After nearly two weeks of insane computer problems, Ms. Toody is BACK!
So, please forgive me if I've not been my usual commenty, linky-partying self…I'm just hoping this darn thing is finally fixed.
Let's get back to the real topic of this post…
…a simply great chocolate cake!
Would you describe yourself as Fancy Nancy or Plain Jane?
I know, that's not really a fair question. I can't even answer it myself.
I'm a little bit of both...
A blingy cocktail dress...
or a flannel shirt and jeans.
A gourmet meal at a fancy restaurant...
or grilled cheese at the diner.
A decadent dessert that's a work of art...
or a plain piece of chocolate cake.
Today, I am channeling Plain Jane, as Mama Goo Shoe's German chocolate cake is about as plain as you can get.
But appearances aren't everything…this cake is Delicious!
It's not pretty and Pinteresty…
But it's got a great personality!
Yikes, it sounds like I am trying to set you up on a blind date with this cake.
OK, maybe I am. Just try it once! You'll like it!
And if you don't, you'll never have to eat it again.
When I was a kid, my mother, Mama Goo Shoes, always used to try to get me to watch her while she was cooking.
"Watch me so you'll learn."
I couldn't be bothered. I'd rather be outside playing jump rope, or on the phone with friends. Watching her cook was BOR-ING.
Which totally explains my cooking philosophy today:
I did, however, like to help when she baked, and as a result, I'm not half bad at it.
It had very thin layers, and lots of them…maybe ten. To make each layer, she had to turn the cake pan upside down, pour the cake batter on the bottom of the pan, so that it spread like a pancake, without going all the way to the edges, and bake it.
It was a painstaking process to make all those layers -- one at a time -- and then assemble the cake.
But when she was finished, it looked exactly like the picture on the cover. I wish I had a picture of her cake, or copy of that magazine.
I don't remember the occasion for the cake, but she was bringing it somewhere. She packed it up, put it on the hood of the car, so she could unlock the doors.
You know where this is going.
She got in the car, and drove off…
…with the cake on the hood of the car.
I'm sure she must have burst into tears, but the only part I remember is how she told that story over and over again through the years, and how we laughed about it every time.
Boy, she was a trooper.
Unfortunately, I did not inherit her layer-cake genes.
In fact, here is my "epic-fail Smores cake" that I made for Junior Goo Shoes' birthday a few weeks ago. I thought it was going to make a great blog post, but the top slid off, and the marshmellow filling oozed out. That's what I get for rushing when putting it together.
However, she did not make it as a layer cake. She made it in a 13 x 9 sheet pan.
And she never iced it.
Hence, it's Plain Jane appearance.
She usually made this cake for Thanksgiving, or the Jewish holidays: Rosh Hashana, or the Yom Kippur break-fast (that's not 'breakfast'…it's when we "break the fast" after 24-hours of not eating after Yom Kippur).
Everyone loved this cake…especially my cousin, Joe.
I've decided that as a tribute to my mother's memory, I would make the cake every year for Rosh Hashana.
One year, I strayed. I tried to make it exactly as the recipe said, with layers and icing.
I hated it.
Everyone hated it.
It was way too sweet. The cake is just too tasty on it's own, in my opinion.
So that's how I made it this year. Plain Jane.
There's a time for Fancy, and there's a time for Plain.
Sometimes plain really is better.
Mama Toody's Plain-Jane German Chocolate Cake
(adapted from Original Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate Cake recipe)
1 package (4 oz.) Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate
4 eggs, separated
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cover bottom of 13 x 9 pan with waxed or parchment paper; spray sides with cooking spray.
Microwave chocolate and water in large microwaveable bowl on high 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 minute. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
Beat egg whites in small bowl with mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form; set aside. Mix flour, baking soda and salt. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each. Blend in melted chocolate and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating until well blended after each addition.
Add egg whites; stir gently until well blended. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Oven cooking times vary, so time may need to be adjusted accordingly.
Immediately run small spatula around cake in pan. Cool cake in pan 15 minutes; carefully remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely.