German’s Sweet Chocolate Cake

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German’s Sweet Chocolate Cake does not come from Germany; rather, the sweet chocolate bar was created by Sam German, in the 1850’s.  In the 1957, a Dallas newspaper printed the first known version of this cake.  The recipe was submitted by a homemaker.   It became extremely popular, the recipe shared through local newspapers and printed in community cookbooks. Within one year, the sales of Baker’s Sweet Chocolate had increased 73% nationwide due to the demand.  Thank you, Snopes! (http://www.snopes.com/business/names/cake.asp)

This recipe does require two mixing bowls:  one for the batter, and one for the egg whites which provide the cake its’ lift.  The icing is cooked on the stovetop.  Broken down in steps, it’s easy to put together.    I like to make the cake the night before it’s to be served, making the icing in the morning.  Broken down in two steps this way makes it easy to manage.

I like to make this cake using three 8-inch round pans, but you can also use two 9-inch rounds, or one 9×13 rectangle, or make approximately 30 to 36 cupcakes.

You will need:

  • 1 4-ounce package Baker’s sweet chocolate

  • 1/2 cup boiling water

  • 1 cup butter, softened to room temperature

  • 2 cups white sugar

  • 4 egg yolks, at room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 4 egg whites, beaten stiff

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Prepare your cake pans.  My vintage 8-inch cake pans actually have a thingy that loosens the bottom of the cake from the pan, so, when I use these, I just butter (or spray) and flour the bottom.  When I use my much newer 9-inch pans, I butter or spray and use parchment or wax paper cut to fit.  For the larger 9×13, if I’m going to unmold it, I do the paper-lined method; if it’s going to be served from the pan, I just butter and flour it.  Cupcakes?  Those cute little paper cups are all you need.

Place chocolate in a small glass bowl, and pour 1/2 cup boiling hot water over it.  Let sit for a few minutes to soften, and then gently stir with a spoon or spatula until chocolate is completely melted.  Add vanilla and set aside.

Beat egg whites in small bowl with mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form; set aside. Mix flour, baking soda and salt. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Blend in melted chocolate and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating until well blended after each addition.

Add egg whites; fold in gently with rubber spatula until well blended. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake 26-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Immediately run small spatula around cakes in pans. Cool cakes in pans 15 min.; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Spread Coconut-Pecan Filling and Frosting between cake layers and onto top of cake.

Note:  Don’t keep buttermilk around?  Add one tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice to one cup of whole milk and let sit for 10 minutes.  It will “sour” the milk, and react with the baking soda as a leavening agent.

Coconut-Pecan Filling and Frosting

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons  vanilla

  • 1 cup  sugar

  • 1 cup  butter or margarine

  • 1  7 -ounce package Angel Flake Coconut (2-2/3 cups)

  • 1 1/2 cups  chopped pecans

Method:

Beat egg yolks, milk and vanilla in large saucepan with whisk until well blended. Add sugar and butter; cook on medium heat 12 min. or until thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Add coconut and nuts; mix well. Cool to desired spreading consistency.

Many people just put the icing in the middle and on top, and do not ice the sides.  While pretty, we can’t eat a un-iced cake before it would dry out.  So, we are careful to put just enough icing in the middles and on top, and still had JUST enough to ice the sides.

It’s a very rich and delicious cake!

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Want to know the origin of German’s Sweet Chocolate Cake?  It’s not from Germany.  Check out here (http://www.snopes.com/business/names/cake.asp).

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