We were out of town for my husbands birthday this year, and although we had an absolutely wonderful celebration with dear friends, I wasn’t able to bake him a cake. Once home, however, we had a special dinner and homemade dessert. I found this fun variation on the German Chocolate Cake he had requested, and also baked a simple Chocolate Cake, which we impaled with candles and presented to the tune of Happy Birthday.
GERMAN CHOCOLATE MACAROONS
1 bag (7 ounces) coconut flakes
2/3 cup condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
pinch of salt
Heat oven to 325F. In a large bowl, gently mix all ingredients until blended. Drop tablespoons onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
3/4 cup cake flour
7 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 eggs, separated
Butter and flour a 9 inch round cake pan. Heat oven to 375F.
Whisk together the flour and a generous pinch of salt.
Melt the chocolate, remove from heat and whisk in the butter, until the mixture is smooth. Vigorously whisk in all but 1 tablespoon of the sugar, then add the egg yolks and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture 1 tablespoon at a time until combined.
In a large bowl whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they are foamy and begin to thicken. Add the remaining tablespoon of sugar and continue whisking until they form soft peaks. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then turn it into the prepared baking pan and bake in the center of the oven until the cake springs back, 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool to lukewarm in the pan, then turn it out onto a rack to cool thoroughly. To serve, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.
Recipe adapted from On Rue Tatin, Susan Herrmann Loomis, 2001