accurate but it's darn close!

And the result is...

...the happiest birthday cake ever! Happy Birthday Sweet Man!!!


  1. ok... the big question........... is there any left?

    wonderful job M.... you have got a pretty happy looking man there :) - R.

  2. oh yeah, there's cake left! I keep giving pieces away so I won't eat it! :)