Sunday, December 27, 2009

Baking and a German Chocolate Cake

For anyone who knows me well, I am not a baker. Up until recently, I couldn't even bake cookies very well, until my oldest sister gave me a lesson that helped immeasurably. I think it has to do with all the measurements. I'm a "little bit of this," "little bit of that" kind of girl and I like to add more than the prescribed amount of Worcestershire sauce, mustard, or wine. But in baking, your measurements must be precise or the end result is disaster!

In my youth, it was a running joke in my family about what folly I'd come up against next when baking. I know my sisters all remember the cake I made without flour, or the time I swapped salt for sugar, or the recipe that called for four eggs and I thought I could get by with one and some oil. Dozens of other examples follow, but I won't bore you with the details.

Suffice it to say, I typically don't do a lot of baking, except for the occasional brownies, rolls or biscuits. But, it's my husband's birthday tomorrow and he's turning 37. He loves German Chocolate Cake and rarely gets it. In years past, I've bought a mix and canned frosting and whipped him up a moist, but joyless cake that he's eaten but never really enjoyed. So this year, I decided that he deserved a homemade cake, frosting and all. And I gotta say, other than the fact that the cake started as three layers and ended as two, it turned out pretty well! I'm not signing up to teach a cake baking class anytime soon, but it has given me hope that my future doesn't contain only Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker cakes on my table, but a Karin Larsen original.

Probably the biggest difference I noticed when preparing the batter today versus when using a cake mix, was how fluffy and light my cake batter was, even before I whipped (hand whipped - my arm still hurts!!) three egg whites into stiff peaks and folded them into the light brown goodness waiting to be baked.

The frosting was simple but effective; its sticky, syrupy, golden tendrils grasping the coconut and pecans creating a harmonic, symbiotic marriage that clings to the cake for dear life, daring you to try to avoid making a mess out of yourself. And though a traditional German Chocolate Cake calls for you to frost in between layers and on top of the cake only, leaving the sides naked, I couldn't bring myself to do it, so you'll see my cake is bathed in the luscious gooey-ness.

My husband inspires a lot of things in me, but I must say, this one might benefit him the most! If you haven't tried baking in a while, or you have a spotty history with it, try again...what's the worst that can happen?


  1. I always tell myself, It doesn't matter what it looks like...just as long as it taste good :-) AND that my dear, looks like complete yumminess to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. By the was VERY yummy! Moist, light and delicious!

  3. Way to be Karin! Baking is our friend.

  4. Yes, sister golden hair divine.