german chocolate cake
Posted: 10 October 2009 12:16 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hello everyone. I want to thank all who helped me with my german chocolate cake. I finished it this evening for a party on Saturday night. I made a 12” cake and it really turned out beautifully, though I don’t know how to post pictures so can’t show you. My frosting/filling came out much different from Rose’s.  I used a finely shredded unsweetened coconut, which was all I could find within 40 miles of my small town. It didn’t have much flavor, so I toasted it slightly, along w/ the pecans. I think I probably used too much of it, even though it measured the same as in the recipe. The frosting was dense and near impossible to spread, even when warmed slightly, though delicious tasting. I covered the sides in the caramel ganache that was suggested, and it also is delicious. I now have the cake in the refrigerator and am wondering how many hours it should sit at room temperature before serving. I don’t want it to be cold, but this is the first time I’ve used ganache and don’t know how it will hold up. Thanks again for all the generous help.

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Posted: 10 October 2009 11:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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You know I had the exact same problem with the filling for the German Chocolate cake.  I followed the recipe to a tee and the final result was totally different from the picture in Rose’s Heavenly Cakes.  It was way way way thicker than what the picture looked like.  It still tasted good but pretty much impossible to spread on a layer of cake.  I basically had to put it on the cake in small spoonfuls.  This is the second recipe I have tried of Rose’s that gave me results totally different from what it says in the book.  The first being the mascarpone frosting from the cake bible.  It turned into a disaster and I followed the recipe exactly.  It should not take 30 minutes for a buttercream to emulsify.  I was very disappointed with the results and and the amount of time, effort and money I spent on it.  I will never make that frosting again.  Hopefully the other recipes I try won’t give me problems.

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Posted: 10 October 2009 12:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I’m delighted to hear that your cake turned out beautifully! Good for you!!! Now we want to hear how it’s received - they’ll love it, I’m sure - and also when you can spare the time to try posting pictures, it would be great to see.

Posting pictures is much easier than it looks. Just scroll down on the post a new reply page to where you see an option for attachments. Click on the word Browse, and that will bring up a Microsoft choose file dialogue box. Use that box to find the image you want to post. Click on the name of the image, then on Open. Lo and behold, the image is selected for posting and appears in the attachment box on the forum posting page. If you happen to be on a Mac, there’s great advice in a thread called - of all things wink  - A Rye and Some Cheddar that I found by searching the forum with the words posting pictures.

But that’s for the future. Also when you get a chance, I’m curious if you measured the coconut by weight or by volume and before or after toasting. I’m really interested because I, too, would use an unsweetened dessicated shred. I have 2 1/2 kilograms of the stuff bought for a job that didn’t pan out!

Regarding the temperature concerns, Rose says elsewhere in the book that ganache can be held at room temp for up to 3 days. She only suggests refrigerating briefly after frosting to set the ganache, and then you can smooth it with a hot metal spatula all around the sides. The cake itself and the filling should be good for at least one full day at room temp. My guess is the same as yours, that the cake would best served at room temp. However, I see that Rose says this cake stays soft even when chilled. You could leave it in the fridge until a couple of hours before leaving?

Enjoy your triumph this evening! It’s well-deserved.

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Posted: 10 October 2009 11:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I just returned from the birthday party where the cake was served. It was very very well received. Everyone loved it. I found the cake itself to be just a tiny bit dry, though I baked it for the minimum time. Carolita, the coconut was the only thing I did not weigh. I don’t know why I didn’t, but I measured it out. I think the finely shredded coconut probably weighs more per cup than the sweetened flakes. However, even though it didn’t spread easily ( in fact not at all…I put it on by hand!), everyone thought it was delicious, even people who do not normally like coconut. Many compliments also on the caramel ganache. My concern for leaving the cake out was not that the ganache would spoil, but rather I wasn’t sure if the piping would stand up. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it holds form just as well as MBC, which is what I usually make. This is definitely a cake I would make again. I also can’t wait to try another cake from the book, but which one will it be???

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Posted: 11 October 2009 07:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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The fact that you didn’t weigh the coconut is probably the reason that it was too stiff. You probably ended up adding more coconut than what was needed for the recipe, especially since it was dessicated coconut. Dried coconut absorbs moisture like a sponge, so the more coconut you have the drier and stiffer the frosting is going to be.

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Posted: 11 October 2009 07:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Also, just a note for those who want to use or have to use dessicated coconut instead of traditional sweetened flaked coconut in this recipe: you will either need to soak the coconut in hot water to rehydrate it (which results in loss of flavor if you drain the water way), add extra sweetened condensed milk to the recipe if you don’t soak the coconut (probably a couple of ounces), or you could replace a bit of the sweetened condensed milk with the soaking liquid (since you basically end up with coconut milk).

Traditional sweetened flaked coconut has a certain amount of moisture to it, which is lost when coconut is dried, so you have replace the moisture lost to prevent having a filling that is too stiff.

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