German Chocolate Cake

4 ounces sweet cooking chocolate; cut into pieces
½ cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter or margarine; softened
4 eggs
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice, plus enough milk to make 1 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 recipe Coconut-Pecan Frosting1. Heat oven to 350ºF.
2. Grease and lightly flour three 9-inch round cake pans.
3. In small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate with water; cool.
4. In large bowl, combine 2 cups sugar and 1 cup butter or margarine; beat until light and fluffy. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in chocolate mixture. Add all remaining cake ingredients; beat at low speed until well combined. Pour batter into greased and floured pans.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
6. Cool 5 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool 1 hour or until completely cooled.
7. Place 1 cake layer, top side down, on serving plate. Spread one-third of the Coconut Cream Frosting. Repeat with remaining cake layers and frosting, ending with frosting.

Coconut-Pecan Frosting
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
½ cup unsalted butter or margarine
3 eggs; beaten
1⅓ cups flaked coconut
1 cup Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla1. In medium saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar, evaporated milk, ½ cup butter or margarine, and 3 eggs; mix well. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble, stirring constantly.
2. Remove from heat; stir in coconut, pecans, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
3. Cool 30 minutes or until completely cooled.

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