Thursday, September 2, 2010

German Chocolate Cupcakes

Even after being married for over 18 years my husband still takes me by surprise. He's been telling me for years how much he dislikes chocolate desserts and quite frankly he never craves anything chocolate besides the very occasional Resse's Peanut Butter cup. So, imagine my confusion and surprise when I asked a couple of days ago what sweet treat I should blog about next and he answered very quickly: "German chocolate cake, I love that!" Huh,  did he just say chocolate cake? He swiftly let me know that this cake is not really a chocolate cake because of the frosting. Really, who am I to argue this logic? Since I had just made a big triple layer cake I was looking for something more portable and portion controlled (meaning something that I could easily distribute to friends and neighbors) and with that in mind, I found these cupcakes in my Martha Stewart's: Cupcakes book.

For the record, German Chocolate cake has nothing to do with Germany. It is one of my pet peeves when people assume that just because I was born and raised there I should be an expert on this cake. I'm sorry to disappoint, but I didn't even know such cake existed till a few years ago when I ate it at a party. In case you wonder how the name came about, it traces back to Bakers sweet German chocolate which was invented by Samuel German for the Bakers brand in 1852. Traditional German chocolate cake is a layered chocolate cake filled and topped with a coconut-pecan frosting.

Today's recipe is pretty close to some of the traditional ones out there, but veers slightly by using melted semi-sweet chocolate instead of the German chocolate baking bars which makes it a little less sweet. Cake flour and buttermilk ensure that the cake part of this cupcake is wonderfully moist and light. The frosting is cooked on top of the stove out of egg yolks, butter, brown sugar and condensed milk. Once the mixture is thick, it is removed from the heat and strained into a bowl where vanilla, salt, sweetened coconut, and toasted pecans finish it off. When the frosting is cooled and firmed up, you are ready to frost your cupcakes. I decided to go against Martha's instructions and only top the cupcakes with the frosting (she had you cut them apart and add filling in the middle as well). I decided to add a little classic touch by drizzling the finished dessert with a quick chocolate ganache.

How did this mini-cake measure up to the traditional? Everyone loved this portion controlled version of the original. One is plenty rich and leaves you perfectly satisfied without being overly full. My daughter, the chocoholic thought the ganache drizzle is what made this cupcake. My boys didn't talk, they just inhaled, and my husband, well, he gave me a big sticky sweet kiss right after he finished his. I take that as a compliment!


German Chocolate Cupcakes
~makes 24 cupcakes~

Ingredients:
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for tins
2 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted, plus more for tins
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
5 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
Coconut-Pecan Frosting (recipe to follow)
Chocolate Ganache, optional (recipe to follow)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush stand muffin tins with butter; dust with cake flour, tapping out excess. whisk together cake flour, baking soda, and salt.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each. Beat in chocolate until combined.

Divide batter evenly among prepared cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes Run a small offset spatula of knife around the edges to loosen; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can stored up to 3 days at room temperature in airtight containers.

To finish, spread frosting on top of each cupcake. Drizzle with ganache (if desired).


Coconut-Pecan Frosting
~makes about 4 cups~

Ingredients:
3 large egg yolks
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 package (7 ounces) sweetened flaked coconut
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

Directions:
Heat egg yolks, evaporated milk, brown sugar, and butter in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick, about 10 minutes (it should reach the consistency of sour cream). Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl.

Stir vanilla, salt, coconut, and pecans into frosting. Let cool completely, stirring occasionally, Frosting can be refrigerated up to 1 day in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature and stir with a flexible spatula until smooth.


Chocolate Ganache

3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted
3-5 tablespoons heavy cream

Stir heavy cream by the tablespoon into the melted chocolate until combined and it reaches desired "drizzle" consistency. Use immediately.

49 comments:

  1. Oooh, yum! I've got a family full of German Choc. Cake lovers - I will definitely be making these for the next family celebration. They look amazing!

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  2. Mein Mann mag diesen Kuchen auch, aber eigentlich isst er ja keine Carbs. Die Assoziation dieses Kuchens mit Germany geht mir inzwischen schon ziemlich auf den Wecker, da im deutschen Klima ja auch so viele Kokosnuesse wachsen????
    Tolle Bilder Deiner Cupcakes!

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  3. This look amazing. Beautiful job. I don't think I could resist them after I saw the topping. ;)

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  4. This makes me wish I liked chocolate cake =P
    I do love that frosting, though. Yours looks fabulous! I would use it to swirl into my brownies, just like I did with the caramel brownies I made ;)

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  5. What?! You're from Germany and not an expert on German Chocolate Cake?!! Unfollow... ;p
    Well, by the looks of things, I guess you're an expert now because these look great!

