German Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Candied Pecans

Who else loves German Chocolate Cake as much as I do??  Coconut, pecan, and chocolate- a totally decadent combonation which is very hard to beat.   I actually made this cake because it was our Anniversary and my husband requested a German Chocolate Cake, but not just any German Chocolate Cake.  He wanted one with the Chocolate Ganache on top.  He loves the stuff.  So I decided to make my original German Chocolate Cake and then make the chocolate ganache. It was definitely a win-win.

Yield: 12 large pieces

German Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Candied Pecans

prep time: 30 minscook time: 1 hour and 45 minstotal time: 1 hours and 75 mins


For the cake:
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 8 ounces butter ( 2 sticks), softened
  • 1 1/4 cup + 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the coconut-pecan filling and frosting:
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 12 ounces heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups butter
  • 6 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut, lightly toasted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the chocolate ganache:
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
To make the candied pecans:
  • 1 cup whole pecans
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


To make the cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ℉.
  2. Butter two 9-inch cake pans, then line the bottoms with rounds of parchment or wax paper.
  3. Melt both chocolates together with the 6 tablespoons of water. Use either a double-boiler or a microwave. Stir until smooth, then set aside until room temperature.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter and 1 ¼ cup of the sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the melted chocolate, then the egg yolks, one at a time.
  5. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

  6. Mix in half of the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture, then the buttermilk and the vanilla extract, then the rest of the dry ingredients.
  7. In a separate metal or glass bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold soft, droopy peaks. Beat in the ¼ cup of sugar until stiff.
  8. Fold about one-third of the egg whites into the cake batter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining egg whites just until there’s no trace of egg white visible.
  9. Divide the batter into the 2 prepared cake pans, smooth the tops, and bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  10. Cool the cake layers completely. ( I actually refrigerated them overnight at this point.)
To make the coconut-pecan filling and frosting:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350℉.
  2. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool completely (about 20 minutes).
  3. Meanwhile, cook the heavy cream, sugar, butter, and egg yolks in a heavy 3-qt. saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 3 to 4 minutes or until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cook, stirring constantly, 12 to 14 minutes or until mixture becomes a light caramel color, is bubbling, and reaches a pudding-like thickness.
  4. Remove pan from heat; stir in coconut, vanilla, and pecans. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Let stand, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes or until cooled and spreading consistency.
To make the chocolate ganache:
  1. Place the chocolate chips into a small bowl. Add the heavy cream and butter to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and let sit for 2-3 minutes. 
  2. Whisk the cream and chocolate chips until smooth. Spread the ganache over the edges of the cake making some of the chocolate drips down the sides. 
To make the candied pecans:
  1. Place the pecans in a small pan and sprinkle the sugar over them. Heat, while stirring constantly, until the pecan start to caramelize and harden.  
To assemble the cake:
  1. Place the bottom layer of the cake on a large platter.  Between each layer place approximately 1/4-1/2 cup chocolate-pecan frosting.  Repeat with all three layers.  Frost the entire cake with the chocolate-pecan frosting. Top with the chocolate ganache (do when first made) and decorate with leftover chocolate frosting and candied pecans.




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