February 14, 2010

THE day for splurging

Well, I may need to amend that. Perhaps the day after Valentine's Day is the optimum day to go hog-wild, as all of that glorious red- and pink-wrapped candy and chocolate will be on sale. Yippee-ki-yay.

Tower. Tastiness.

Behold my tower of tastiness!

Personally, I like to indulge on a daily basis, and making this cake took care of those desires for nearly a week.

Kate, the lovely lady responsible for the blog Serendipity, recently reached out to several bloggers and offered to send us some authentic Belgian chocolate if we'd promise to make something truly decadent and post about it on Valentine's Day. It's safe to say that no arm-twisting was needed.


As you've recently learned, layer cakes are usually my favorite type of cake. It's no surprise, then, that I chose to make a German chocolate cake for this event. However, since the chocolate I used was actually Belgian, the name obviously had to be changed to reflect that--it ain't German chocolate cake if you're using Belgian chocolate!

Let the drooling commence.
This depicts the proper filling-to-cake ratio, wouldn't you say? Blast--now I'm hungry all over again...

Frankly, you're fortunate to be seeing any cake at all--much of the chocolate that Kate sent went right into my belly. It's dark and deep and delightful--truly tasty stuff.

Now, how shall I begin my description of this dessert? Let's talk about the actual cake part, since that's where the chocolate found its new temporary home (as opposed to its permanent home, my caboose). The layers were light and moist, but not so crumbly that a slice would fall apart. No, the texture was such that the cake was able to support the copious filling that I compelled to add.

The filling. It filled both the cake and my belly.
The filling. No offense to the chocolate, of course, as it was marvelous in its own right, but the filling was my favorite part. Creamy and rich and laden with coconut and crunchy pecans. It was a true test of self-control to leave the huge bowl of the stuff sitting whilst I made the cake--I could've easily devoured at least half the batch. Indeed, it's the perfect compliment to the delicate and flavorful chocolate cake.

Kate, you're the bee's knees. Thanks for aiding and abetting my splurging. (Incidentally, how fun is that word? Splurge.) Go check out the other chocolate lovers (the links are listed here) and see how they used their bounty!

Blimp shot!
Happy Valentine's Day, folks, if you care about that sort of thing. If not, happy Anna Howard Shaw Day!

Belgian Chocolate Cake
(a majestic merger based on this cake and this filling)

Cake:
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 cup hot coffee
4 oz semi-sweet Belgian chocolate, a la La Maison Saive, finely chopped (ha--I made ya sing la-la!)

Filling:
4 egg yolks
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
2 1/3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups pecans, finely-chopped

To prepare the filling, first toast the coconut and pecans at 350F until the coconut is browned and the pecans smell nutty. (The timing will be different, so use separate pans.) Next, whisk the egg yolks in a medium saucepan and gradually whisk in the evaporated milk. Add the sugars, butter, and salt and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture is boiling, frothy, and slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Transfer this mixture to a bowl and whisk in the vanilla and coconut extracts. Then stir in the coconut. (Pecans are stirred in just before cake assembly.) Cool until just warm, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cool or cold, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.

For the cake, first make sure that your oven is preheated to 350F and prepare two 8″ cake pans. (I actually used an 8" and a 10" to achieve that staggered look and had to deal with the batter division and baking time accordingly.) You can go all-out by lightly oiling, lining the bottoms with parchment, oiling again, then lightly dusting with flour, or you can just skip the parchment as I did and simply grease and flour--it worked out fine.
In a small bowl, pour the hot coffee over the chopped chocolate and stir until the chocolate melts. Let cool a bit.
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk a few times to blend well.
In a larger bowl (we have a real Russian nested doll thing going on here, don't we!), beat together the eggs, milk, oil, and extracts. Add the chocolate-coffee mixture (assuming you haven't poured it down your gullet) and beat well. Finally, slowly add the dry ingredients and beat at medium speed for 2-3 minutes.
Split the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans and place them in the oven to bake for 40-45 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center is clean after removed.
Cool the layers in the pans on a rack for 15 minutes, then remove them and cool on the racks completely.

To assemble the skyscraper of splendor, first add the chopped pecans to the filling and mix well. Then simply slather half onto one layer of the cake, nestle the other cake layer on top of that, and spread the remaining filling onto the tippy-top. You should have plenty, assuming you were able to resist eating it by the spoonful...

99 comments:

Barbara said...

