The Best Darn German Chocolate Cake

Although I am German, I have never really enjoyed German Chocolate cake.

Something about the texture of coconut shavings lumped into the frosting has always turned my taste buds away. I really am not too crazy about coconut and I generally like vanilla over chocolate.

HOWEVER- all of that has changed. AMEN.

When I hosted book club, I wanted to make a German Chocolate cake and my fellow book nerd (and the best baker friend a girl could have), pointed me to this recipe. She swore that is was the best and I am pretty sure it is. The recipe is from the famous NY Mangolia Bakery and Carrie Bradshaw would have swooned over it. If you were to bake this and give a piece to Mr. Big, he would have probably dumped Carrie and fled to you.

Whatever was leftover the next day, I took to my parents for dinner and I am suprpised my brother did not lick the platter clean.

Does that not look divine? Ist sew tasteeeey.

Does that not look divine? Ist sew tasteeeey.

Magnolia Bakery’s German Chocolate Cake

  • For the cake:
    4 oz. Baker’s German Sweet Chocolate, broken into squares
    1/2 cup of water
    2 cups all purpose flour
    1 1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/4 tsp salt
    4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
    1 cup butter, softened (two sticks)
    2 cups sugar
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 cup buttermilk
  • For the frosting:
    1 1/2 cans evaporated milk
    6 egg yolks
    2 cups sugar
    1 cup butter, cut into small pieces
    2 tsps vanilla extract
    4 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
    2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease 3 (I ONLY USED TWO) 9 x 2 round cake pans, then line bottoms with wax paper (I DID NOT DO THIS)

3. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the chocolate with water, stirring to melt the chocolate and blend well. Set aside and let it cool.

This is the chocolate to use people. Do not eat it, you will be tempted to eat it.

This is the chocolate to use people. Do not eat it, you will be tempted to eat it.

4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

5. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks together.

6. In a large bowl, on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

7. Add the egg yolks, beating until well combined.

Whip it up real good.

Whip it up real good.

8. Add the chocolate mixutre and vanilla extract.

9. Add the dry ingredients in, alternating with the buttermilk, beating after each addition, until smooth.

10. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed of an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Fold it into the batter.

11. Pour equally into cake pans and bake 25-30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. DO NOT OVER BAKE- it is very light and fluffy.

Directions for the frosting:

1. In a large saucepan, beat together evaporated milk and egg yolks.

2. Stir in sugr, butter, vanilla extract.

3. Stir over medium heat about 15-18 minutes or until thickened and bubbly and golden in color. Remove from eat.

4. Stir in coconut and pecans.

5. Transfare to a large bowl and cool until room temperature and of good spreading consistency (about 2 hours).

6. When cake is cooled, spread frosting between layers and over top. DONE AND EAT!

German Chocolate Cake!

German Chocolate Cake!

Baking this cake also gave me a perfect reason to use my pretty cake display stand that I got from my baker-book-friend from the shower. It pretty much was begging to be used ever since I unpacked it:

So pretty!

So pretty!

The spread from book club!

The spread from book club!

So….. how many people are fans of this type of cake? What is your favorite cake?

Mine is lemon! I love anything lemon-flavored.

Sincerely,

Lily

The Only Way to Make Cornbread

When I was in college and indulging in cafeteria food to sustain me throughout my academic career I made two grand discoveries.

One – that I loved humus and it could be pretty much added to anything and taste good.

Two – that cornbread with little bits of corn in it was HEAVEN SENT. I vowed never to eat plain cornbread again. Whenever cornbread was served, I acutally would sacrifice all other food and pile my plate high of the corny cornbread and just eat that for dinner. I am not sure if that is deemed disgusting but it was MY FAVORITE MEAL to eat there.

I am not sure if that is sad or admitting that my tastebuds are lame, but whatever. It seriously is the best.

Cornbread.

I used a flat cake pan to bake it and it came out sad looking. So I spiced it up a little with a menu topper. And love.

Does anyone else make their cornbread this way? IT IS THE BEST. And so easy!

1. Grab your cornbread – whatever kind, or maybe you are super cook and make it from scratch:

This is like only 60 cents.

This is like only 60 cents.

