Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pennsylvania German Chocolate Cake

This is another recipe from the "Winerthur's Culinary Collection" Cookbook. I have to be honest in saying that I've never made a German Chocolate Cake and because of the title of this particular recipe, "Pennsylvania German Chocolate Cake", I thought it was, maybe, a different kind of cake.

So having admitted the fact that I have nothing to compare it to, I can only say that this cake was easy to make, used ingredients I had in the house ( especially convenient for another snowy day!), and tastes great. It's a light cake, which I think is a good thing, considering the frosting is the "star", jam packed with all kinds of delicious ingredients, such as pecans, coconut and brown sugar.

And also considering I really made a major"goof" when making it, it really turned out great!
I was planning on halving the recipe ( we don't need a whole sheet cake for two people in this house!) so I measured all the ingredients correctly, cutting everything in half..but I messed up on the amount of buttermilk, adding in the entire I had to go back and add in the other half of all the ingredients all over again..after it was all mixed together! So, you see, it's a miracle it turned out great. And as for the whole cake...guess I better trudge through the snow to bring some to my neighbors. They won't mind!

Stir together the cocoa, butter and boiling water til it's all mixed and the butter is just about all melted.

If the butter is being stubborn and not melting totally, just place it over some hot water, stirring to help it melt.

Then throw in the sugar and mix it well.

In a small bowl, stir together the flour, salt and baking soda.

Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk beginning and ending with the dry.

Beat well after each addition.

Add the vanilla and egg and beat about 2 minutes.

Then pour the batter into your prepared pan.

Make sure the batter is nice and even.
Bake for approx. 35 minutes.

After the cake comes out of the oven, start making the frosting ( or topping).
Melt the butter, then add in the brown sugar, milk, vanilla and coconut/nut mixture.
Give it a good stir, then spread it over the slightly warm cake.

Pop it under the broiler for just about a minute...til it bubbles and gets golden.
Keep an eye on only takes a minute!
Pennsylvania German Chocolate Cake ( from Winterthur's Culinary Collection Cookbook)

1/2 cup cocoa powder ( I used Hershey's regular unsweetened cocoa but next time I'd use something like Ghirardelli's or Valhrona)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup boiling water
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups AP flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg, slightly beaten
Broiled Coconut Topping:
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups coconut and/or finely chopped nuts or rolled oats. ( I used half coconut and half pecans)
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9" x 13" baking pan.
1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together cocoa, butter and water til the butter is melted.
2. Mix in the sugar.
3. Sift ( or whisk) together the flour, salt and baking soda.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the cocoa mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beating after each adition.
5. Add the vanilla and egg to the batter and beat 2 minutes on medium speed.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 35 minutes, or til toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. Begin making the topping by melting the butter, then adding in the brown sugar, milk, vanilla and coconut and nuts( if using). Stir this all together, then spread on the warm cake.
8. Pop the cake under the broiler for about a minute, or til it's golden and bubbly.

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