Friday, January 20, 2012

German Chocolate week

So, this is, apparently, German chocolate week.  Sometime last week I got a Paula Deen article that included a twist on the traditional German Chocolate cake.  It had a buttermilk based chocolate cake, a cream based custard coconut pecan filling, and chocolate ganache.  Last Friday, I got hit up by my sis to make her Dad's b'day cake.  When I heard his fave was German Chocolate, well, ya know.....

I think it turned out to be a passable option.  However, I found it so rich and dense that I couldn't eat very much of it.  Very sweet.  I did really enjoy the chocolate frosting boost from the ganache though.

So, although it wasn't 'bad', it wasn't going to make the keeper file (Sorry Paula!  You know I love ya girl!)  Fast forward to this work's potluck.  What a perfect opportunity for a German Chocolate remake. 

I will start by saying that due to time constraints I went to the box for the cake.  Figured easier and quicker for week night baking and of the pieces I wanted to revamp, the frostings were higher on the list. 

Thus began the internet search for the perfect coconut pecan frosting/german chocolate cake recipe.

This first link get's honorable mention for having an amazing host of yummy cupcakes and ideas.  The Cupcake Project has a great post on German Chocolate cupcakes and although the presentation wasn't my fave, it does include history of the cake (which is because of the chocolate, not the country of origin). 

For my cake, these are the winners!  I'll post later and let you know how it went over with the guinea pigs/coworkers :)

This chocolate cream cheese buttercream won because I thought the tangy-ness of the cream cheese would cut the sweetness of the coconut pecan frosting.  So without further ado - THE Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream (and decoration inspiration) I went with.

The Coconut Pecan Frosting I used was a Martha Stewart recipe.  I have to say - this had the best caramel smell as it was cooking.  Just heavenly!

Friday, January 13, 2012


Not sure exactly if anyone really reads this but me but lately the blog I adore is Jenny's.  Today's message is more sobering but struck very true to heart on several levels.

I, thankfully, haven't had to face a serious illness like cancer but I can relate to her on so many other levels.  I have been calling 2012 my year.  I've been actively reaching for my goals instead of passively hoping they come my way.  When I first came across Jenny's blog, I was struck by her zest for life and her list of to-do's.  I've stuck around for her sense of humor in life, wise words, and cupcakes/general craftiness :)

Today's post dealt with weight loss/health which is one of my goals I'm realizing this year.  But it also dealt with the side issue of how quickly a critical word can cut you down.  She speaks of this one negative comment and how that affected her whole day and spilled over to her family.  As a mom, how often have I had that happen.  Where one thing snowballs and the people who suffer are the people around you.  I think what she's provided was a moment of grace and humility that would be hard for many of us to achieve.  My friends will tell you that I often give the advice that you can't always control a situation or another person, you can only control yourself and how you react.  She echoes this sentiment in her post and it clearly influenced her response.  This is a good lesson for today.