My youngest son's favorite cake! I can barely get all the frosting on it because I keep eating the stuff!
Cute idea to make it a "staggered" cake...and fun of Kate to ask all of you to make something chocolate today!
Happy Valentine's Day to you, Grace!

The Gypsy Chef said...

I love German, I mean Belgium Chocolate cake. This looks wonderful. You've done Kate proud!
Love the cake stacked.
Happy Valentines Day Grace!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Oh man, is it wrong if I just make a big bowl of that filling right now and eat it with a spoon? A tablespoon I mean, not a teaspoon! :D

Maggie B said...

Such a great looking squidgy cake, I don't imagine it lasted very long, I know it wouldn't here in Normandy.
Happy Chocolate Valentines Day.
~Maggie~

♥peachkins♥ said...

OMG! I wish I have a slice of this right now!

George Gaston said...

Grace, this is an awesome cake! It has that gooey layer of a delicious filling. I could possibly eat the whole thing.

Great recipe...

Amanda said...

You. GO. Girl. Yummy!!! This looks fantastic!

Josie said...

I wish I had a friend who liked to share layer caked with me. I am never motivated to make them for myself, but you always make me want them!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Mmmhhh, what a treat!

Cheers,

Rosa

Melanie said...

Love the offset looks of the cake and your hilarious commentary. The cakes and frosting look absolutely divine - I'm a huge fan of German chocolate cake and am sure that Belgian would be right down my alley, too.

Bob said...

Gorgeous. Can't get enough of that filling!

Kate said...

German Chocolate Cake is my very favorite...always requested for my B'Day! :)
Love it!

nightowlchef said...

Grace, what a great recipe for the event! Belgian Chocolate Cake ... love it!! I've never made this, but it's been on my "to do" list for ages; I guess now I have a reason.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

P.S. "Splurge" is definitely a great word; incidentally, it's what my mother named her business years ago - she's a silversmith and jewelry-maker!!!

Lindsey@pickyeatings said...

I love chocolate. And happy Anna Howard Shaw day to you as well!

once in a blue moon... said...

i love your BELGIAN chocolate cake! i must make this soon, and of course i love your ratio of filling, oh my, i am feeling my mouth mositen with delight~

happy valentines day~

Lucie said...

Oh my. I thought I couldn't be hungry ever again after everything I ate last night and for brunch today but... here it goes again. I've never had German Chocolate Cake and it looks AMAZING!

Hungry Dog said...

Holy moly. Nice work, Grace! Lovely cake you've got here. And happy valentine's day!

Nutmeg Nanny said...

My oh my oh my...this is awesome! I wish I had one of these sitting in my kitchen. I have failed to eat breakfast and this would totally fill my empty stomach :) BTW Tim Daly is utterly delicious in person...haha.

Ingrid said...

Happy V-day!
~ingrid

The Dutch Baker's Daughter said...

This is absolutely beautiful! I'd forgotten how much I love German (Belgian) Chocolate Cake. The pictures are incredible.

La Table De Nana said...

Decadent! On my list now for sure for a special occasion!

dawn said...

where is the shot of the middle of the cake? the best part? you hold out on us Gracie. :::sigh:::

Sinful Southern Sweets said...

Oh good gracious!! That looks simply irresistable!! Mmmm....I thought I was through with my valentine baking...but perhaps I have just this one thing left;)

Lisa said...

This is one of my absolute FAVORITE cakes! Yours looks divine - a must try!

Kerstin said...

Now that's a gorgeous cake! The filling does look fabulous - I'd lick the bowl :)

Joycee said...

My favorite splurge! Enjoying your blog and all of the GREAT recipes! Come over to GrannyMountain for a visit when you have time...

Marjie said...

that filling is truly decadent! And the Belgian Chocolate Cake is a great carrier for that filling! Happy Valentine's Day, Grace.

oneordinaryday said...

I'd love to try the cake part, but I'm not real sure about the coconut filling. I'm just now trying to get over my coconut issues. I don't lie anymore and say I'm allergic to it to avoid having to eat it. I'd call that progress, wouldn't you? haha

Fimère said...

quelle merveille ce gâteau, il est splendide
bonne soirée

Lisa said...

That looks so good!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Happy Valentine's Day! That tower of deliciousness would be enough to win any heart. Fabulous!

TKW said...

I'm sure you won your Valentine over with that beauty! Wow!

Chef Aimee said...

I want this cake to be my Valentine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Carolyn Jung said...

