The Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book features more than 450 of the magazine’s best baking recipes. Our recipes are truly revolutionary.
Whether you want to learn the hows and whys behind the magic of baking or you just want to make the best chocolate cake ever, this book can show you the way.
Many German chocolate cake recipes are too sweet, with chocolate flavor that’s too mild and a texture so listless that the filling and cake together form a soggy, saccharine mush.
We wanted a cake that was less sweet and more chocolaty than the original, but we didn’t want to sacrifice the overall blend of flavors and textures that makes German chocolate cake so appealing in the first place. More importantly, we wanted a cake that was easier to make by employing more streamlined techniques.
The first order of business was to scale back the traditional recipe by 25%, which allowed us to fit the batter into two cake pans, thereby producing a cake with four thinner layers rather than three thicker layers—which made a huge difference in terms of texture. The soggy, mushy mess we so disliked in some recipes became transformed into a firmer crumb that was still moist and satisfying. We then increased the chocolate flavor with a combination of cocoa powder and high-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate. By adjusting the level and proportions of the sugar (both brown and white) and butter in the cake and filling, as well as toasting the pecans, we finished the necessary adjustments to create an easier-to-make cake with better texture and flavor than any others we tried.
MAKE IT NOW: Our recipe for German Chocolate Cake with Coconut-Pecan Filling is free through October 24, 2013.