Inside Out German Chocolate Cake

by Holly on August 22, 2008

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Cake. Yes, I love cake. For all the baking I’ve done over the years though, it is really only the past few years that I have stopped using mixes though. My cakes don’t always turn out the way I want, but it is just so fun to try. There are a lot of skills involved with cake baking though that I still need a lot of work on. Especially my decorating skills. That is why when Laurie (our Tuesdays with Dorie fearless leader and the Master Mind behind Cupcake Hero) decided to start up a new event called Layers of Cake I told her to count me in.

The challenge for me this time around was to think of something different than my normal frosting. I have so many layer cake recipes bookmarked, but for this first round I had a couple in mind. This one really caught my eye because of the filling as well as the ganache. Seriously, what is not to love about this recipe? It is a wonderful chocolate cake layered with a mixture of toasted pecans and coconuts and baked sweetened condensed milk (so essentially, dulce de leche) then enrobed in a thick layer of really good chocolate.

This is definitely the way to make a German Chocolate Cake as far as I’m concerned!

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Inside Out German Chocolate Cake
Courtesy of the Bridge Street Bakery in Waitsfield, Vermont, from Owner and Chef Mary Laulis via Gourmet Magazine

For cake layers
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup boiling-hot water

For filling
7 oz sweetened flaked coconut
4 oz coarsely chopped pecans (1 cup)
14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla

For glaze
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
10 oz fine-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 tablespoons light corn syrup

Special equipment: 3 (9-inch) round cake pans

Make cake layers:
Preheat oven to 350°F and oil cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with rounds of parchment or wax paper. Sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl.

Whisk together whole milk, butter, whole egg, yolk, vanilla, and almond extract in another large bowl until just combined. Beat egg mixture into flour mixture with an electric mixer on low speed, then beat on high speed 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and beat in water until just combined (batter will be thin).

Divide batter among cake pans (about 1 1/2 cups per pan) and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of pans and rotating them 180 degrees halfway through baking, until a tester comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes total.

Cool layers in pans on racks 15 minutes. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove parchment or wax paper and cool layers completely.

Make filling:
Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

Spread coconut in a large shallow baking pan and pecans in another. Bake pecans in upper third of oven and coconut in lower third, stirring occasionally, until golden, 12 to 18 minutes. Remove pans from oven.

Increase oven temperature to 425°F.

Pour condensed milk into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate and cover tightly with foil. Bake milk in a water bath in middle of oven 45 minutes. Refill baking pan with water to reach halfway up pie plate and bake milk until thick and brown, about 45 minutes more. Remove pie plate from water bath.

Stir in coconut, pecans, and vanilla and keep warm, covered with foil.

Make glaze while milk is baking:Melt butter in a 3-quart saucepan. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate and corn syrup, whisking until chocolate is melted. Transfer 1 cup glaze to a bowl, reserving remaining glaze at room temperature in pan. Chill glaze in bowl, stirring occasionally, until thickened and spreadable, about 1 hour.

Assemble cake:
Put 1 cake layer on a rack set over a baking pan (to catch excess glaze). Drop half of coconut filling by spoonfuls evenly over layer and gently spread with a wet spatula. Top with another cake layer and spread with remaining filling in same manner. Top with remaining cake layer and spread chilled glaze evenly over top and side of cake. Heat reserved glaze in pan over low heat, stirring, until glossy and pourable, about 1 minute. Pour glaze evenly over top of cake, making sure it coats sides. Shake rack gently to smooth glaze.

Chill cake until firm, about 1 hour. Transfer cake to a plate.

Cooks’ notes: Cake keeps, covered and chilled, 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving. For easier handling when assembling cake, place bottom layer on a cardboard round or the removable bottom of a tart or cake pan.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin August 22, 2008 at 8:40 pm

This looks amazing! German Chocolate Cake is a classic in my family and this version looks delicious!

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Mary Ann August 22, 2008 at 9:06 pm

Yum- that looks really great!

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Peabody August 22, 2008 at 10:29 pm

Oh my, doesn’t this look sinful.

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~Holly August 22, 2008 at 11:55 pm

Yummy!! I love the look of this. It is more elegant than a regular german chocolate cake. Thanks for the idea! 🙂

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CB August 23, 2008 at 1:08 am

::wiping drool off keyboard::
/Clara

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Manggy August 23, 2008 at 2:41 am

Omigosh, that looks lethal! Good job Holly! (And I’m glad you’ve stopped using the cake mixes!)

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slush August 23, 2008 at 3:11 pm

OMG Holly, I dont think you need to work on layer cakes at all. You nailed it! That is one beautiful cake. I am off to try to make something that looks even half that good.

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Fearless Kitchen August 23, 2008 at 4:07 pm

This looks really delicious, and I’m not even a fan of coconut. I envy your decorating skills!

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~Kimberly August 23, 2008 at 5:53 pm

This is my mom’s favorite cake, so i’ll have to try this out sometime when i go back home. It looks divine!

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Jenny August 23, 2008 at 8:59 pm

You mean you aren’t supposed to just eat the frosting for German Chocolate Cake with a spoon? There is supposed to be cake involved? 🙂
Looks great, lots of yummy frosting in those layers.

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Food.Baby August 26, 2008 at 5:18 am

I think i gained weight just looking at that cake! Seriously good job. Thanks for visiting my blog too by the way 🙂

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Deborah August 26, 2008 at 9:06 pm

German chocolate is one of my very favorites, and this version sounds amazing!

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mariah September 5, 2008 at 8:41 pm

I am going to make this tomorrow. How hard is it to move from the wire rack to the cake plate after glazing. I am TERRIFIED it will break, fall, or I will just generally mess it up.

But I cannot WAIT to make this.

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PheMom September 5, 2008 at 10:39 pm

Mariah – I kept mine on a cardboard cake round so that it couldn’t fall apart on me. I would suggest you do the same, or even use the bottom of a springform pan as your cake plate. It sure made life a LOT easier. Good luck!

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ostwestwind September 23, 2008 at 4:59 pm

As a German I am asking me what makes this cake German?

Ulrike from Küchenlatein

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