Monday, July 15, 2013

German Chocolate Cake, Momofuku Style, and a recipe for Pecan Crunch

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So many people love a German Chocolate Cake, and it has never been my favorite, until I reimagined it. It’s not really that chocolatey, and sometimes the nuts get in my way, but I won’t say no to a slice.

Then there was that time I made two of them in one week. (I won’t tell you how many slices I should have said ‘no’ to.).

Making cakes like this bring out the kid in me. I am always totally inspired by Christina Tosi’s recipes and even though it takes hours and hours to make one cake, I am always thrilled with it.

I’ve been having fun playing around with the Momofuku recipes and design, and this week I made an Oreo flavored cake for Amaya’s birthday.

Lucky for me Tosi’s chocolate crunch recipe just tastes like Oreo cookie crumbs.

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The Layers:

*German Chocolate cake and frosting, minus the pecans in the frosting, and I used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. You could probably use your favorite recipe. Bake it in a quarter sheet pan lined with a silpat.

*Chocolate Ganache layer (Guittard dark chocolate chips melted in the microwave with a touch of cream) 16 oz chocolate, 1 C heavy cream. Salt if you like a teensy bit.

I can’t take credit for the recipes, except one, which was still inspired by the Tosi genius

*Pecan Crunch (inspired by hazlenut crunch) (RECIPE)

germanchocolate002Make pecan brittle;

  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 3/4 C pecans

1. Line a sheet pan with a silpat. The silpat is necessary, here, folks. Heat the sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. As it melts, stir it around constantly with a heatproof spatula. The sugar will turn into a caramel—dark amber. Take it off before it burns—It will happen quickly—about 3-4 minutes.

2. Stir in the nuts, coat them well, and dump it out quickly onto the silpat. Spread it out as evenly as possible! Let it cool.

3. Break it up into smaller pieces. Grind the brittle in the food processor until it’s the size of short-grain rice. Eat some. Because it’s good.

Make the crunch

  • 1/2 C Biscoff Spread
  • 1/2 C pecan brittle (pulverized)
  • 1 1/4 C feuilletine (I made my own from scratch from Brave Tart’s recipe)  Snackalicious.
  • 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 1/2 t kosher salt

Combine the spread, brittle, feuilletine, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Paddle on low speed until evenly mixed and the crunch is in little, amazingly edible clumps. If you’re me, you immediately make the rest of your brittle into this crunch, because you “accidentally” ate most of the first batch. Store in a ziploc bag in the freezer. It’s great in a compost cookie.

Assemble the layers. You’ll need a cake ring (6”), and acetate strips. I bought both on-line). I have a spool of acetate strips 3” wide that will last me until the end of forever.

1. Stamp out three cake layers with your ring. One will be a whole circle, one will be half and half circle, and the other will be edges of the circle and filled in with the leftover pieces.

2. Line the cake ring with an acetate strip. Place the pieces of the most fragmented cake on the bottom. Brush the cake with about 3 Tbsp of milk.

3. Spread a layer of ganache (not too thick), sprinkle on 1/3 of the crunch. Spread 1/3 of the frosting over the crunch.

Cut a second strip of acetate and tuck it in between the ring and the first acetate strip so that you’re extending the acetate to hold in the next 2 layers of cake.

4. Put on the second layer of cake (the 2 half circles) and repeat.

5. Save the whole layer of cake for the last. Don’t brush this one with milk. Put just the frosting and a sprinkle of the crunch on the top.

FREEZE the cake for at least 6 hours. Better if you do this overnight or even a whole day. Pull it out a few hours before eating, pop it out of the mold, pull off the acetate, and let it defrost in the fridge for a few hours.

Email me if you have questions about this. It takes a little practice. It took me a while to figure out that I needed to use a quarter sheet pan (which is half the size of my cookie sheets) for the cake.

Also, if you want to make a 10 inch cake, you’ll need to triple the recipe for the cake, double it for the fillings/frostings. I bake the cake in one full sheet pan AND a quarter sheet pan. You’ll have some left over cake pieces, which are great for making cake truffles.

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4 comments:

Ellie said...

I always look forward to your posts because everything looks so delicious! I'm craving some of your cakes now even after eating a big dinner.

Mariko said...

Thanks, Ellie. You're very sweet to say so. :)

Nippon Nin said...

Oh! my! One inconceivable cake! I applaud your tremendous effort! Really a great job!

Nippon Nin said...

What? No new post yet? I hope I don't have to wait too long. Take care.

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