Welcome to my blog, where one may find all sorts of random, hopefully amusing tidbits about food & other things.

December 28, 2011

inside-out german chocolate cake.

So I have awesome friends. Who I do awesome things with. And who also make me awesome birthday cakes! I'll let Danielle do the rest of the talking - yuppp. This is a guest blog post!!

I'm in the black dress; Danielle's wearing red!

Hey friends!  This is Yat's suitemate, Danielle, and she asked me to do this guest post… she likes to show me off sometimes.  Not really, but after helping bake her birthday cake, I have been given the honor to make an appearance on here (so much pressure!). 

Celebrating Yat’s birthday is fun, because her birthday is over winter break, so we try to make it a surprise.  And when’s the best time to make a massive cake?  Obviously in the middle of finals when we’re all stressed to the max and can use the cake to 1. Honor our friend’s birthday, and 2. Eat all our feelings away. We’re nothing if not efficient.  Andrea found a recipe for this beautiful inside-out German chocolate cake, and we decided we would bake it in the small time frame between our organic chemistry final and our friends’ holiday party.  So to give an idea of what went into baking this masterpiece, I will tell it in the form of a dramatic narrative.

My candle. 

Picture it: it’s the day before the organic chemistry exam.  Tension is high.   Knowledge of organic chemistry is low.   Andrea and I know it’s now or never.  We need to find a way to get Yat out of the kitchen the next day, which is possibly the only thing more difficult than organic chemistry.  We also needed ingredients, as well as man power.  Luckily, with the help of one best friend, and approximately four engineers we managed to collect all the ingredients, and distract her for a few hours. 

My roommate & I going in for the kill. Shame? We have it not.

We survive the exam, and we’re ready to bake.  I’m equipped with my “Gandhi is my Homeboy” shirt, obviously for inspiration.  It’s time to bake.  The pressure is on.  This is her favorite cake.  Messing it up would be a crime.  She always bakes us the best birthday cakes, and this is our one chance to return the favor.  There were three parts to the cake: the cake itself, the icing, and the filling.   The cake went by without a hitch- she has taught us well.  The icing was easy, since the pure combination of butter and chocolate is nothing but beautiful. However the filling… well that’s another story.  Not only was it supposed to take an hour and a half, but it required the use of a water bath in the oven.  Andrea and I were getting frustrated, and the future of the cake was called into question.  You could cut the tension with the knife.  Luckily, we were saved when our friend Stoyan, who had been helping us the whole time, pretty much told us to grow a pair and just make the filling.  He also expertly designed a water bath for us.  As my friend Charlie Sheen would say, he was biwinning.  So essentially, although it took forever, we finally finished our cake.  To explain the full success of our cake, it was gone in 24 hours.  It was a 3-weeks-before-birthday miracle!  And considering she actually ate most of it herself, I would say it was a triumph.  So if you want to try it at home, which I would certainly recommend, just follow these steps:

Look at all that ganache! And imagine the filling .. beautiful.

Inside-Out German Chocolate Cake

Cake layers
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tb unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tspn baking powder
  • 3/4 tspn baking soda
  • 3/4 tspn salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 6 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 tspn vanilla
  • 3/4 cup boiling-hot water
  • 7 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
  • 4 ounces (or 1 cup) coarsely chopped pecans
  • 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 Tb vanilla 
  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 10 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup

Cake Layers
  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and oil two 9" round cake pans.
  2. Sift dry ingredients (sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt) in large bowl.
  3. Whisk together wet ingredients (milk, butter, whole egg, yolk, vanilla) in another bowl.
  4. Beat wet mixture into dry mixture.
  5. Divide into prepared pans.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, and let cool for 15 minutes.

  1. Pour coconut and pecans in a pan, and heat over stove until golden.
  2. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. 
  3. Pour condensed milk into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate and cover with foil.
  4. Bake milk in water bath in oven for 45 minutes.  (The actual recipe calls for baking the condensed milk for an additional 45 minutes in the water bath until golden brown.  We only did the first 45 minutes and it came out fine.)
  5. Stir coconut, pecans, and vanilla into condensed mill.

  1. Melt butter in saucepan over stove.
  2.  Pour butter into bowl and mix with chocolate and corn syrup, whisking until chocolate is melted.
  3. Set aside about 1 cup of glaze and leave at room temperature. Chill the rest of the glaze until spreadable. 

  1. Put 1 cake layer on rack, and drop half of coconut filling evenly over layer; spread with spatula.
  2. Top with other cake layer. 
  3. Spread chilled glaze evenly over top and sides of cake.
  4. Heat rest of the glaze over low heat, and pour over top of cake, making sure it coats the sides. 
  5. Chill cake until firm, then serve and enjoy!

It sounds like a lot of work, but trust me- it is so worth it!  It was an awesome way to wish Yatee a happy birthday, and a great stress reliever.  So next time you’re looking for an adventure, keep this recipe in mind.  This has been fun, and I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.  Until next time, bloggers!  

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