Wednesday August 19, 2009
german chocolate mini cakes
German Chocolate Mini Cakes
Recipe and photograph courtesy of King Arthur Flour
Yields 12 servings
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks, 6 ounces) unsalted butter*
- 1 3/4 cups (12 1/4 ounces) Baker's Special sugar or granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 3/4 cup (2 1/4 ounces) Dutch-process cocoa
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) cool water
- 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) half and half or milk
- 1 cup (7 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon pecan flavor or pralines & cream flavor, optional
- 1 cup (2 1/2 ounces) shredded or flaked coconut, sweetened or unsweetened, toasted*
- 1 cup (3 3/4 ounces) chopped pecans, toasted*
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter,
sugar, salt, espresso powder, baking powder, and vanilla till very
smooth and creamy, beating for 5 minutes.
- Add the eggs to the butter
mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping to
scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl after you've added the first 2
- Stir in the cocoa.
- Add one-third of the flour to the creamed
mixture, then add half the water, another third of the flour, the
remaining water, and the remaining flour.
- Scrape the sides and bottom
of the bowl occasionally throughout this process.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake the cake in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until a
cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, and the cake
begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
- Remove the cake from the
oven. Cool the cake for 10 minutes, then run a table knife all around
the sides of the pan to loosen the edges.
- Use a spatula to gently lift
the cake free of the pan all around the edges; you're going to turn it
out of the pan, hopefully without sticking.
- Place a piece of parchment
or waxed paper on a cookie sheet, put the sheet, parchment-side down,
atop the cake pan, pick up the cake pan/cookie sheet, and turn the
whole thing over. The cake should settle down atop the cookie sheet.
- Lift off the pan, and allow the cake to cool for 5 minutes.
- Use a 2 ¾"
to 3" round biscuit or cookie cutter to cut 12 circles out of the cake.
Or use whatever shape cutter you want: hearts or scalloped flower
shapes are nice, too. Whatever you use, it should be around 3" in
- Carefully transfer the cakes to a cooling rack, right side
up, and allow them to cool.
- As for the leftover scraps, snack on them
(baker's privilege!), or stir into instant pudding for an easy dessert.
- You'll have about 4 to 5 cups of coarse cake chunks, just in case you
have a recipe calling for that amount.
- Heat the chocolate chips and cream till the cream is very hot; this is easily done in the microwave.
- Remove from the heat, and stir till the chocolate melts and the mixture becomes smooth. Don't panic; it'll look very sloppy at first, but keep stirring and it'll become a smooth, rich glaze.
- Working with one cake at a time, grasp it in the center with thumb and
forefinger, and roll it through the chocolate like a wheel, to coat the
- Place the coated cake onto a piece of parchment paper, to catch
- Repeat with the remaining cakes.
- Combine the butter, salt, half and half, and sugar
in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a simmer, and cook gently,
stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, and stir in
the flavors, coconut, and pecans.
- Spoon the topping evenly atop the cakes; you'll use about 2 1/2 tablespoons for each. A tablespoon cookie scoop is perfect for this task.