Back in June my husband had a birthday. He is now older than dirt, which makes our parents older than the earth.
No actually, I don’t believe that, at all! While my husband did reach a benchmark, he is now 35…
and 21-year-old me is saying back from 2000, “What?! You’re married and your husbands 35!!?!!”
To which I reply, “Yes, silly because I am 33.”
And the 20-year-old me just sits there stunned into silence because she didn’t think any of her real relationships would ever be that real, but here we are…
and my parents aren’t older than the earth, but they are all-wise and wonderful people. In spite of the fact that my father has said since he was 40-ish, “…but I’m an old man.” I would always tell him he’s only as old as he feels, so he should try not to feel that way, but I understand now that sometimes it is just strange. As we age, our bodies get older and change, but often our minds are in the same state. Yes, we’ve matured and lived more time on the earth, so certain things that might burn us up when we’re twenty-years-old will slide off our backs when we’re thirty or forty-years-old. My mother’s mother, while bedridden with cancer, once told me before her death of this paradox. Unfortunately, her seventy-ish year-old body just didn’t work anymore, but she really didn’t feel a day over twenty.
And so, it was a birthday, my husbands birthday and because we live in Germany I thought I would make him a German Chocolate Cake. I chose this cake not only because we live in Germany, but also because before this birthday I had yet to attempt to bake this specific cake. I found this recipe for German Chocolate Cake, or rather as it is more precisely named, German’s Chocolate Cake, which I will explain in a moment.
German Chocolate Cake
One big, tall 9-inch cake; about 16 servings
For the cake:
2 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons water
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ¼ cup + ¼ cup sugar
4 large eggs, separated
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the filling:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
3 ounces butter, cut into small pieces
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1 1/3 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted
For the syrup:
1 cup water
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum
For the chocolate icing:
8 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 ½ ounces unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
For the directions for baking and assembling the cake, please check here.
I can tell you that I seemed to have far too much syrup and not enough icing. In the end I think I should have drowned the cake in the syrup. It was still perfectly incredibly delicious, and my husband and out friends loved it.
Now about the history of this cake.
Contrary to popular common belief, German’s Chocolate was actually created in late 19th century (1852) America, not Germany, as a sweeter chocolate. The chocolate named in honor of the man who created it, Sam German, for the Baker’s Chocolate company which is now a part Kraft Foods.
However, it apparently didn’t become nationally popular until 1952 when a Texas homemaker sent the recipe into their local Dallas paper using the chocolate to make the now famous cake. Kraft Foods took notice and then sent the recipe to newspapers nationwide. The national publication of this recipe supposedly made the sales of German’s chocolate increase by 73%. Since 1952, the possessive (German’s) has been dropped in favor of a simplified, German, thus aiding the myth that this cake was created in Germany and brought to America by German immigrants. In all this sounds like a simple yet effective way to create a popular nationally famous dessert!
“German Chocolate Cake – History of German Chocolate Cake.” WhatsCookingAmerica.net. Linda Stradley. 2004.Web .19.08.2012. <http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/Cakes/GermanChocolateCake.htm>
“German Chocolate Cake Recipe” DavidLebovitz.com. David Lebovitz. 22.09.2005.Web.19.08.2012. <http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2005/09/german-chocolat-1/>
James, Charles J. “German Chocolate Cake.” Mr.Shea.com. Robert Shea. n.d., Web. 19.08.2012. <http://www.mrshea.com/germusa/germchoc.htm>
Mikkelson, Barbara. “Germanely Chocolate Cake.” Snopes.com. 31, 05.2011. Web. 19.08.12. <http://www.snopes.com/business/names/cake.asp>