Triple-layer German Chocolate Cake with a Whipped Chocolate Ganache Buttercream Roses and a Caramel Coconut topping with Melted Chocolate Ganache Lattice work
Even though we know German Chocolate Cake is not German (as reviewed in this blog post), I adored baking this for a wonderful friend as a "Welcome to Germany" gift. Of course I already knew she loved caramel and chocolate - so that was a bonus.
Another baker I follow on Instagram, @126kitchen, was visiting near Heidelberg, so we spent a wonderful afternoon together. We talked cake, design, family life, more cake, etc. It was fantastic to meet such a sweet new friend - I definitely picked up some photo styling tips from her!
My experience is...bakers seldom bake for themselves and I wanted our visit to be special. And, this is a special cake.
Before I baked my favorite chocolate cake, I prepared the coconut, toasted pecan, and caramel filling. The filling can be made a day ahead, but let it get to room temperature before using - it's much easier to work with than straight-from-the-fridge cold.
While the filling cools and before the cake, make the chocolate ganache (chocolate melted with just-before-boiling milk or heavy cream). This, too, works best at room temperature.
In review... the filling is prepared and cooled, the ganache is melted and set to room temperature and the chocolate cake rounds have been baked and completely cooled... then it's time to build the cake. I've never denied this cake has about 15 moving parts, but I did say it would be worth it!!
After the crumb coat, I popped this beauty into the cake fridge for about 20 minutes. My cake fridge is a luxury for a home baker...it's a small fridge dedicated to cake only.
I had just a wee bit of filling remaining after generously layering the coconut/caramel goodness between the chocolate sponge. Not wanting it to go to waste (or my waist), I incorporated it into a design on top of the cake with a contrasting chocolate lattice. I think it's quite lovely.
This is the world view of how I take my cake photographs. I scootch our kitchen table over to be directly in front of the window. During the Spring and Summer, I'm able to take my pictures during the long hours of daylight. By the time winter sets in, I have to plan on cake shoots before 2pm. Notice the cake fridge on the right?
Sometimes I'll try two or three (sometimes four?) different cake stands and domes. I love this Gateaux dome I found at Butlers here in town. It didn't make the final shot, but I like this look none the less.
The cake is just as moist and delicious as it appears in this photograph. I was so glad to share this with my friend. Side note...yes, I took her a cake with a slice missing. She understood completely that taking a slice pic is part of the deal.
Isn't she a doll?! I mean... aren't we amazing?!
There's no way I want to take what I have for granted. I have a loving partner and some great kids. I'm surrounded my friends new and old and they still accept me in good weather and in bad. And then there's a sober life I could not have predicted.