Friday, April 27, 2012

Coco-Nutty Frosting and . . .

 . . . a brief history of German's Chocolate Cake

Well, a couple of weeks ago I had literally 15 minutes to spare and decided to plop myself down on the sofa and find out for myself why the rest of the world is so fascinated with TV.  The TV was tuned to Food Network (my MIL's channel of choice) and there was Trisha Yearwood just a singin' and a cookin' for her BFF's baby shower.  I've always enjoyed her music (and did not abandon her over that unfortunate Garth Brooks incident which by the way, seems to have worked itself out), but a cook too?  Who knew!!

Well, she was fixin' some traditional Southern baby shower fare, including cheese straws (one of my favs) and some brownies with the MOST dee-li-cious-looking frosting I have laid eyes on in a while!  I would say ever, but let's face it - I 'm a frosting fan!  Anyway, the finished frosting looked conspicuously like the coconut goodness atop the traditional German Chocolate Cake, which got me wondering:

1.  Is this the same as the frosting for German Chocolate cake


2.  Why does German Chocolate Cake have coconut frosting in the first place??  Where do Germans get a hold of coconut anyway?  Shouldn't Hawaiians be known for coconut frosting?

Well, you will be pleased to know that I have done the research for you and yes, it is basically the same as the frosting for German (or rather German's) Chocolate Cake.  Here's what Wikipedia has to say about the origins of German Chocolate Cake:

Contrary to popular belief, German chocolate cake did not originate in Germany. Its roots can be traced back to 1852 when American Sam German developed a brand of dark baking chocolate for the American Baker's Chocolate Company. The product, Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate, was named in honor of him.

In 1957, the original recipe for "German's Chocolate Cake" was sent by a Dallas, Texas, homemaker to a local newspaper. This recipe used the baking chocolate introduced 105 years prior and became quite popular. General Foods, which owned the Baker's brand at the time, took notice and distributed the cake recipe to other newspapers in the country. Sales of Baker's Chocolate are said to have increased by as much as 73% and the cake would become a national staple. The possessive form (German's) was dropped in subsequent publications, forming the "German Chocolate Cake" identity we know today and giving the false impression of a German origin.

Ahh, Texas women!  Don't 'cha just love 'em?!

Interestingly enough, I discovered that Hawaii is actually known for it's Chantilly Cake, which is a chocolate cake with a German Chocolate Cake-style frosting sans the coconut and pecans!  Oh, the irony!!  I will be trying this though, because . . .  yu-um!!!

So, cheers to Trisha Yearwood and her new show!!  You can get all the details or catch a show at Food Network, and I suggest you start with this recipe!  It's every bit as good as she says!

I used a brownie mix to make these, adding some Mexican vanilla and chocloate chips for fun!  The Coco-Nutty Frosting is what makes these so delish anyway!

Coco-Nutty Frosting

1 C evaporated milk
1 C sugar
4 egg yolks
1/2 C butter
10 oz. grated coconut
1 1/2 C chopped pecans
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine evaporated milk, sugar and egg yolks in a saucepan.  Stir with a wire whish until the yolks are fully incorporated.  Add the butter, melt and bring to a simmer.  Cook until mixture thickens, about 12-15 minutes, stirring constantly.  It's ready when it's the consistency and color of thick, condensed milk (and it tastes like that too btw!!)  Remove from heat.  Add, coconut, pecans and vanilla.  Allow to cool and spread over brownies.  Enjoy!!

1 comment:

  1. I'm a frosting aficionado, too. I'll have to try this as it looks so yummy! And I love the trivia on the German Chocolate Cake. (Who knew it was named for the man who created it and not the country?)