2. Mix in corn (anywhere from 1/2 – 1 c. depending how much corn you like).

Corrrrrn!

Corrrrrn!

3. Pour it into the pan and bake! (Isn’t this spatula THE CUTEST THING ??)

Yum. I love it.

Yum. I love it.

By adding corn, it completely changes the texture and the dullness of just a block of bread. It adds a little burst of extra corn flavor, a nice surprise. It makes you feel like you are eating more veggies and a healthier bread, which is always a plus.

I would show you a picture of the finished product, but alas, Mr. Speedy has an undeniable love for cornbread and ate the entire loaf in one sitting. I had some too, but he has most of it.

We love corny things. (That was corny).

Sincerely,

Lily

My First Casserole: Spanish Chicken & Rice & Mystery Sauce

This week, I got out my domesticated side out from underneath my cereal-consuming side and braved a new dish:

I present to you- zee casserole:

Mhmmmm

Mhmmmm

Mr. Speedy is a subscriber to the magazine, Cooking Light, and this month’s cover caught my eye with the casserole recipes.

It really is quite a good magazine if you are looking for meals that don’t require using 56 lbs. of butter and lard and don’t want your waistline to suffer.

I am immature. Sorry.

I am immature. Sorry.

Party pooper…. hehe.

Okay, I choose this mexican chicken rice recipe because a)I had a lot of the ingredients and b)it did not look too hard. I will warn you that I did not have any saffron, so my recipe is slightly different (and it has a mystery sauce)…. and I didn’t include olives because they make my soul die a little and tongue shrivel up like a raisin.

This recipe requires a lot of chopping which is DANGEROUS for me. Creating this was taking a risk, like trying to ride a horse bareback, while tweezing your eyebrows, and eating a cupcake. Quite risky business. I have cut my fingers multiple times while chopping things. I don’t know if it is my inability to aim or my directionally-challenged brain or what…. but it is a hassle when you are trying to be the next Julie Child for your man.

Mr. Speedy actually does not like it when I chop things and usually stands near-by, waiting for me to scream or for a finger to fly off in his direction. It is kind of romantic but kind of pathetic, on my part. He always says to me, “Be careful.. I don’t want to lose you because you bleed out while attempting to slice a cucumber. And don’t ever chop when home alone.”

You know how you aren’t suppose to swim alone? Or walk alone in the dark? I can’t use the kitchen knife when home alone.

ANYWAYS, I DIDN’T LOSE ANY FINGERS ON THIS ONE, KIDS. But, I did cut my finger later that evening while making my salad for work the next day.

HERE IS THE CASSEROLE- ENJOY!!!

Saffron cream? I did not do that just to warn you.

Saffron cream? I did not do that just to warn you.

  • 1 Tbl. olive oil, divided (divided? I just used like 2 Tbl. and did not divide b/c that sounds complicated)
  • 1 1/2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces (trim that fat off people!)
  • 1 c. chopped white onion
  • 2 ounces cured Spanish chorizo sausage, diced (I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THIS IS. I USED 3 TURKEY SAUSAGE LINKS.)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (I MINCED LIKE, 7 CLOVES BECAUSE IT TASTE GOOD AND VAMPIRES WILL STAY AWAY)
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 c. hot cooked long-grain rice (Uncle Ben’s long grain rice, 1 package, works wonderfully)
  • 1 c. frozen green peas, thawed
  • 16 pimiento-stuffed green olives, chopped (EWWWW NOOOO.)
  • 1 1/2 c. fat free milk
  • 1/4 c. tomato paste (I DON’T KNOW WHAT PASTE IS… SO I USED TOMATO SAUCE. PERFECTO.)
  • 2 Tbl. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. saffron threads, lightly crushed (I am lazy and didn’t know what this was or have it… so it didn’t go in)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/3 c. fat free sour cream

1. You will need to pre-cook the rice and have it ready to go. I also chopped up my onion, pepper, garlic, chicken ahead of time. Made it easy-peasy!

2. Pre-heat oven to 375° and spray your casserole dish with Pam so nothing sticks.

3. Using a large nonstick skillet, over medium-high heat, add 1 Tbl. olive oil and cook chicken, turning to brown on each side. Remove chicken from pan and place in large mixing bowl, set aside.

