Tuesday, March 1, 2011
German Chocolate and Almond Cocoa Cream Cake
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Over time, I've collected many recipes and lots of ideas from Taste of Home magazine. The recipe for this cake, originally called Chocolate Lover's Delight, was developed by Sandra Hackney and it appeared in the magazine about a year ago. It's a wonderful cake and the recipe featured below is the one that was published in the magazine. What I want to talk about, however, is how the processes of making this delicious cake can be simplified. I have never found that German chocolate produces especially flavorful cakes. As a matter of fact, I think cake layers made with this type of chocolate are merely colorful vehicles for highlighting the tastes of other fillings and frosting. I've made this cake several times now, and I can tell you with certainty, that the icing is what sets this cake apart from others you may have tried. The secret to this cake is found in its grace notes, not in its layers. With that in mind, I decided to try the cake using a German chocolate cake mix. I made the cake following directions on the back of the box, save for the fact that I used three, rather than two, 9-inch cake pans to hold the batter. I've found that doing this eliminates the need to split layers once the cake has cooled. This of course alters baking time. Mine take about 20 minutes to bake, but timing is a fickle thing and you'll want to watch your layers carefully. The almond flavor in the finished cake comes from almond extract, so I've also decided to eliminate the ground almonds used to sprinkle on the layers. They add cost, not flavor, to the finished cake and have no texture that might make their use worthwhile. In the interest of transparency, I must tell you that I made extra icing, increasing the recipe by 1/2, to assure discernible layers and complete coverage of the cake for its photograph. I hope that, in its original or simplified form, you'll give this cake a try. It is really delicious. Here's the original recipe.
German Chocolate and Cocoa Cream Cake ...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Sandra Hackney
1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs, separated
2 ounces German sweet chocolate, melted
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Frosting and Filling
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup Creme de Cacao
1/2 cup ground almonds
1) Grease and flour two 9-in round cake pans; set aside. In large bowl, beat 1 cup sugar, buttermilk, oil, egg yolks, and melted chocolate till blended. Combine flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and baking soda; gradually beat into sugar mixture till blended.
2) In large bowl with clean beaters, beat egg whites till soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on high till stiff peaks form. Fold into batter.
3) Transfer to pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
4) For frosting, beat cream, powdered sugar, cocoa, extract, and remaining salt till stiff peaks form.
5) Cut each cake horizontally into two layers; brush layers with cream de cacao. Place bottom layer on a serving plate; top with 1/2 cup frosting and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons almonds. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake; sprinkle remaining almonds over the top. Yield: 10-12 servings.
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