This cake was on the cover of Gourmet/March 2000 and i fell in love with it on first sight. I had to attempt to make it. The first time i followed the recipe to the 'tee' and had difficulty spreading the filling as the method of using the oven suggested by recipe made the dulce de leche too dry.
I had a request for a german chocolate cake from my sil for his boss's birthday and i remembered that i have made a german chocolate cake before but to look for the magazine was a chore as there are so many. Decided to get one from the net, found some very interesting ones but bingo i found the one i needed and the reviews that came with this recipe was so helpful. I have altered the cake recipe to 1 1/2 times as the layers were too thin and i used the method of boiling the unopened can of condensed milk in water.
The cake took its name from an American with the last name of "German." In 1852, Sam German created the mild dark baking chocolate bar for Baker's Chocolate Co. The product was named in his honor - "Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate." Most recipes use this signature chocolate but this Gourmet recipe does not and the chef used Valrhona cocoa powder and i used Nestle.
Pay attention to the assembling of the cake or else my experience of having not enough of glaze will be repeated and the decoration became a fudge.
For cake layers:
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/8 cup whole milk
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/8 cup boiling-hot water
7 oz sweetened flaked coconut
4 oz coarsely chopped pecans (1 cup)
14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
10 oz fine-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 (9-inch) round cake pans
Make cake layers:
Turn oven to 350°F and bake pecans in upper third of oven and coconut in lower third, stirring occasionally until golden, by then oven should be preheated.
Oil cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with rounds of parchment or wax paper.
Sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl.
Whisk together whole milk, butter, whole egg, yolk, vanilla, and almond extract in another large bowl until just combined.
Beat egg mixture into flour mixture with an electric mixer on low speed, then beat on high speed 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and beat in water until just combined (batter will be thin).
Divide batter among cake pans. knock pans to remove some air bubbles and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of pans and rotating them 180 degrees halfway through baking, until a tester comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes total.
Cool layers in pans on racks 15 minutes. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove parchment or wax paper and cool layers completely.
Heat a tall pot of water, enough to cover the can of unopened condensed milk and let it cook for 1 1/2 hours on low heat. When done, remove from water and allow to cool before opening. Open can and pour into a bowl, stir in coconut, pecans, and vanilla , covered with foil.
Make glaze while milk is baking:
Melt butter in a 3-quart saucepan. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate and corn syrup, whisking until chocolate is melted. Transfer 1 cup glaze to a bowl, reserving remaining glaze at room temperature in pan. Chill glaze in bowl, stirring occasionally, until thickened and spreadable, about 1 hour.
Before assembling, trim and level cakes. Put 1 cake layer on a cardboard base and then on a rack set over a baking pan (to catch excess glaze).
Use your fingers to drop half of coconut filling evenly over layer and make sure that it is spread right to the edge of cake. Top with another cake layer and spread with remaining filling in same manner. Top with remaining cake layer.
Spread chilled glaze evenly over top and side of cake.
Heat reserved glaze in pan over low heat, stirring, until glossy and pourable, about 1 minute. Pour glaze evenly over top of cake, making sure it coats sides. Shake rack gently to smooth glaze. Chill cake until firm, about 1 hour.
Transfer cake to a plate.
Cake keeps, covered and chilled, 3 days.
Bring to room temperature before serving.