Thursday, July 24, 2014

Smore Cake

Ahhhh summer.  Warm summer nights, campfires, smores, friends, lightening bugs ... what's not to like?

I'm not a huge fan of smores but I think it's more because of the stickiness factor and not necessarily because of the flavor.  It's no secret that I love chocolate and I love marshmallows and graham crackers too so there's really no reason for me NOT to love smores.  The truth is that I'd much rather have a smore cupcake or cake than an actual smore and I can't really explain why.   

I've been making smore cupcakes and cake for quite a few years and they are always a big hit.  My very first attempt at a smore cake was for Ryan's 15th birthday.  (That was a tiny little cake!)

Since then, I've perfected my smore cake baking skills so here goes..

All the delicious flavors of a smore without the sticky fingers.  win-win

Photo: Let the fun begin!

Smore Cake
3 cups sugar                                           3 eggs       
2 1/2 cups flour                                      1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/4 cup cocoa                                      3/4 cup oil
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder             3 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda                  1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt                                2 packages graham crackers
1/2 cup melted butter

Crush graham crackers and add melted butter.

Press into the bottom of 3 nine inch cake pans.

Bake 10 minutes at 350.

Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla.

Beat on medium speed 2 minutes.  

Stir in boiling water. 

Pour over graham cracker crust in cake pans.

Bake 30 minutes. 

Cool cakes on wire racks.

Place one cake layer on a plate. 

Top with a layer of marshmallow meringue.

Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.


Repeat layers.

Top with final cake layer.

Continue to frost top and sides with remaining meringue. Toast lightly with a butane torch.

Sprinkle some graham cracker crumbs over the top and decorate with hersheys chocolate.

A smore you can eat with a fork - yum.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

German Chocolate Cake

Ben walked through the kitchen while I was finishing up this fantastic looking cake and he asked what I was making.  When I told him that it was a German Chocolate cake, he asked why it was "naked."  I tried to explain that a traditional German chocolate cake did not have a frosting on the sides of the cake but rather an exposed coconut pecan filling oozing out between layers of rich chocolate cake.  Not sure he appreciated the concept of leaving the sides of the cake unfrosted to expose all of the layers because he started to call it the "naked German."  (Pretty sure that isn't politically correct.)  From that point on, this cake was (and will forever be) referred to as the Naked German Cake in this house.

This recipe came from Cooks Illustrated.

German Chocolate Cake
Cake                                                    Filling
4 ounces chocolate                              4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cocoa                                      12 ounces evaporated milk
1/2 cup boiling water                          1 cup sugar
2 cups flour                                         1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda                    6 Tablespoons butter
12 Tablespoons butter                         1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar                                          2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup brown sugar                            2 1/3 cups shredded coconut
3/4 teaspoon salt                                  1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sour cream

Toast pecans on baking sheet for 8 minutes at 350.

Whisk yolks in saucepan and gradually add in evaporated milk.  Add sugars, butter and salt.  Cook 6 minutes until slightly thickened and boiling.

Transfer to a bowl.  Whisk in vanilla and coconut.  Cool.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.  (up to 3 days)

Stir in pecans just before assembling the cake.

Combine chocolate and cocoa.  Pour boiling water over mixture and let stand 5 minutes to melt.  Whisk until smooth.

Beat butter, sugar and salt in mixer about 4 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time.  Beat in vanilla and beat 45 seconds.

Add chocolate and beat 30 more seconds.

Combine dry ingredients and add to batter alternating with sour cream.

Divide batter between 2 9” round pans.  (use parchment paper and pam)

Bake 30 minutes at 350.

Start by placing one cake layer on a cake circle and topping with a spoonful of filling.

Repeat with remaining layers.

Naked German Cake - A chocolate cake oozing with coconut pecan gooey goodness - what more can I say?