Wednesday, September 8, 2010

August Challenge

So August came and went...a little too quickly.  I'm not sure where it went, if you see it, send it my way, I think I left some to do's with it.  One thing I did get to do, but did not post about, was the monthly baking challenge with my friends.  August's challenge was an Inside-Out German Chocolate Cake.  I've never even had a piece of German Chocolate cake, let alone made one.  I was ready for the challenge.

The key ingredients:
The Cake
The Filling

The Icing
This go-around I made sure I read up on the comments from other bakers on the recipe.  I think this was a step in the right direction.  I got some good tips, especially on the Dulce de Leche process.  The cake was a little intimidating after I read through what the process involved, but I got through it without any problems.

I tackled this project as some commenters suggested, which is not the way the recipe would like you to do it.  I started with heating water for the Dulce de Leche.  I put two cans of evaporated milk (I doubled the filling) into a dutch oven full of water.  I made sure the cans were completely covered with water as cans can explode when heated directly.  I was confident that if I kept an eye on the water level and made sure it was over the cans I'd be OK. I turned the water on so that it hit a decent boil, but then I turned it down to low and kept it going at a slower boil, not quite simmer though.  I checked the water level every 15 minutes.
I've never even opened my dutch oven before
I started the cake, I was super excited to use it.
It's so pretty and orange.
After the Dulce de leche was on the stove I put the coconut and pecans into the oven, I took my time with this and put them in one at a time, rather than putting them in together.  I am still trying to get the hang of toasting pecans, I'm not sure, but I feel like I burn the pecans every time I toast them.  The coconut was beautifully brown after I was done toasting it.
Toasted Coconut
Toasted Pecans

Dulce de Leche Ready
for the Coconut and Pecans
Once the coconut and pecans were toasted I started on the cake batter, I kept the recipe as is, but only put it into two 9-inch pans, I didn't have a third pan as the recipe called for, and I was not too excited to work with the extremely thin layers that other bakers had reported about.
After my cakes were done I put them onto the rack to cool, I put them into the fridge so that they were sufficiently cool and then popped them into the freezer for about 20 minutes right before I was ready to fill and ice the cake.  When I combined the Dulce de leche, coconut, and pecans I was nervous about having to spread it onto the cake.  Some posters reported that it was difficult to spread...correction, it didn't spread at all due to the consistency of the filling.  I ended up taking a page from my rice crispy treat knowledge and I sprayed a spatula with cooking spray and pressed the filling down onto the cake.  The only problem I encountered there was that I think I pushed the cake down and might have flattened it out a little if it wasn't flat enough to begin with.

The icing I made at the end of the whole process.  I was not confident in the glaze and I ended up putting it into the fridge too get a bit thicker and I used it as a ganache/icing for the entire cake.  This worked out really well.  I ended up taking a tooth pick and writing "We'll Miss You" to some friends who were getting ready to move, they liked the cake and then I sent it in with the Husband to class to feed his class.  He said they enjoyed it...although it might have had too much sugar in it, one of his buddies said he was ready to bounce off the walls, haha.

Another successful baking adventure!


  1. Good job Lori! This baking challenge thingy is tempting!

  2. You should totally join! It's yummy! :)

  3. Yay!!! Congratulations darling!!! I still need to post mine. Maybe I'll get that going today. :-)

  4. haha I saw your lead line on your blog...yeah I have not been giving mine proper loving either! Crazy end of summertime!