For the last week or so, the weather around here has been disgustingly hot. I’ve spent the days dreaming of sipping milkshakes while well-oiled cabana boys periodically add more ice to my bathtub and point industrial-strength fans in my direction. I have even whinged my way out of cooking dinner at least twice in the past week because of the heat, and you all know how I love to cook.
So yesterday I did what any self-respecting numbskull would do and baked a cake during the hottest part of the day.
Okay, so it was for a friend’s birthday. She requested a German chocolate cake. I’d never made one before, but assured her she would get what she wanted. I started going through my myriad cookbooks. After all, with the sheer amount of culinary literature at my fingertips I was certain I had the recipe.
Somehow, though, from my good old mom’s Betty Crocker to some recent tomes I have acquired specifically to get cake recipes, I didn’t have German chocolate cake. Nowhere, nohow. All those books, all those cooking magazines, all those scribbled recipes taken down on scraps of paper and somehow I had missed getting a recipe for one of the standard cakes in the basic repertoire. Wildly exotic creations involving mango puree, cayenne pepper, citrus fruits, pistachio-flavored marzipan, and rose water (not, I hasten to add, all in one cake)? Check. German chocolate? Not so much.
That’s when I turned to your friend and mine, the internet. I found what I was looking for pretty quickly.
Of course yesterday was way too hot for baking, and way too hot for making gooey caramel frosting over a hot burner, too. Nevertheless, I persevered.
Trust me my friends, if you are looking for a good recipe for German chocolate cake, try out the one I used. It turned out just right: light and flavorful with a melt-in-your-mouth texture. The buttermilk really does give a nice zing to the flavor, too. The one thing to keep in mind is that the frosting recipe comes up with less than enough if you want to completely frost the cake, but leaves leftovers if you leave the sides naked, as is currently fashionable. I left the sides naked and then dipped into the extra frosting with a spoon while it lasted. What? I had home-grown pecans from Texas and organic cocoanut. I wasn’t going to waste that! Besides, a few spoonsful of creamy caramel go down nicely with the painfully silly made-for-television movies I was watching while my brain took a long vacation.
Best of all, I have cold, leftover cake in the fridge today so I don’t have to bake another until the weather cools down a little bit.
But the next time I have an excuse, I’m absolutely baking this one again!