2/9/11

German Chocolate Cupcakes

German Chocolate Cupcake

I had never had German Chocolate Cake before today.  It's never been a dessert that seemed particularly appealing to me.  I've only recently started to try things with coconut.  But a dear friend made a special request, so the search for the perfect recipe ensued.  

I feel very strongly about searching for the right recipe for each dessert I make.  For instance, I think there are sure sources for a good quality dessert recipe.  I wouldn't typically look through a Rachel Ray cookbook for a dessert recipe; I would consult Martha Stewart or Dorie Greenspan.  I also wouldn't look for a marinade in my Paula Deen book; I would look to Bobby Flay.  Besides, comparing recipes, their ingredients, the methods, and their reviews is all part of the fun of baking.  

I received The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook for Christmas.  It is a wonderful cookbook for beginners or veterans.  Their recipes are easy to follow with great illustrations, and so far, they have all turned out beautifully.  This is where I found the perfect recipe for my German Chocolate Cupcakes.  

Devil's Food Cake
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup boiling water
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup cocoa powder
10 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper liners (or grease and flour bottom and sides of 3 8-inch round pans).

Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk boiling water, chocolate, and cocoa until smooth.  Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, 3-6 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, scraping the bowl and beaters as needed. Beat in sour cream and vanilla.  On low, beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture. Beat in half of the chocolate mixture. Repeat wth half of the remaining flour mixture, then the remaining chocolate mixture, and finally the remaining flour mixture.  Give the batter one final stir using a rubber spatula.

Divide batter evenly among the prepared pans and smooht the tops. Bake 15-20 minutes.
Let cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove onto wire rack, and let cool completely before frosting, 1-2 hours.

German Chocolate Frosting
Ingredients:
4 large egg yolks
12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans, toasted

Directions:
Whisk the yolks in a medium saucepan; gradually whisk in the evaporated milk. Add the sugars, butter, and salt and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture is boiling, frothy, and slightly thickened, about 6 minutes.  (*Make sure to cook the caramel until it is boiling, frothy, and thick.  I didn't cook mine long enough, and it turned out too thin (pictured above).  It still tasted great, though!*)

Transfer the mixture to a bowl, whisk in the vanilla, then stir in the coconut. Cool until just warm, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cool or cold, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days. (The pecans are stirred in just before cake assembly.)

Source:  America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook 

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