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Anything is good, in moderation. I cook because I love to and because I can share with those around me. I crochet for the same reason.

Do what you want to do, enjoy what you do and use it to touch those around you.

Nov 22, 2013

Birthday Fabulousness

I love my Hubby.  Every year, he takes on a new birthday cake challenge.  This year, it was a German Chocolate Cake with Frosting, Ganach AND whipped cream.  It was FABULOUS - and so large that it didn't fit under the lid on  my cake plate.

For the Cake:
12 Tbl Unsalted Butter
2 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Tbl Baking Powder
3/4 Tsp Baking Soda
3/4 Tsp Salt
1 Cup Dutch Process Cocoa
2 Tbl Dutch Process Cocoa
1 1/2 Cups Dark Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 Cup Strong Black Coffee at Room Temperature
1 1/2 Cup Buttermilk
3 Large Eggs
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Heat oven to 325 Degrees.  Grease two 9 x 3 inch cake pans.  Line bottoms with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan.  Whisk in cocoa powder and cook for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and add sugars and whisk until the sugar has dissolved.  Add he coffee, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla and continue whisking until smooth and just combined.  Add to the dry ingredients and stir until the batter is smooth.

Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (40 to 45 minutes).  Place on wire racks and cool for 20 minutes.  Remove from the pans and cool completely.

2 3/4 Cup Whole Milk
1  Can Unsweetened Coconut Milk
13 Tbl Granulated Sugar
2 Tbl Light Corn Syrup
2 Tbl Unsalted Butter (cold)
1/2 Tsp vanilla
1/8 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Coconut Rum
1 1/4 Cups Coarsely Chopped Pecans, Toasted
1 1/4 Cups Sweetened Shredded Coconut, Toasted

Combine the whole milk and coconut milk in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.  Keep warm while you prepare the caramel.

In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the sugar and 1/4 cup water - stir until dissolved and then continue cooking WITHOUT STIRRING until a deep amber color.  Slowly and carefully whisk in the warm milk mixture and continue whisking until smooth.  Add corn syrup.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until sauce is reduced by half and has the consistency of a caramel sauce (about an hour).

Remove from heat and whisk in the butter, vanilla, salt and rum.  Transfer sauce to a medium bowl and stir in the pecans and shredded coconut.  Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, before icing cake.

1 Cup Heavy Cream
8 Ounce Bittersweet Chocolate, finely chopped
2 Tbl Light Corn Soup
1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut, Toasted
1/4 Cup Chopped Pecans, Toasted

Bring cream to simmer in a small saucepan.  Put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl, add corn syrup.  When cream is hot, pour over chocolate.  Let sit 30 seconds then gently whisk until smooth.  Let sit at room temperature 10 minutes.

Cut both cakes in half horizontally (you want 4 layers).  Place on layer on a wire rack set over a pan.  Spread with frosting, sprinkle with pecans and coconut.  Repeat with two more layers.  Top with fourth layer.  Carefully pour chocolate ganache over cake, letting excess drip down the sides.  Sprinkle with remaining toasted coconuts and pecans.

Let sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes before slicing.

Whipped Cream:

1 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream, Very Cold
1/4 Cup Cream of Coconut
2 Tbl Confectioner's Sugar
1 Tsp Coconut Rum
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Combine all ingredients and whisk until soft peaks form.

Set first cake

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