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Thursday, August 29, 2013

German Chocolate Sheet Cake

chocolate sheet cake
German Chocolate Sheet Cake
 German chocolate cake was actually one of the first cakes I ever made from scratch. I’m pretty sure it was before I was married, and my (then) future sister-in-law Katelyn and I set out to make one. If I remember correctly, we had to borrow cake pans and we didn’t really know our way around the kitchen (at least not like now!), but we managed to construct a somewhat lopsided, but still tasty, German chocolate cake.
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chocolate sheet cake
Years later, I’ve now made several layer cakes (my favorite being this dark chocolateone!), and have more cake pans than I know what to do with! My cakes do sometimes still come out a little lopsided from time to time, a mistake easily avoided by making a sheet cake instead of a layer cake! This German chocolate cake comes together quickly in a 9 x 13 inch pan. The cake itself is spongy, with a deep chocolate flavor. Even if you aren’t a fan of the frosting on German chocolate cake, this would be a great chocolate base for just about any frosting!
chocolate sheet cake
Even though I forgot to toast the pecans AND coconut, the frosting was easily my favorite part of the cake. Yes, it’s almost sickly sweet, but the sugar is tempered by the dark chocolate in the cake, and a small piece is enough to satisfy! Half of this went to our pastor’s family, in celebration of their fourth baby, and the other half went to work, where not a crumb was left by lunchtime!

One Year Ago: White Chocolate, Cranberry, Oatmeal Bars
Two Years Ago: Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf
Three Years Ago: Columbia Crest Cork & Fork Dinner

German Chocolate Sheet Cake
from King Arthur Flour

for the cake-
-1 1/4 cups boiling water
-3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
-2 cups sugar
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-2 tbsp cornstarch
-2 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp salt
-3/4 cup vegetable oil
-4 large eggs
-2 tsp vanilla extract

for the topping-
-1 cup light brown sugar
-1 tbsp + 2 tsp cornstarch
-1/4 tsp salt
-5 tbsp butter
-3/4 cup half & half (or milk)
-2 tbsp corn syrup
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 1/2 cups toasted shredded coconut
-1 1/2 cups toasted chopped pecans

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with foil and spray. Add the boiling water to the cocoa and stir until blended. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
2. Whisk the remaining dry (cake) ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs and oil and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla. Stir in the cocoa mixture in three additions, beating after each addition. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
3. Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow cake to cool on a wire rack while you make the frosting.
4. To make the topping, whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Stir in the half & half, sugar mixture, and corn syrup. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and mixture starts to thicken (1-2 minutes).
5. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, coconut, and pecans. Spread the topping onto the cake, and allow to rest for at least 1 hour before cutting into pieces.