Remember about our Olympic giveaway last month? After compiling all entries from comments, Facebook fans, and (mostly) newsletter subscribers, we ended up with 442 entries. Whew!
So what I did to randomize the process in the fairest manner I could make it, is to have all entries on a spreadsheet.
There were double entries for the subscribers and fans, and single ones for the comments–as stated in the ‘rules’.
I added an additional column for the randomized sequence, which I generated through the Sequence Generator. Then I copied the resulting list into the new column, so that each entry will have a random number assigned to it. Sounds fancy, but it’s really simple.
I picked one random winner through Random.org again…and the winner is — Shawna, a longtime newsletter subscriber!
You will receive an email from me. :) Congratulations!!!
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Now let’s move on to the German Chocolate Cake that doesn’t have anything to do with Germany, but has everything to do with chocolate and caramel decadence.
Hail be to Samuel German who created Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate for the Baker’s Chocolate brand, for which this recipe was created. Got it? Eventually the ‘s was dropped. [This convolution reminds me of none other than Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. Mmm...]
So you see friends, if you are like me, you can stop wondering why in the world Germans have some coconut in their cake. Excuse my ignorance. The first time I ate this cake was right after I baked it. No joke.
Was I the last person to discover this cake? It’s okay. You can tell me the truth. I’m totally fine with that. As long as you think it’s completely alright that I make this several times a month to make you jealous until you make it yourself. If not, head over to Bakery Nouveau in West Seattle which, according to @Lovelylanvin, makes a really good one!
Because. What could be better than moist and fluffy chocolate cake layers with custard-y caramel filling with coconut and pecans?
I just could not stop eating it. I blame the cake entirely. I haven’t been on a scale since this cake was baked, but I’ve gone back to running regularly. That’s how guilty I feel, but oh so good! It’s a required indulgence.
I love Rose’s meticulously detailed recipes that hold your hand through the whole process of preparing, baking, and assembling the cakes. I’ve made a few already from this book and I highly recommend it! No, this is not your last-minute go-to cake book. You need to plan ahead, not only to read the recipe carefully and check that you have all the ingredients, but also for making the cakes. They’re not quick fixes, but you will be rewarded with cakes that you didn’t think could possibly come from your own kitchen. They are indeed heavenly…amazing! cakes.
Go get it if you really want to bake cakes that impress.
GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE
Adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Rose’s Heavenly Cakes (2009 Wiley)
Filling – make 3 hours before using
- 1 cup pecan pieces, broken medium coarse
- 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (1 can) condensed milk 3 large egg yolks
- 1 stick or 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at 65°-75°F (or 19°-23°C)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups Baker’s Angle Flake coconut or Mounds
- 66 grams or 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (sifted) unsweetened alkalized/Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- ½ cup boiling water
- ½ cup canola or safflower oil, at room temperature
- 4 large eggs, separated, plus 2 whites, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 75 grams or 3/4 cup (sifted and leveled off in a cup) cake flour
- 75 grams or 2/3 cup (sifted and leveled off in a cup) bleached all-purpose flour (I used unbleached)
- 1 1/2 cups or 300 grams superfine/caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sale
- 2 9×2-inch round cake pans, bottom coated with shortening and topped with parchment rounds parchment circles, sides lined with cake strips. Don’t coat sides with shortening to prevent tops from shrinking inward.
- 2 wire racks coated lightly with nonstick cooking spray
- For the Filling: Pre-heat oven to 300°F. Spread a single layer of pecans on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 3 minutes. Stir and spread, and bake for another 4 minutes. Avoid over-browning.
- Whisk condensed milk and egg yolks in a medium heavy saucepan. Add butter and cook over medium heat, while constantly stirring with a silicone spatula. Lower the heat once the mixture starts to simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, until thickened enough, about 175°F/79°C. Remove from heat occasionally to keep from burning.
- Add vanilla, coconut and pecans into the saucepan and continue to cook over medium heat for a minute. Mixture will be tan in color, slightly translucent and can still be poured. Transfer into a large bowl and cover with a towel while it cools to room temperature. Wait 3 hours to cool to room temperature. It can be refrigerated, just make sure to soften by submerging bowl in hot water.
- For the batter: Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C, with the oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Whisk cocoa and boiling water by hand in a stand mixer bowl or a large bowl until smooth. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and cool to room temperature for about 30 minutes. You can place it in the refrigerator but it would be needed to be at room temperature before proceeding to the next step.
- Add oil and yolks to the mixer bowl and whisk with a whisk batter mixer attachment beginning on low speed, gradually going to medium. It will get until smooth and shiny, like buttercream, after about a minute. Scrape the sides of the bowls before adding vanilla and mixing for a few more seconds.
- Whisk cake flour, all purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a separate medium bowl, then sift on a large piece of parchment for pouring. Add half of the flour mixture into egg and chocolate mixture. Beat on low until the dry ingredients are moistened. Scrape the side of the bowl before adding the remaining flour mixture. Increase the speed to medium-high for a minute before pausing and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl. At this point the mixture will be very thick. Turn the mixer on slow and add the egg whites, and gradually speed up to medium high for 2 minutes. The batter will resemble a thick soup. Pour batter into prepared pans and fill about a quarter full each.
- Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until a wooden toothpick or cake tester comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the centers. Cakes must be unmolded as soon as they are taken out of the oven. Run a thin metal spatula around the sides and invert cakes onto prepared wire rack. Remove the parchment from the bottom and re-invert them again on the other rack. Cool completely before filling.
- Assembling the Cake: Place a little filling on the serving plate or cardboard round and position the first layer on top of it. Frost with half the filling. Place the second layer directly on top and frost with the remaining filling, spreading it right to the edge.
Cover the cake with a cake dome to prevent it from drying out.
Notes: This cake is even better after 24 hours. So if you can, wait.