Monday, March 28, 2011

German Chocolate Cake

My Dad's birthday was yesterday, and my momma's is tomorrow. For as long as I can remember we have only had one cake. Our family just didn't need 2 cakes. One of the only cakes both parents could agree on was German Chocolate Cake. Which is fine with me because that cake is amazing. If you've never had german chocolate cake, it is a lighter and sweeter chocolate cake with a cooked coconut and pecan frosting. Here's what you need for the cake
German's sweet Baker's chocolate, water, eggs, butter, sugar, vanilla, flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk (you can make your own buttermilk. I'll tell you how further on in the recipe). First, you're going to melt Baker's chocolate and water in a saucepan
Cook this on low heat, stirring continuously. This is to make sure you don't burn the chocolate because that is very easy to do. Once chocolate is completely melted and smooth, remove from heat and let cool about 10 minutes
While the chocolate mixture is cooling, start preparing the batter. Beat together room temp. butter and sugar
Beat about a minute or until fluffy or well combined
Now, separate the eggs into two bowls. If you have no idea how to separate eggs, google it or teach yourself because I have no idea how to explain it. Also, separating eggs is really common in cake making so it's nice to be able to separate them
Using a fork, beat the egg yolks
Add the beaten egg yolks to the butter and sugar mixture; set the egg whites aside
Beat in the yolks until well combined. Then add the melted and cooled chocolate mixture and vanilla
Mix the chocolate in well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again
In a medium-size bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking soda
You are going to need the buttermilk now so if you don't have buttermilk on hand you can make it yourself in 5 minutes! All you do is add 1 Tbs. of lemon juice or vinegar to every 1 cup of milk and let it set for 5 minutes. After the milk has turned into buttermilk, alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk into the batter (beginning and ending with flour. So you'll do 1/3 flour, then 1/2 buttermilk, then 1/3 flour, then the rest of the buttermilk, then the rest of the flour. Your mixer should be going on low speed while adding the wet and dry ingredients). Once that is mixed in the batter, you need to deal with the egg whites that you set aside earlier. Using a mixer beat the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks have formed
Pour the beaten egg whites into the batter and gently fold in using a spatula
Here's what the finished batter looks like
Grease three 8-inch round cake pans with pam or butter and flour. Then place wax paper in the bottom of each pan. What you do is rip 3 pieces of wax paper off the roll. Stack them and place underneath a cake pan that you are using (you are also going to need a sharpie)
Using the sharpie, trace a line on the wax paper going all the way around the bottom of the pan
Cut the wax paper on the line
Place each piece of wax paper in the bottom of each pan and grease the wax paper
Pour the batter evenly throughout all 3 pans
Place in a heated oven and bake. When finished baking flip out onto a parchment/wax paper lined cooling rack
Gently peel off the wax paper that is on the bottom of each cake layer. While the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting. Heads up, this frosting is frustrating, complicated, and time consuming, but worth it. Here's what you need
Butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, evaporated milk, pecans, and coconut. In a large pot whisk together egg yolks and evaporated milk
Once combined, turn heat on low and add in butter, sugar, and vanilla
Starting here, you are going to stir this constantly until the mixture thickens up and turns to a pretty caramel color. This will take about 20 minutes. The mixture isn't going to be thick enough to put on the cake when your done cooking it so pour into a plastic bowl and let cool to room temperature. The cooler the frosting gets, the thicker the frosting will get. Once frosting is cool fold in chopped pecans and coconut
Here's what the finished frosting will look like
When the frosting is cool enough and thick enough to stay on the cake, start assembling the cake! Place one layer, top side down on the plate. Scoop a generous amount of frosting on that layer
Spread that around and continue until all the layers are stacked
Frost the tops and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting
You can serve just like this, but it looks a little boring to me, so I decided to decorate it just a little. There's not really much you can do to decorate a german chocolate cake without ruining it so I just lined it with pecans
Tada! This long process is totally worth it! This cake is just delicious and there is really no other way to describe it

German Chocolate Cake
1 pkg. (4 oz) german Baker's chocolate, broken in pieces
1/2 cup water
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
4 eggs, separated
1 cup butter, soft
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cup buttermilk

  • Preheat oven to 350. Grease 3 8-inch round cake pans, then line bottoms with wax paper. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the chocolate with the water, stirring to melt the chocolate, and blend well. Set aside and cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; Set aside. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks, beating until well combined. Add the chocolate mixture and the vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients in thirds, alternating with the buttermilk, beating after each addition, until smooth. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites on the high speed of an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gently fold into batter. Divide batter among the prepared pans. Bake for 25-28 minutes. Be careful not to over bake! Pull the finished cakes out of the oven and flip out onto a wax/parchment paper lined cooling rack. Gently peel the wax paper off the bottoms of each layer. While the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting.
Coconut Pecan Frosting:
17 ounces evaporated milk
6 egg yolks
2 tsp. vanilla
2 sticks butter
2 cups sugar
3 cups sweet and shredded coconut
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Beat egg yolks and milk in large saucepan with wire whisk until well blended. Add sugar, vanilla, and butter; cook on medium heat 15-20 minutes or until thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Pour into a plastic bowl to cool to room temperature. (Frosting will thicken up as it cools.) Fold in coconut and pecans. Once the frosting is cooled, frost and layer the cake. Even if you feel like you are putting too much frosting on the cake, use it all because the frosting is what makes the cake so delicious. Decorate if you want. Enjoy! :)

