German Chocolate Cake

IMG_5726I’ve read enough blogs while digging through Pinterest recipes to know that I like the stories, and I like the recipes. But sometimes I don’t feel like reading about a writer’s latest obsession or purchase. Sometimes I just need to make dinner! I’m gonna take a different route and try (Try being the operative here) to keep stories and food adventures in separate posts.

If you saw my last post, you’ll know that I’m embarking on my first ever ‘fitness challenge’ or whatever you want to call it. So this is my last hurrah before I give up sugar for 6 weeks (eep): German Chocolate Cake.

IMG_5535First, I already had almost every ingredient, and that never happens.

I even had buttermilk and cream to use. And a friend wanted me to bake, and this is where we landed.

With my broken-in copy of The New Best Recipe, and my trusty assistant (the Little, home from pre-k), we set out to make some cake!

First hurdle is the chocolateIMG_5580. Instant espresso?? I see so many recipes call for it, but I’ve never seen it! Have you? Usually I skip it, but this time I had a couple packets of Starbucks Via. And how will it taste? I love coffee but I don’t know that I want it in my kids’ cake!

Introducing the Little. IMG_5605She loves having the super important job of holding the ‘handle’ of the mixer. She takes her work very seriously and I know she’s not in the way, holding the thingy where you add on those attachments – everyone’s happy!

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Can anyone tell me why my chocolate batter always comes out looking curdled and gross? I’ve made a handful now, and every time. Every SINGLE time! Blech. Luckily it does look better after the oven.

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 I learned from a friend to add a bit of cocoa when greasing the cake pans. No chalky looking cake – especially since this one doesn’t have frosting on the sides – eek. Check it out!

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Now we’ve got the cakes in the oven and I have quite a mess to clean up. In the meantime, the Little keeps an eye on the cake. Usually she’ll stick a step stool or one of her chairs, but not this time. This time she chose a more casual stance. I mean, I can’t think of a better way to pass 23-25 minutes. Can you?

 

 

OnIMG_5692 to the frosting while the cake cools. Pecans, coconut, eggs, butter and sugar. If you ever make one of these ‘cooked’ frostings, IMG_5704 pay attention to consistency,  not time. I got the temperature and the time right. But it was supposed to get puffy, and I got sick of the constant stirring. Rookie mistake – I didn’t even know how badly I’d messed up till it was too late!

IMG_5712Here it doesn’t look too bad. The recipe basically wanted me to pile it on thick and only on the tops of the layers. Then again, it wanted me to cut the two rounds in half and make a FOUR layer cake!! No way, no how. If I wanted to do that, I’d go buy two more cake pans. So the frosting applied easily enough.

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See all that drippy frosting? Not supposed to do that! My friends are darlings and said they thought it looked more bakery level that way, and we all agreed it tasted divine. But next time, if ever, I will have to carve out at least another oh, 10-70 minutes to ‘stir constantly’ until I get puffy frosting. I guess I won’t need an arm workout that day? Happy eating!

Sugar Hiatus

It’s all my husband’s fault, really. As a result, I’m making a German Chocolate Cake to say goodbye in style.

He just joined a CrossFit box (insert an absurd number of inappropriate jokes here).  Apparently they do various challenges to keep folks motivated. Or punished, depending on how you look at it. Husband tells me about the upcoming challenge – no sugar and no booze? For 30 days??? Well, there’s other stuff like get more sleep, work out a lot, blah blah. And technically you earn a point for which pieces of the challenge you complete each day, most points gets free membership. Whatever. But give up baking and bourbon when I just started a blog… about baking and bourbon??? Really?

What’s more, I must’ve been possessed because my response was, “this is only going to work if I do the challenge with you.” No, this can’t be right. I voluntarily offered to do this just to make it easier for him? I’m not the nutter who joined a CrossFit!!

Over the last few days, I’ve been pulling odds and ends that will be off limits. We don’t eat a ton of prepared foods, so I figure, it’ll just be a break for my baking shelf. And yeah, I knew obvious culprits like most bread, peanut butter. But then I remembered the number of recipes that call for honey or brown sugar! There goes satay, my perfect 30 minute teriyaki marinade, and handful of other go-to dishes. But whoa, hold the phone. Crackers? Bacon? CHEERIOS??

It starts tomorrow. The husband thinks we ought to binge for the weekend and then we won’t want any of it for a while. I, on the other hand, say we cut things bit by bit, lest he should be at the receiving end of my sugar withdrawals. What do you think?

Oh yeah, today he drops another bomb – it’s not 30 days, it’s 6 WEEKS!! During which will be a trip home, a bridal shower and our eldest’s bubble themed birthday party. Wish me luck!

Welcome to my new blog!

Crap, I can’t believe I’m doing this. Can’t believe I’ve committed time and money to something I don’t even know if I like, or if I’m going to enjoy, or if I’m any good at. Ugh, I ended on a proposition. If you gain nothing else from this post, you’ll know I had good English teachers since I remember that little gem. Is that even the rule anymore? There are so many rules changing. It’s not English now, it’s Language Arts?? Don’t get me started on the fact that pipe cleaners are now called chenille stems. What?!

Anyway, now you see how my mind operates – in weaving, random non-linear ways. Hope you feel like keeping up with me! My husband said just last week he’s learned that for every conversation we’re currently having, there are at least 3-6 other topics for which he should be ready to switch to at any given time, and of course without warning. I blame genetics for this fabulous quality.

Here’s one thing I can promise – there will be absolutely no rhyme or reason to what I post or when. It could be that I’m currently planning in my head 2 birthday parties, or the family trip we’re taking at year-end. Or it might be my girls’ obsession with cooking shows. They’re all called “the baking show” by the little – for example, today she asked, “can we watch the baking show with Chris?” By this she meant America’s Test Kitchen. Yep, she knows the names of chefs, hosts, etc. Not gonna lie, I kind of love it. Is she blatantly asking for TV time? Hell yes. But I’ll take the chocolate caramel cake episode (her fave episode) over just about any kid show! Speaking of which, I’m about to try making my first ever German Chocolate Cake – stay tuned!