Happy Valentine's Day! Any time one can indulge in chocolate cake is a very good day, indeed. ;)

Velva said...

Grace, as always your recipe rocks! Just beautiful.

Laura said...

Gorgeous. Mind you, I'd leave out so much of what makes the filling the filling (coconut, nuts) that I'd be left with the cake, but still I can admire a beautifully done filling. Mine are always lopsided. And the cake itself looks wonderful. :)

Erin said...

Yum! I love that type of filling!

Jessica Lee Binder said...

Happy V-day and Happy Chinese New Year.

Lynda said...

This photo is killing me, Grace; this is the most addicting cake ever! I just made one of these for my hubby's birthday, but it got eaten before any pictures could be taken. Sigh, I even dream of it. Your cake is perfection!I could eat the filling with a spoon- wait, I've actually done that.

Sook said...

coconut filling is my favorite!!! This cake looks so good!

red ticking said...

i can taste this right now... my mother used to make this as we grew up... my brother and father's favorite cake so we had it often... so many memories of wonderful family time and delicious cake and milk... i am so happy to have found your blog this evening... just wish i had a piece right now... this looks HEAVENLY... xx pam

Emily said...

I'm so jealous of your chocolate! This cake looks amazing, Grace. I'm going to have to bake this soon.

2 Stews said...

I haven't had this in soooo long! Making it for my family as soon as I come down from my chocolate high!

Thanks Grace....love your blog....I'll be back often! Happy V-Day!

Diane

Amy said...

Looks absolutely YUMMY! The presentation is just beautiful as well!

Half Baked said...

I could dive right into that cake! Looks divine!

Kate at Serendipity said...

Oh, Grace, this is gorgeous. I love Belgian Chocolate Cake. (OK, let's be honest here, I love Belgian Chocolate ANYTHING.) That filling looks A MAY ZING. Brown sugar, butter, coconut, pecans---yer killin' me here.

I LOVELOVELOVE this stairstep cake. What a faboo idea! Thanks for posting this.

Ramya Manja said...

OMG its breathtaking,fantabulous..Gorgeous cake...

Junglefrog said...

Wasn't it the best chocolate ever? And that cake you made just looks amazing!

5 Star Foodie said...

That cake is sinfully delicious! The filling sounds incredible! Hope you had a wonderful Valentine's day!

Jennifer said...

Oh yes- truly indulgent!!! That cake looks amazing!! Im loving the filling..

Bellini Valli said...

German chocolate cake brings back such delicious memories. It has always been a favourite!

livinlocal said...

Oh boy did I need you a month back! I tried another version of German Chocolate cake for a German themes dinner and it was such an epic fail that we tossed 3/4 of it! When I'm willing to give it another go, I'll use this plan.

The Blonde Duck said...

I foresee Ben's birthday having this cake...

Ash said...

This looks just amazing!! Pure chocolate goodness!

Maria said...

Oh yum! I want a piece or the whole cake:)

A Canadian Foodie said...

Love your header... love the recipe... loves scrummy!
XO
Valerie

Kitchen Butterfly said...

Chocolate. Pecans. Kate...these are a few of my favourite things.......

Bridgett said...

Can you please send me a slice? Even though I am on chocolate overload from Valentine's, I think this will cure me.

shaz said...

I don't know what to say Grace - yum and delicious all sound so insignificant in the face of this cake! That filling! Oh my ...

Erica said...

Wow!!! I am drooling just looking at your pictures!!!That filling sounds delicious!

Julie said...

I'm all for daily splurging...what a way to do it. Yum!

Helene said...

Gorgeous and that filling is so thick.

Deborah said...

From someone who just posted a German chocolate cake, I LOVE your Belgian version!

Pam said...

Excuse me while I wipe the drool off of my chin. This is my VERY FAVORITE CAKE - EVER!!!

Sophie said...

I am Belgian & I have never hear from La Maison Saive before,...

Your grand filled cake looks luscious, Grace!!

Waw!!

Lisa-Marie said...

This looks amazing! Also cake isn't really cake without icing. The only ones I would do without it are ginger cake and chocolate truffle cake. Everything else should have icingy goodness!

The Teacher Cooks said...

German chocolate was my dad's favorite cake and brings with it lot's of childhood memories. I have never had the pleasure of making it with Belgian chocolate. What a treat!

lisa said...

What a great way to use your Belgian chocolate! I love this filling with chocolate cake. Looks delicious!

Albany Jane said...