    Friday, March 25, 2011

    Safe To Eat Cookie Dough Truffles

    Hi everyone! I'm sorry it's been so long since the sisters have updated! I (Casey) have been out of town for couple of weeks. As for sis number 1... I really don't know. She'll have to make up an excuse. I've had my eye on this recipe for quite some time and I had a cookie dough craving last night (random, I know) so this was the perfect time to make them! I'm not sure how, but these taste EXACTLY like cookie dough, texture and everything. The safe to eat part of this recipe just means there are no eggs in the dough. Even though eggs have never stopped me from eating cookie dough before, I thought this was probably better for me to eat a bowl of :) Enough rambling, here's what you need for the delicious cookie dough truffles
    Butter, brown sugar, vanilla, flour, sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, pecans, and bark chocolate. First, combine butter, brown sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl
    Beat until well combined. Add half the flour
    Pour in the sweetened condensed milk
    Beat that together until fully combined. Add the remaining flour
    Blend in the flour until dough is well combined and smooth. Add in chopped pecans and chocolate chips (I used milk and semi-sweet)
    Fold the chocolate chips and pecans into the dough
    Using a cookie dough scoop, scoop dough into balls. Place dough balls on a plate, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours
    After the dough balls have been chilled, melt bark chocolate in a medium-sized bowl. Drop a dough ball one at a time into the melted chocolate. Gently roll until covered
    I haven't quiet mastered the prettiness of making a truffle, so I don't have much advice. But what I do is scoop the ball up with a fork and tap it on the edge of the bowl (letting the axis chocolate fall off). Then place on wax paper to let the chocolate harden. Chill about another hour before serving
    Now eat as much as your heart desires :)

    Cookie Dough Truffles
    2 sticks butter, soft
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    2 tsp. vanilla extract
    2 cups flour
    1 can sweetened condensed milk
    1/3 cup milk chocolate chips
    1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
    White or milk bark chocolate- for coating

    In a large bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Beat in half the flour. Add sweetened condensed milk and beat until creamy. Mix in the remaining flour. Add chocolate chips and pecans, mixing well. Shape/scoop into 1-inch balls. Place on a plate; chill 2 hours. Melt chocolate bark candy coating in a microwave safe bowl. Using a fork, dip cookie balls into candy coating to cover. Place on waxed paper and chill to set. Store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving. Keep in fridge. Enjoy! :)

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    Thumbprint Cookies

    SO if you have never had these.. make them NOW. These are usually at bakeries, but THESE are 10 times better. Melissa Arnold made these for us one time, and we became obsessed. Then we got the recipe so I'm passing it along.. hope you don't mind Melissa! Here's what you need
    Cream cheese, butter, sugar, vanilla, an egg, and flour. Beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy
    Add sugar, vanilla, and the egg
    Beat until well combined. Add the flour and beat well, but don't over mix (cookies will become flat)
    Scoop into using a Tbs. cookie scooper onto wax paper. Press your thumb gently in the center of each dough ball
    It should look about like this
    Bake for 10-12 minutes
    Finished cookie. While the cookies are cooling, prepare the frosting. You'll need
    Butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, salt, milk, and food coloring. In a large bowl, beat together all the ingredients except food coloring
    Pick the colors you want the frosting to be and put in separate bowls. Dye each frosting and put into bags with one of the edges cut out
    Frost each cookie
    Let the cookies sit out about 2 hours so the frosting will harden. Store in bags or an airtight container, if they even last that long :) Don't feel bad if they don't, ours never do

    Thumbprint Cookies
    8 ounces cream cheese, soft
    2 sticks unsalted butter, soft
    1 tsp. vanilla
    3/4 cup sugar
    1 egg
    3 cups flour

    Beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in vanilla, sugar, and an egg until well combined. Add the flour; mix well. Scoop by tablespoonfuls. Using your thumb, press a well into the middle of each cookie. Bake at 350 degreess for 10-12 minutes. Take off the pan right away to cool on foil. Prepare the frosting while cookies are cooling.

    2 cups powdered sugar
    3 Tbs. unsalted butter, soft
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1/8 tsp. salt
    1-3 Tbs. milk
    food coloring

    In a large bowl, beat together all ingredients except the food coloring. Add the milk 1 Tbs. at a time, so the frosting doesn't become too thin. Pick the colors of frosting you want and separate evenly into bowls. Scoop dyed frosting into bags. Cut off 1 edge of each bad to pipe frosting through. Pipe frosting in the dent of each cookie. Let the iced cookies sit out for 2 hours before storing so the frositng will harden. Store in an air tight container or bag.