Saturday, February 14, 2015

Birthday Cake for My Valentine

For years, hubby has been talking about his childhood birthday cakes. His mother always made him a German chocolate cake with cream cheese and toasted coconut frosting. I think I have it right but can't swear to it. One of our trips to Oklahoma coincided with his birthday. There was a search for the cake, but the best we could do was come up with German chocolate and coconut cookies. I pored over recipes in books and the internet, but none sounded quite right. We even asked his sister but she had no memory of such a cake. I was beginning to wonder how accurate the recollection was. Then, after inadvertently commenting about this cake to my European relatives, they provided me with a recipe. It appeared to be the exact cake that's been talked about over the years.

I copied the recipe all set to create this masterpiece for hubby's last birthday. He became suspicious and insisted he didn't want a cake. You don't need to tell me "not" to do something that requires effort without getting the expected cake.

Yesterday, I happened to flip through one of my notebooks and found what appeared to be a recipe. Hmmm...I wondered what it was. After a careful ingredient check, I realized, it was the German chocolate cake of birthdays gone by, so long, long ago. I checked google images for German chocolate cake in order to visualize the end result...unattractive at best , but hopefully it really does taste good.

I decided that today would be the day. With no pomp or ceremony, I would make this cake for dessert. The ingredients sound decadent. The calorie count is unfathomable. The recipe is slightly complex. Now if only I can keep hubby out of the kitchen. This will be the one and only time I attempt this creation.


2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. coconut extract
1 cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease/flour two 9" round pans.


Combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a stand mixer bowl.
Using a another bowl, whisk eggs, milk, oil, coconut and slowly add this to dry ingredients mixing for 2 minutes. Stir in the boiling water. Pour into pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Use the toothpick test for doneness. Cool for at least 10 minutes and remove from pan.

Put icing/toasted coconut on each layer (recipe follows).


8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. coconut flavour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup shredded coconut (sweetened)
1 cup sweetened toasted coconut

Beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioner's sugar alternating with cream. Add salt, flavouring, extract. Beat until smooth and spreadable. (Add sugar or cream if too thick or thin). Stir in coconut. Spoon toasted coconut over cake or in my case, I used it around the outside and also made a heart on top. My layers slithered a bit so I guessed I should have used more confectioner's sugar...too bad. It was as ugly as the ones on the internet. It's impossible to pipe coconut frosting...chunky. Oh well. It tasted good...light, fluffy, cream cheesy and chocolaty...not my favourite combination of flavours but nonetheless, good enough. Mom's cakes of long ago had apparently been more dense. I forgot that feature...hubby likes dense (no wisecracks please).

For the rest of the meal (before dessert) we had cholesterol reducing kale and cabbage salad with a poppyseed dressing. That was followed by an appetizer of baked stuffed clams, then lobster tails and a baked potato.

The Henkell Trocken was a nice sparkly addition to our meal.

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