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  6. I like making cupcakes for exactly the reason you state--portion control.

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  7. I just printed the recipe and will be making these. My husband surprised me a few years ago by informing me that German chocolate cake is his favorite. It is? Why didn't I already know this? Nice though, that after all these years we can still be surprised.

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  8. Ooo love chocolate cupcakes. The topping looks divine!

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  9. You wouldn't have to force these down my throat! I have to try these, thanks for sharing!
    -Gina-

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  10. These look heavenly. You did a spectacular job with the recipe and the photos. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  11. Another delicious looking recipe! I might have to get that Martha Stewart cupcake book.

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  12. Oh these cupcakes look delicious, nice work and photos!

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  13. *Drool* Looks sooooo good!! I have the same martha stewart book! I would love a cupcake!

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  14. Oh this looks soooo yummy. I could just lick the screen.

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  15. These look incredible! I haven't had German Chocolate Cake in a long time, and now these cupcakes are making me really hungry!

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  16. Oh my ! What a recipe. I'll definitely be making these at some point. That frosting sounds awesome. I can practically taste it. Yum and thank you ! KG

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  17. I could definitely inhale one of those cupcakes- they look fabulous. LOVE German Choc. cake frosting.

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  18. Like the cake, like the frosting, like everything; yum!

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  19. that frosting looks really tasty!

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  20. What scrumptious little treats Susi! You made them look so pretty and completely irresistible!

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  21. German chocolate cake is my husband's absolute favorite cake. These cupcakes are a perfect miniature version!

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  22. Gorgeous. Actually, I kind of side with your husband. The caramelly gooieness of the frosting offsets the chocolate underneath. It's why I'll eat a Milky Way Caramel...there's caramel underneath that layer of yucko chocolate. Makes it worth it.

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  23. This is what I need to end my long and rainy day! What delectable cupcake treaures. I love german chocolate cake, and I think I would enjoy every single bite of these beauties. Thank you for sharing...

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  24. Those look fabulous, and I love the size - especially since they look so rich! I love German chocolate cake :)

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  25. These cupcakes looks utterly amazing! Great recipe! This is my first visit to your blog, and I like what I see so far! :)

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  26. These cupcakes look amazing!! And their small size makes them attractive since I can give away extras rather than gobbling them up myself!!

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  27. I don't even like cupcakes but what I would do to have one of these right now. *drools*

    Great blog!

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  28. Yeah- that's not chocolate (he he)So will you be making this regularly? Yah know you have done a perfect job here. I am so wanting one of those right now.

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  29. Great photo. german cupcake?

    take care

    Elinoar - Israel
    http://www.tapuz.co.il/forums/apps/spCount.asp?spid=3854

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  30. My father, who is 90, loves German Chocolate Cake, and his b-day is coming up. I'm going to make cupcakes for his birthday! Thanks for the recipe

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  31. This looks so delicious!! I love German Chocolate Cake! It's actually pretty popular in Western PA where my father is from - a German pocket in the US.

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  32. Wow, everything that is good in one cupcake. I can't think about a better way to make the perfect cupcake actually.

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  33. These look fantastic! German chocolate is my husband's favorite, and I'm always looking for ways to mix it up. (One year I made a glorious German chocolate skyscraper cheesecake, but for a family of three, cupcakes is probably a better idea!)

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  35. Beautiful job Susi! I love the portion control... although it doesn't always work as I just double up! Gorgeous pictures as always.

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  36. I absolutely loved this recipe! I just made it today for my father-in-law's birthday and it was a total hit! He was very pleased with the flavor, and the cake itself was very moist! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  37. These look absolutely divine! Thank you for sharing this and thanks to your hubby for requesting this!

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  38. These look delicious!!! I was just thinking this morning about making German Chocolate cupcakes. You read my mind. I'm definitely going to be making these!

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  39. Your husband sounds just like my guy. You think you know them so well and then something spills out of their mouths leaving you scratching your head wondering who the hell they are. These look so incredibly yummy! I am glad your man had no hesitations to throw this idea out to you! Kuddos to him!

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  40. Theses cupcakes look delicious! I love Martha Stewart's recipes. I will have to try this one soon.

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  41. Oh SO delicious looking and very inviting! I love the portion control of cupcakes too - you make these look WAAAY wonderful - your pictures are fabulous, and I'm sure the cupcakes are the tops too. Thanks for sharing - and congrats on making Top 9! WOW!

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  42. They look really damn tasty. Which I will definitely bake times after. This is really great cook

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    There are so many choices out there that I'm totally overwhelmed .. Any ideas? Thank you!

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    ReplyDelete

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