Saturday, April 1, 2017

Anna Sultana’s German Chocolate Cake and April’s Full Pink Moon

It’s been a while since I posted a chocolate cake recipe.
I think the last one was about a year ago... 
the recipe for Ma’s Mocha Cake.
The most popular chocolate cake recipe I've ever posted - it’s received over 2,000 visits - was Carmela Soprano’s Baci Cake.
Baci Cake does take quite a bit of work...
but then, don’t most delicious recipes?


Well, it’s definitely time for me to post another chocolate cake recipe. 
And with Easter coming, why not go for a special one.
German Chocolate Cake is like Baci Cake in that it takes a bit of work, and is delicious.

Mrs. Kekelia had given me a slice when I was four years old.
Well, I told Ma about it, Ma asked Mrs. Kekelia for the recipe, Mrs. Kekelia kindly gave her a recipe, and Ma made her usual tweaks.
Don’t ask me which version I found most delicious.

I don’t have Mrs. Kekelia’s recipe, but luckily I have Ma’s recipe.
And now, so do you.

Hints:

To make soured milk place 2 teaspoons vinegar in a measuring cup and add enough milk to make 3/4 Cup soured milk.


                        German Chocolate Cake

For the Cake:

grease and flour 2 8x2 inch round pans
tap out excess flour   
Line bottom of pans with waxed paper.      

Sift together
1 3/4 Cups cake and pastry flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt 

Put in a heatproof bowl
4 ounces sweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 Cup water 
Microwave until chocolate is almost melted (about a minute).
Stir until chocolate is completely melted. 
Remove from heat and let cool.

In a mixer bowl, beat at medium speed until foamy
3 large egg whites
Increase the speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form when the beaters are lifted.


Place in a large mixer bowl
3/4 Cup butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 Cups sugar
Cream until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Add, one at a time
3 large egg yolks
Beating after each addition.
Blend in 
3/4 teaspoon vanilla 
the melted chocolate

Preheat oven to 350º           

Making 3 dry and two liquid additions, alternately add 
the flour mixture 
3/4 Cup soured milk
Blending at low speed.
Blend at medium speed for 1 minute.

With a spatula gently fold about a quarter of the egg whites into the mixture.
Repeat 3 times.
Spread batter in prepared pans.
Bake 40 - 50 minutes, until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean.
Remove from oven. Immediately run small spatula around the cakes. 
Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
Remove the cakes from the pans and let them cool completely.


For the Frosting:

Chop
pecans to make 2/3 Cup

In a saucepan combine 
2/3 Cup sugar
2/3 Cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup butter
2 large egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon vanilla 
Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes, stirring, until mixture comes to a full boil.
Stirring constantly, cook about 2 more minutes, until mixture is a caramel colour.
Stir in 
1 Cup flaked coconut
2/3 Cup chopped pecans 
Cool.

Place an upside down layer on a serving platter.
spread half of frosting over the layer.
Top with second layer and cover with the remaining frosting.


Would you like recipes for German bread, cookies or kuchen?
Here are a few of my old favourites, compliments of Mrs. Kekelia:


Mrs. Kekelia's Stollen, German Christmas Bread

Mrs. Kekelia's Zimtsterne, German Christmas Cookie

Mrs. Kekelia's Pfeffernuesse, German Christmas Cookie

Mrs. Kekelia's Anise Springerle, German Christmas Cookie

Apple Kuchen


About the sky this week and next, thanks to the folks at The Farmers' Almanac…

April 2 - Look toward the west after nightfall to see the waxing crescent Moon (40% illuminated) inside the Winter Circle asterism. This formation of stars looks more like a hexagon than a circle, and is made up of seven colorful stars:  Sirius (white), Rigel (blue), Aldebaran (orange), Capella (yellow), Castor (white) & Pollux (orange), and Procyon (yellowish-white).

April 6 - Look to the southeast and dusk to see the Moon less than 2 degrees from the star Regulus. Regulus is the brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion.

April 7 - Jupiter is at opposition, meaning opposite the Sun. It will rise in the east near sunset and will remain in the sky all night long. Around this time it is closest to Earth for the year.

April 11 - April’s Full Pink Moon will be astronomically full at 2:08 a.m. This is the first full Moon of the spring season.   

               A full Moon in April brings frost. If the full Moon rises pale, expect rain.

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