I fully support this cake:frosting ratio. I think it's just perfect!

Gulmohar said...

This chocolate cake flavored with coconut looks heavenly...can't take my eyes off from that gooey layers...Hope you had a wonderful V day :-)

Cate O'Malley said...

truly decadent indeed - looks scrumptious!

kimberleyblue said...

Guh! That filling...oh.....

Really awesome looking cake. It got me all hungry instantly, and I just want tubs and tubs of that filling. Mmmm.

Juliana said...

Love your ratio of cake and filling :-) The German , or Belgium chocolate cake looks gorgeous!

Pam said...

That is a work of art! And I don't even like coconut!

Sophie said...

What a cake! Love how decadent this is. I couldn't pass up free chocolate either. But I don't know that I could make something this tantalizing with it. YUM! Coffee + chocolate in cake = a match made in heaven.

Jaime said...

yum. i may have to make this for my hubby's birthday at the end of the month, he loves german choc. cake!

laura said...

This looks dangerously delicious! Eating the icing out of the bowl before the cake is iced is what it's all about! Beautiful photos.

kat said...

Such lovely decadence!

hannah | honey & jam said...

This looks fantastic!

Maris said...

Yum! Make me this cake and I'll splurge ANY day!

vickys said...

I;ve never had a german chocolate cake but I suppose with a description like yours, I am now compelled to make one! I love how the layers aren't too delicate or crumbly since I really enjoy piling on the frosting and the like! :)

muffinsareuglycupcakes said...

mmm. looks great.
wonder how this tastes like.
havent had a german cake before.
belgian must be good, though.
love belgian chocolate. heh.
hope you had a great vday dear :)

Nostalgia said...

Decadent! Like you said its sinful...:)

~~louise~~ said...

I LOVE splurge days! Exquisite, simply delightful! I must stop gushing. Is there just one tiny piece left? I'd love to splurge today...

Thanks for sharing, Grace.

noble pig said...

Wow, that is majestic, I would feel like royalty eating this!

Sherry G said...

Happy Anna Howard Shaw Day! (I loved that episode!) That is true decadence. And that is the perfect cake to filling ratio in my eyes;)

oneordinaryday said...

Hey there, Grace. I'm passing a blog award onto you. ;) Stop by and read my post...
~Michelle

natalie said...

I just love German's chocolate cake. It is so delish. The time that I made it I used the recipe right off of the Baker's box. And then promptly my arm fell off from all the stirring. I leave the German's chocolate cake making to my granny from now on.

LillSis said...

If I had to choose a favorite cake, mine would be a tie between a German Chocolate cake and a Carrot cake. Yours looks so moist and delicious! Your photos are beautiful, as usual!

pigpigscorner said...

wow it looks really moist and the topping...WOW!

Teanna said...

GRACE! I can't. I can't! I seriously am having heart palpitations! I don't think my mouth can water any more than it is right now! WOW! I can't. Stop!

Lisa said...

Gorgeous cake. And I love your enthusiasm! What southern girl doesn't adore a layer cake. Add deep dark chocolate and it becomes irresistible.

Jacque said...

I think I just passed out a little, reading your post. This cake (and that filling!) look truly swoon-worthy. wow...

Lindsey said...

oh oh oh!!!!! I wanted to make a pumpkin cornmeal cake with this icing, then I forgot about it. Your post totally reminded me and I can't wait to bake next week! Yeah!!!!

Chef Fresco said...

Looks delicious Grace! I like your idea of racking up on v-day candy the day after! I will have to do that next year!

Lori said...

That looks absolutely delicious. Truly something wonderful to splurge on. If you cant run with the big dogs, stay on the porch. This here cake is the big dog!

Danielle said...

this cake looks absolutely amazing. It reminds me of something that happened when I was a child...mom made a german choc cake (from a box) and had it in a casserole dish (she didnt do layers) covered with tin foil until later. Well, I couldn't help it but every time I walked past the cake to go out the backdoor (which was planned more often then normal) I snuck my finger under the foil and swiped off some of that yummy icing. Little did I know that my brother was doing the same thing. By the time mom was ready to serve the cake....i was free of all icing!!

Stacey said...

What a work of art...and I'll bet it tasted like one too. So when are you going to open a bakery?

kellypea said...

Mmmm...could go for a bite of this about now on a Sunday evening, late, late, late. Makes me remember my inside out version. No matter to me as long as all the flavors fit on a fork at one time. Right? Sounds fabulous.