4. In same large skillet, add 1 Tbl. olive oil, and onion and chorizo (OR TURKEY SAUSAGE IF YOU ARE LIKE ME). Cook for a few minutes and then add in the chopped up pepper and garlic. Cook for a few minutes and then add this mixture, along with the cooked rice, and the peas, all into the mixing bowl with the chicken.

5. Mix the entire mixture well. Set aside and don’t move it.

6. In same saucepan, over MEDIUM heat, pour in the milk, tomato paste/sauce, flour, salt, saffron (or not), and pepper. WHISK around constantly, mixing well and until you see sauce to begin to boil (a few minutes).

7. Let it boil for 1 minute (but no longer because this sauce will burn quick). It should be thickening. Take off burner and add sour cream, mix it in sauce with whisk.

8. Pour sauce over the chicken mixture in the bowl, and mix around well, till evenly coated.

9. Pour entire chicken mixture into the casserole dish, evenly.

10. Cover with tin foil and cook for 15 minutes. Then REMOVE the foil, and cook for another 15 minutes.

11. EAT IT UP. BUT SHARE WITH OTHERS.

I feel like you could add the following and it would be super tasty: corn, broccoli, cauliflower, salsa on top, or tortilla chips on the side, or spoon it into taco shells.

ANYONE HAVE ANY FAVORITE CASSEROLE DISHES??? Preferably easy ones that do not require TOO much usage of sharp knifes.

sincerely,

Domesticated-Knife-Chopping Lily

I have done this. I can relate.

I have done this. I can relate.

The Secret to Zucchini Bread

I figured out the secret ingredient to making a scrupulous zucchini bread.
You might already do this or know it.
It just adds a pop of flavor that is unexpected and ties in oh-so-nicely with the zucchini.
It is –

THE ZEST OF A LEMON

Pic from budgetbytes.com.

Pic from budgetbytes.com.

By golly, it is the best! Have you tried this? I’m thinking lemon zest might be one of those ingredients you can add spontaneously to ANYTHING and it will taste a million times better.

Banana bread? Add it.
Sugar cookies? Add it.
Chocolate cake? Add it.
Fruit smoothie? Add it.

I tried this out this weekend when I acquired a massive zucchini from a co-worker’s garden that needed cooking:

IT WAS MASSIVE.

IT WAS MASSIVE.

SERIOUSLY IT WAS HUGE. OVER-GROWN. XXLARGE.

The recipe I followed was very simple, but altered some things to make it HEALTHY AND SUPER LOW-FAT/LOW-SUGAR.

So really, you are allowed to eat half a loaf because it is like zero calories.

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute <– I use applesauce with no sugar added. You could also use plain greek yogurt.
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2  teaspoon grated lemon rind <— AKA THE MOST SECRET INGREDIENT!
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten <– I used 2 egg whites!
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar  <– I used half sugar, half splenda
  • 3 cups shredded zucchini (12 ounces)

Preheat oven to 350°.  Spray your two loaf pans with some Pam. Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl, mix. Combine all wet ingredients in a larger, separate bowl and mix. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix. Pour mixture into the two loaf pans evenly. Cover with tin foil and bake for 1 hour.

Very easy. Very quick. And very, very tasty. I was able to make three (3) loaves of bread AND a batch of muffins from this ONE zucchini! It literally just kept shredding!

I sent Mr. Speedy to work with the muffins so he can play nice with all the other engineers and bond over breakfast:

Muffins! Yummy!

Muffins! Yummy!

And I took 2 loaves to my work, so my co-workers remain my friends and don’t think I’m weird (which come on, who are we kidding, I am) :

ITS HEALTHY SO YOU BETTER EAT IT.

ITS HEALTHY SO YOU BETTER EAT IT.

And now a haiku about my new friend, Lemon Zest:

Shred some lemon now,
Eat it like a pregnant cow,
Your mouth will say ‘POW!’

That is pow as in ‘AMAZING.’ This was actually a horrible poem. Let’s pretend it never happened.
Seriously though, zest some lemon up.

I believe the lemon girls of Scoot A Doot would approve of this whole post.

I am also thinking a lemon cake for the wedding…. YAY or NAY?

Sincerely,

Zest-Obsessed-Lily