I love to be in the kitchen. I love giving food as gifts. It was ingrained in my psyche long ago that making and sharing food from the heart will fill more than the recipients’ bellies.
So, with the mindset, I offered to bake a birthday cake for a dear friend. His request: German chocolate.
And although I was without a working oven or any prior German chocolate cake baking experience, I was excited to be the person honored with making such an integral part of the celebration.
I scoured around the internet for a few different frosting recipes that I could hodge-podge together and bundled up the little one to head to t he store. He was super helpful in handing me discount cans of evaporated milk and an extra large bag of powdered sugar from off of the shelf, and he was pretty cheap labor: only requiring that I buy a large bag of marshmallows (that had to be opened immediately in the baking aisle) and thus forth, a large bag of generic rice cereal to make some holiday treats. **these details will be important further on in the story.
Baking the first two 9×9 rounds of cake were easy, except that I had to bake them one at a time in my toaster oven, until I tried to remove them from their greased (but not floured) pans. The bottoms of both cakes stuck a bit and they were decreased in height. Ugh. A smaller cake. SO, I decided to make ANOTHER cake round to jack up the size of this sad tiered cake, and then use the rest of the batter for a dozen cupcakes.
While the third tier of cake was baking in the toaster oven, I proceeded to burn the dozen cupcakes that were baking on convection mode in the microwave (a mode I have obviously not figured out). These burnt chocolate beauties became baby and I’s consolation dessert since we couldn’t pinch off chunks from the birthday cake, leaving most of the cupcakes leftover in a bowl on the counter for emergency dessert consumption.
I accidentally scrambled the eggs in the first batch of German chocolate frosting, but the second batch, as well as the original chocolate frosting that went on the outside of the cake, turned out wonderfully.
So-FINALLY- a three tiered chocolate cake with German chocolate frosting on top of each layer and chocolate frosting on the outside was finished (candles to be added at venue) and ready to deliver!!! **recipe to follow
Cake and baby were loaded, dog and puppy were in the house from the cold, and we were off.
The birthday cake was well received (blush) and I was basking in my success as a domestic goddess and all around good friend, when my husband (who had met me at this soiree) asked if I had put the puppy in the kennel before I left. Why, no, I responded, he’s been such a good dog I didn’t see a reason to. I was met with doubt and worry.
Flash forward to me caring a sleeping toddler in the house and seeing…an absolute scene of destruction. Above mentioned extra large bag of powdered sugar had been death shook by this
monster puppy and was EVERYWHERE, also providing proof of said puppy’s sugar high antics in the form of white sugar paw prints on back of couches, on the top of the dining room table, up and down hallways, even on keyboards. I can’t be positive that the powdered sugar was the culprit of this spike in the puppy’s blood sugar, however, because a nearly empty bag of marshmallows was also strewn across the living room, mixed in with the entire bad of generic rice cereal, a bag of potatoes, a completely torn apart book about baby sign language, every pair of shoes from the shoe rack, and all of the mittens and hats in the basket by the front door.
Sheer panic at the level of “I told you so” that would reign upon me any moment when my husband came home after me. I dropped (poor) baby rather roughly in his bed, whispering thanks that he stayed asleep as I frantically picked up as many plastic bags, rogue potatoes, and unpartnered mittens as I could. Running wildly, I realized that the major damage in this situation could be handled with a vacuum-the vacuum that just that morning my husband had told me was the best vacuum he’d ever owned. As I pushed and pulled the vacuum, though, I was overcome with the amount of powdered sugar that was now blowing around the air, making a dense cloud. The problem, I found out, was the new bag I had put on this morning wasn’t all the way attached, sucking sugar through the machine and eventually stopping it from working.
And that’s how my husband saw me when he walked in the door- through a fine cloud of sugar, pushing a broken vacuum, and in the midst of ruin.
But the icing on the cake? I soon followed the powdered sugar paw prints into the kitchen and up the cabinets to an empty bowl that once held nearly a down burnt chocolate cupcakes.
Flash forward to me trying to stick my finger down the puppy’s throat in the hope of him puking up the cupcakes after a post Google search told me I had undoubtedly killed him.
Flash forward to me pouring spoonfuls of hydrogen peroxide down the puppy’s throat and sitting outside in 30 degree temps to make sure he doesn’t re-eat the toxically chocolate puke after an emergency night call to a very understanding vet (shout out to Kimberly Veterinary Services <3).
Flash forward to me cleaning out the vacuumed up sugar and book pages on my kitchen floor at 1 am in the hopes of reviving the best vacuum my husband has ever owned after scrubbing the walls and floors on hands and knees and waiting up for my puppy to go into poisoning seizures.
Flash forward to the next morning, after finally going to bed, waking up to a clean house, a working vacuum, and a puppy who is not only living, but is happy to go hunting with an equally happy dog and husband.
And all of that excitement brought to you by this recipe:
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
.75 cup cocoa powder
1.5 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp vanilla
.5 cup oil of choice
1 cup boiling water
Grease AND FLOUR 2 9×9 pans. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.
German Chocolate Frosting
.5 cup brown sugar
.5 cup white supar
.5 cup butter
.5 can of evaporated milk (less than one cup)
1 TBSP vanilla
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
Combine all ingredients (except vanilla, coconut, and pecans), then heat slowly to a boil on the stovetop and cook for several minutes until mixture is thick. Remove from heat, let cool for a couple of minutes, then add in the remaining ingredients. Spread on top of each layer of cake ONCE CAKE IS COOL (and around outside as well, or use a plain chocolate frosting to do this).
Do NOT feed to dog.