I found this recipe for German Chocolate Cake in my very first issue of Food Network Magazine. My very favorite magazine and now our family's favorite cake! One thing I discovered in making this recipe is that I am no good at making jelly rolls. Every time I make it the cake just flops into three sad, broken layers, but it still tastes amazing. :) This time I made the cake for our 16th wedding anniversary and since I wanted to post pictures of it, I added one teaspoon of baking powder so that the cake would rise a bit. Then I used two 8-inch round pans and made an actual layered cake.
Look at how pretty their jelly roll cake turned out! Good thing this cake is fabulous no matter how it is baked. One note, though...this recipe uses a lot of bowls, measuring cups, pots, pans, ingredients, and counter space. That's why I only make it on special occasions.
You will need:
1 cup evaporated milk
2 1/4 cups white sugar
3 large egg yolks
3 large eggs
2 1/2 sticks butter (Smart Balance!)
3 tsp vanilla
1 2/3 cups sweetened, toasted coconut
1 cup chopped pecans (optional--I don't use them)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ounce finely chopped German chocolate
1/3 cup strong, hot coffee
1/3 cup buttermilk
See, lots of ingredients.
If you can't find toasted coconut you can do it yourself. Spread out the coconut on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 5 minutes, then remove, toss, and put it back in the oven for 5 more minutes. Then toss it again and see if it is toasted to your liking. You can always give it a couple more minutes. Then just leave the oven on at 350.
While the coconut is toasting, add the evaporated milk, 1 cup sugar, 1 stick of the butter (cubed), and the 3 egg yolks to a pot.
Whisk constantly over medium heat until it is thick and creamy. It will take about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and add one tsp of vanilla and the coconut. Pecans, too, if you are using them. Unfortunately, my youngest has braces and can't have nuts. Mix together and set aside to cool completely.
Try not to taste it while it cools. Seriously, it is so good that you won't be able to stop "tasting." I put the frosting in another room because it is just too darn tempting!
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside. Whisk the cocoa and chocolate in another, smaller bowl. Add the hot coffee mixture to the chocolates and whisk until smooth. I measure 1/3 cup of hot water in a 2-cup measuring cup and add one full single-serving envelope of instant coffee, then mix. You get a nice strong coffee flavor. Then add the buttermilk and vanilla to the chocolate/coffee mixture.
Set both bowls to the side.
Beat together the remaining (1 1/2 sticks) softened butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar in a large mixer bowl on high speed until light and fluffy. It should take about 4 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the 3 whole eggs, one at a time, until combined. Add one third of the flour mixture and beat just until combined.
Then add one half of the chocolate mixture and beat on low until combined.
Add another third of the flour, combine, add the rest of the chocolate mix, combine, and end with the rest of the flour. Your final mixture will be a light chocolate color and very fluffy.
I greased two 8-inch round pans with cooking spray and evenly divided the cake mix between them. Bake for about 20 minutes, checking them after 18 minutes. I used a toothpick to check for doneness. (The dark coloring on the edges of my cake is from the cooking spray.)
When the cakes are completely cool spread about 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of frosting on the bottom round, top with second cake, then dump all of the remaining frosting on top. I spread it just to the edges and then let it slide down however it likes. There is enough frosting to completely cover the cakes, but I like the way it looks with the natural drips.
This cake is worth every dirty pan, pot, cookie sheet, mixing bowl, measuring cup, and teaspoon. Absolutely delicious!!