Just light it: German Chocolate Cake

January 13, 2011 § 2 Comments

My brother’s birthday was last weekend, so I dusted off the German Chocolate Cake recipe card for the festivities.  Let’s get this out of the way: this post is about holding a cake together with your hands. I will tell you about all 12 things that went wrong with this, but first I would just like to say, I have made this cake from scratch at least half a dozen times and this has never happened.  It has never suffered from the loss of structural integrity that you are about to behold, and it has never been this difficult.  Point is, you can do this–do not let my bad experience defeat your excitement to make this amazingly yummy cake.  Just, you know, learn from it, maybe?

Also, I’m not posting a recipe for you–Baker’s German Chocolate Bars come with a recipe right on the back–I figure, they manufacture the key ingredient and their sales depend on this being a knockout recipe, why search elsewhere?  So, pick up the chocolate bar, flip the back over, buy the ingredients listed, and then follow the recipe inside the box when you get home.

My batter turned out perfect, so I will give you a hint there: alternate your buttermilk and dry ingredients, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.  I added these in thirds, and the consistency was perfect.

Like any good baker-girl, I was sure to grease and flour my pan thoroughly.  But for all the preheating, oil, flour, and perfect batter, I did not think to adjust the racks in my aunt’s oven.  Now, I’m not blaming the oven, I’m just saying that when the cakes were perfectly done on the outsides, the insides were still jiggling away.  Sigh.  After 15 additional minutes of baking, the toothpick was finally coming out clean.  The cakes did not fair as well.

Lessons learned: When using someone elses’ mixer, make sure that you do not mistake the eject button for the whip button.  If you do make this mistake, be sure to check your hair thoroughly before you go to bed.  Check the position of your oven racks before you go sliding in your carefully prepared batter.  If your uncle made beef jerky in it the weekend before, you may want to bother raising it above the last notch.  Also, if you are baking in another’s kitchen, you might want to limit your profanity or at least keep it to less audible than you would use in your own.

Finally, if it comes out in pieces, that’s what icing is for.   And, if you find that the integrity of the cake is going to succumb to the weight of the delicious coconut butter icing, then simply use what the good Lord gave ya and hold it together with your hands while you finish icing it–it can’t get any worse, and your hands are washable.  Likewise, when your dad comes in and says that the cake is about to fall off like California, just give it another good squeeze and apply more icing.  Eventually, the cake will fill all its nooks and crannies with butter like botox used to fill Nicole Kidman’s face; and, it will feel your desperation for it to hold together and let you light it.

Sing happy birthday very quickly. 

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