Friday, September 7, 2012

You had me at CAKE!

Cake. If you are blessed, you get one made for you every year on your birthday. And maybe there will be lots of leftovers, so you get to eat more of it yourself! That's what The Hillbilly (his name for himself, not mine) always hopes for, every year on HIS birthday! Then...SHAZAM!...your diet changes and suddenly you have to eat gluten free...or worse yet, when it comes to cake, GRAIN FREE! Yowsa! How's a girl who likes to bake supposed to come up with a great cake for her man, when there's no grain in the house?!

Enter a little inspiration and a whole lot of math stress. See, Sweet Girl is having major math issues right now (think 6 hours to do 1 1/2 hours of work), so Mommy has been a little s.t.r.e.s.s.e.d. lately, and we all know Mommy likes to nosh when she is stressed (but that's another post, altogether).

Surfing the net, I found a brownie recipe that looked super yummy. I tried it. Chocolate Bliss!!

So back to the cake...I was having a really hard time going out to buy flour to make a cake when I have spent the last two months ridding my body and my house of grain. I decided to take a stab at waving a wand over the brownie recipe and turning it into a German Chocolate cake of which the Hillbilly would approve. More than approve, I really wanted that look of "You really nailed it this time Baby!" Birthday cake perfection. That's what I was after.

So here goes:

(kinda) Paleo German Chocolate Cake

preheat oven to 325 degrees

While you are prepping the batter, go ahead and toast 2 Cups chopped pecans and 2 Cups unsweetened coconut for the frosting. I like....well, I was going to tell you what brand I like, but we ate it all! I will have to come back and add it to this post when I get some more.

To toast the nuts/coconut, use a baking sheet with sides and line with parchment paper. Spread out mixture on paper (you might need to do this in two batches, if your pan is not very large), and put in preheated oven. Toast til lightly brown, stirring once. Don't forget it is in the oven!! It will BURN! Not that I know that from personal experience or anything...although they did ban me from warming rolls in the college kitchen after one too many fires...) Anyway, once it is toasted, remove pan from oven and let cool til you are ready to finish making the frosting.

And back to the cake:

Grease 2 round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper (or waxed paper, whatever you have on hand); You will also want to line a regular muffin pan with 12 paper liners (see, I don't really like German Chocolate Cake...but I LOVE brownies, so I made a little birthday dessert for me too!)

Whisk Dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside:
1 C cocoa powder - use the good stuff, the flavor will be much better!
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp instant coffee grounds

I love to use pretty bowls when I inspires me!

Wet ingredients. Put into mixer in order, one at a time, and mix well before adding next ingredient.

3 1/2 Cups almond butter (buy it, or make your own, by grinding raw almonds in your food processor til butter it - it's not hard to do)
1/2 Cup butter (1 stick) softened
4 large eggs, room temp
1 1/2 Cups maple syrup...I prefer Grade is very tasty and full of minerals
2 Tbsp vanilla
1 Tbsp Rum or Brandy (optional)

When the wet ingredients are well combined, shake in the dry ingredients and mix well, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to get everything mixed in thoroughly.

What a beautiful batter! I think it is even prettier than some gluten free cakes I have made.

Fill the 12 muffin liners 1/2-2/3 full, then evenly divide the rest of the batter between the two prepared cake pans. Tap to settle the cake and level out the batter, then put all three in the oven to bake. I put the muffins at about 1/3 of the way down from the top and the two cake pans about 2/3 of the way down. (Have I mentioned lately how much I miss my convection oven...)

Raising nicely. Cake behaves so much better at sea-level.

You will bake the cupcakes for 15-20 minutes, the cakes for about 25-30 minutes. You will know it is done when the center is set and a toothpick put in the middle comes out clean. Move cupcakes to cooling racks right away. Let cakes sit in pans 10 minutes, then carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan, place your cooling rack on top of the cake pan and flip the cake and rack over together. Tap the bottom of the pan to make sure the cake released, lift off the pan and gently pull off the parchment paper and leave the cake on the rack to finish cooling. Repeat with second cake layer.

While the cake is baking, prep the icing.

German Chocolate Icing

Please see above for toasting directions for the nuts/coconut

2 Cups Chopped Pecans
2 Cups unsweetened coconut

1 1/2 Cups brown sugar
2 sticks butter
1 3/4 Cups evaporated milk (the NOT in not Paleo)
4 tsp vanilla
4 tsp brandy (optional)
6 large egg yolks

Combine all of these ingredients and cool over medium heat until it is bubbling and thick, first stirring with whisk, then spatula, as it gets thicker. I would not leave it alone at this kind of becomes like a sneaky two-year-old, if you know what I mean. Take pan off heat when a thermometer reads 225 degrees. Carefully add nuts/coconut (using paper as a funnel) and mix well. Let cool while cake finishes baking and cools off to room temperature. to the fun part!

Place first layer on your cake plate. Scoop a good amount of icing into the middle, and carefully spread out, you can even go ahead and do the edges now, if you want. Then even more carefully, place the top layer on the cake, and continue frosting, till the top and sides are completely covered. If the icing is cool enough, it should go pretty easily. If you got in too much of a hurry (I have lived much of my life in this spot), then icing the cake will be harder, because the icing will slide more.

Oila! The cake is finished. So sing happy birthday, and wait for The Look. It's coming just wait for it. This cake is GOOD!

BTW, I got the basic recipe for the frosting here: And the inspiration Brownie recipe here:

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