Monday, July 28, 2014

German Chocolate Cake - Part 1

Our good friend Mark had a birthday last Saturday. He didn't want a celebration, but his wife and friends wanted to throw him a party. A neighbor offered to host the event and as is the norm for this group, everyone brings a dish to share.
I offered to make the birthday cake and Mark's wife suggested his favorite cake: a German Chocolate Cake.
Having never made one, I had to do my research.
All I knew was that German Chocolate Cake was German, had many layers, and had coconut in a brown frosting.
Was I wrong!
German Chocolate Cake is not German, but American! The name came from the creator of a dark chocolate baking bar, Sam German in 1852, that was developed for Baker's Chocolate Company. The product was named Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate,
In 1957, the Dallas Morning Star published a recipe created by homemaker, Mrs. George Clay. She used the Baker's Chocolate and the recipe's popularity soared.
The company that owned Baker's Chocolate (General Foods) distributed the recipe to other newspapers across the USA and sales of Baker's German's Chocolate rose over 70%.
As the recipe made it's rounds, it became known as Baker's German Chocolate and the 's was dropped, causing people to believe it originated in the European country of the same name....
Did you know that June 11 is National German Chocolate Cake Day in the USA?

There are many variations to a German Chocolate Cake. The basic skeleton that unites the German Chocolate Cake are:

  • muti-layers, minimum of three
  • coconut-pecan filling made with caramel
In addition, some cakes contain:
  • chocolate frosting or ganache on the sides and top of cake
  • chopped pecans for garnish
  • maraschino cherries for garnish
  • chocolate shavings for garnish
  • in the filling, the coconut/pecans can be toasted for a richer flavor
I searched through many recipes and came up with a few for which I based my final product:
SAVEUR posted a recipe from Nick Malgieri. It requires only the coconut-pecan filling with no chocolate ganache or frosting

Brown Eyed Baker has a recipe with chocolate icing and the coconut filling uses heavy cream.
Flour Child has a recipe for a mile-high cake
Kraft has a recipe for the original German Chocolate Cake and their Coconut Filling

Tomorrow, I will post the recipe I used

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