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German Chocolate Cake with a twist: layered cupcakes! And a swirl of thick and fudgy chocolate ganache to top them off!
For the chocolate ganache:
Prepare the chocolate ganache first, so it has time to set and thicken. Place the chocolate in a medium-sized heatproof bowl. Set aside. In a small pan over medium-high heat, bring the cream to a boil. Remove cream from heat and pour cream over the chocolate pieces. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy. Add the vanilla and stir again. Let it cool to room temperature. It will be very thick. If it is not thick and set when you’re ready to pipe it onto the cupcakes, set the bowl in the refrigerator for a bit, checking every 10 minutes or so.
For the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray three 12-count regular size cupcake tins generously with non-stick spray. Set aside.
Microwave chocolate and water in a large microwave-safe bowl for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 minute. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
Beat egg whites in a small bowl with a mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside. Reserve the yolks.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Blend in the melted chocolate and the vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating until well blended after each addition. Add egg whites and stir gently until well blended.
VERY IMPORTANT: Fill individual cupcake cavities only slightly more than half full. The batter puffs up during baking and then settles back down. If the cavities are too full, the batter leaks out over the rim of the cupcake cavity. It’s a big mess!! When all cavities are half-full with batter, rap the pan gently a few times on the counter to settle any air pockets.
Bake for about 17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. VERY IMPORTANT: Let cupcakes cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely. The cake is very tender … handle with care.
For the coconut-pecan frosting:
Beat egg yolks, evaporated milk and vanilla in a large saucepan with a wire whisk until well blended. Add sugar and butter and cook on medium heat for 12 minutes, or until thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add coconut and pecans. Mix well. Set the frosting in the refrigerator, stirring periodically. Chill until the frosting has a bit of stiffness to it before assembling the cupcakes.
To assemble the cupcakes:
With a thin serrated knife, carefully slice the cupcakes in half horizontally. Spoon a bit of frosting onto the bottom layer and spread it out to the edge of the cake. Place its top on and then spread more frosting onto the top.
Place the chocolate ganache in a piping bag fit with a medium star tip and swirl a bit onto the top of the frosting. Finish by pressing a whole pecan into the ganache.
The cake itself is rather delicate, and the coconut-pecan frosting rather gooey. I found it best to refrigerate the cupcakes once assembled, to help stabilize them. Then take them out of the refrigerator 20 minutes prior to serving.
Source: Cake and coconut-pecan frosting adapted slightly from the recipe on the Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate wrapping. And this is the only German Chocolate Cake recipe my mom has ever made!
To me, nothing beats an old-fashioned red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting. Well, unless it’s a slice of cake of the same! Moist, deep in flavors, slightly sweet and topped with an incredible frosting!
For those dark chocolate lovers out there, this is definitely a dessert that you need to try. I’ve never tasted anything like this cake recipe; it’s like biting into a soft chocolate bar. It is rich and full of dark chocolate flavor. Makes about 18 cupcakes.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!