Wednesday, December 17, 2008

German Chocolate Spice Cake

cake slice with cake on platter in background

[recipe here]

When one of my best friends from college told me that her mother had written a novel, I immediately clicked over to Amazon to order it. Her novel, A Merger of Equals, is an entertaining and insightful book about a woman finding her place and becoming a leader in the corporate world, all the time trying to keep a balance with her personal life. The author is Debra Snider, a former executive who now spends her time writing, public speaking and running her blog and website.

cake slice closeup on plate

Being a young woman in a field that is still male-dominated (computer programming), I could definitely relate to Jane, the main character in the novel. After devouring the book, I visited Debra's website and was really astounded by all of the helpful information there, especially her Suit Yourself essays. They are not just about the corporate world, but about knowing yourself and what will make you happy and satisfied in life. I would recommend them to anyone!

Debra and I have become online pals, and since she knows about my blog and baking obsession, she sent me a few of her favorite recipes to try. (She also has a page on her website with some recipes.) They all sound delicious, and I'm looking forward to trying them all out, but this German Chocolate Spice Cake sounded like the perfect one to try for the winter season.

German's chocolate package

German Chocolate Cake is not actually from Germany, but instead gets its name from Samuel German, the inventor of the type of chocolate used in the cake. It's a sweet chocolate intended for baking.

chocolate bar

I'd never seen a recipe that called for grated chocolate, so I was intrigued to see how it would affect the cake. OK, I could have used the food processor to grate this, as Debra suggested. I probably should have. My aversion to washing it was just too strong, so I ended up with fairly messy and chocolatey hands after the grating was finished.

grated chocolate with grater

The initial batter after adding the dry ingredients:

batter before chocolate

After mixing in the grated chocolate, it reminded me a bit of stracciatella gelato:

batter with chocolate added

Egg whites, beaten to "stiff, but not dry, peaks":

egg whites stiff but not wet

And the final batter, after folding in the whites. Debra uses her hands to fold, but I used my spatula ;)

final batter

I was excited to finally use the big bundt pan I got for my bridal shower... in May. I really wish I had more time for baking!

batter in bundt pan

Well, of course I forgot to lower the temperature in the oven to compensate for my dark pan. I think that's why I got a giant puffed ring in the middle of the cake, because the sides cooked too quickly. If anyone has any other ideas, let me know!

cake just out of the oven

Despite it not being flush on the bottom, it was still a beautiful cake! I think it kinda looks like the mushrooms from Super Mario Bros. ;)

cake flipped out of pan

I used mostly turbinado sugar, because I actually ran out of regular sugar. I love the way you can see the sugar crystals in this shot.

cake closeup of outside

German Chocolate Spice Cake
courtesy of Debra Snider

From Debra: This pound cake is great under any circumstances, but like all pound cakes, it’s at its very best after 8 hours or more. I usually make it the day before, or very early the morning of, the day I’m going to serve it.

2-1/2 cups flour (325 g)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp ground cloves
1 cup butter (225 g)
2 cups granulated sugar (400 g)
5 eggs
1 bar Baker’s German chocolate (4 oz, 115 g)
½ cup milk

Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit.

Combine dry ingredients and set aside.

Separate eggs and set aside.

Grate chocolate bar (do this with the grating blade in the food processor or a box grater) and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar, then add egg yolks and mix well. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk (dry, milk, dry, milk, dry) and mix to incorporate. Stir in grated chocolate.

Beat egg whites separately until stiff, but not dry, peaks form. Fold them into the batter. (Use your hands or a spatula to do the folding.)

Turn into greased bundt or other tube pan and bake for 60 minutes, until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Let cool in pan for 20 minutes, then turn onto wire rack and cool completely.

The finished cake is really delicious! I love the way the spices and the chocolate come together and give the cake a nice and rich flavor. The texture is moist with a tight crumb. I'm not ashamed to admit that I had a big slice for breakfast several days running ;)

Thanks again to Debra for the recipe!

cake slice on plate with bite taken out


Katrina said...

Intriguing! Love the idea of grated chocolate. Never have seen that in a cake, but have seen it and tried it in cookies and it's good. Great info with the post, too. Will have to check out your friend's website.

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Every photo is so pretty! The spice cake sounds delicious.

Satria Sudeki said...

It is happy to see your posting. Yes really informative article. I will tell this information again to my friend, oh yes I suggest you to check my blog on Chocolate Fountain , I hope the article on my blog will be usefull for you… and we can share each other. thank you… ;-)

Anonymous said...

If there's anyone that knows how to do a great Christmas cake, it's the Germans.

Go them!

The Food Librarian said...

How beautiful! I love the step by step photos too. I just want to leap into the screen though and grab a piece!

VeggieGirl said...


kim said...

Thanks everyone! The cake is really delicious, I hope you all try it out:)

Anonymous said...

Omgomgomg, I found it I found it! I made your cake last year for my hubby's birthday and licketysplit it was gone. He loved it! And so did the kidlets. I had bookmarked your blog on my laptop, but it's resting comfortably and will never be reanimated. I am thrilled to make this cake again for his 11/11 birthday. Thank you.

kimberly salem said...

@anon, so glad you like the cake and happy bday to your hubby! Never say never, but I've been too busy with my wedding photography business and starting a family. I'd love to start up again one day :)

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