Wednesday, June 1, 2011

German Chocolate Bundt Cake

I know I've been a little MIA this last week.  It's been busy, with two long weekends of travel plans, complete with flight cancellations and a holiday vacation home in Arizona.  And all that other time in between, I was either too tired or busy repacking to really bother eating more than cereal for dinner.  Bad, I know, but packed along side my swimsuits and summer dresses were new recipes to try at my parents' house in Arizona.  And I've come back with two new yummy deserts!

One reason for heading home, besides the long holiday weekend, was for my dad's birthday.  So, naturally, my mom roped me into to making his birthday cake.  Which, also quite naturally, was German Chocolate Cake.   Which has been my father's birthday cake for who knows how long.

There was always the old classic Betty Crocker standby recipe.  But I also came armed with three other options.  After consulting the birthday boy, we decided to go with the bundt.  With a small modification, but we'll get to that.  

It was fun  to be cooking in my mom's kitchen again.  There are vast expanses of counter tops, lots of useful tools like pastry cutters, and someone else is buying the ingredients!  And the best part is, I got to cook with my mommy,  looking all cute in our half aprons.

The bundt cake itself came out delicious, with a caramely pecan and coconut layer in the middle, the chocolate cake moist and delicious.  Unfortunately, the original recipe called for a powdered sugar glaze to be poured over top.  Really?  A powdered sugar glaze?  Come on, that's not German Chocolate Cake.  So the orange Betty Crocker was called out of retirement for some German chocolate cake frosting, the recipe (tried and true, but somewhat modified ), I included below.

The overall effect was delicious, even after a frosting mishap that ended in a little bit of scrambled egg being strained from the frosting.  I couldn't imagine this cake with something as puny as a powdered sugar glaze, and I wouldn't skimp on the traditional German chocolate frosting.  Oh, and some of the cake stuck to the bundt pan, most likely because we left it to sit too long before flipping it out, which you shouldn't do, but what else is frosting for?

Happy Birthday Dad!

German Chocolate Bundt Cake
Adapted from Cooking Light, via

For Streusel:
1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 c. sweetened, flaked coconut
1/3 c. chopped pecans

For Cake:
Cooking Spray
1 Tbsp. sugar, for dusting
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa
1 ounce German baking chocolate
1/2 c. boiling water
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large egg whites (save the yolks!)
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. low-fat buttermilk

For Frosting:
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. evaporated milk
1/4 c. butter
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Sweetened, flaked coconut (~1/2 c.)
Chopped pecans (~1/2 c.)

Preheat oven to 325°.  Coat 12-cup bundt pan with cooking spray, and dust completely with sugar. 

Prepare streusel by combining flour and brown sugar in a small bowl and cutting in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Stir in coconut and pecans.  Set aside.

Combine cocoa and baking chocolate in a small bowl.  Stir in boiling water and mix until chocolate is completely melted.  Set aside.  Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt) in another bowl and whisk together well. 

In mixing bowl, combine sugar and butter at medium speed until creamed.  Add vanilla and egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition.   Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Beat well after each addition.  Stir in cocoa mixture.

Spoon half of the batter into bundt pan and distribute evenly.  Sprinkle streusel mixture evenly over top.  Spoon remaining batter over streusel.  Bake at 325 for 55-60 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, then immediately invert onto serving plate.  Cool completely.

For the icing, mix sugar, milk, butter, egg yolks and vanilla in medium sauce pan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until think and carmel-like, about 12 minutes.  Stir in coconut and pecans in equal amounts until desired thickness is achieved.  Beat frosting to a spreading consistency and frost cake.  

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