Mondays with Molly MacRae’s Characters – and German Chocolate Cake

Members of TGIF (Thank Goodness it’s Fiber – the fiber and needle arts group that meets at the Weaver’s Cat in Blue Plum, Tennessee) are stopping by on Mondays in September to share recipes and help launch Last Wool and Testament, the first book in my new Haunted Yarn Shop mystery series out this month from Penguin. This week Ardis Buchanan, longtime manager of the Weaver’s Cat, is with us.

Molly: What have you got for us, Ardis?

Ardis: Something with fiber, hon. I thought that was appropriate because we’re all members of TGIF.

Molly: Sure, that’s a great idea.

Ardis: So I brought German Chocolate Cake, what my sons liked to call German Shepherd Cake.

Molly: German Shepherd, that’s cute. But fiber?

Ardis: The coconut, hon. Probably the pecans, too. They make up for all that butter. Now, if you don’t mind, I need to scoot. The Spiveys have been snooping around the shop and I don’t like to leave it for too long.

Molly: The Spivey twins? Bane of TGIF?

Ardis: And anyone with sense or good taste. Oh now, did I just say that? Please forget I said that (although I meant every word of it.) I’ll see you later, hon.

Molly: See you.

Ardis is a rock, solid as they come (some of that solid might come from eating things like this cake.) Kath is going to need a good friend like Ardis to lean on, though. Here’s Ardis’ recipe:

German Shepherd Cake

1 package (4 ounces) Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate

½ cup water

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) margarine or butter, softened

2 cups sugar

4 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup buttermilk

4 egg whites

Coconut-pecan filling and frosting

Heat oven to 350º F. Line bottoms of 3 9-inch round cake pans with wax paper or parchment.

Heat chocolate and water on stovetop or in microwave, stirring occasionally until chocolate is melted; set aside.

Mix flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Beat margarine or butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in chocolate mixture and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating after each addition until smooth.

Beat egg whites in another large bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently stir into batter. Pour into prepared pans. Back 30 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched in center. Immediately run spatula between cakes and sides of pans. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pans. Remove wax paper or parchment. Cool completely on wire racks. Spread coconut-pecan frosting between layers and over top of cake.

Coconut-Pecan Filling and Frosting

1 cam (12 ounces) evaporated milk

1 ½ cups sugar

4 egg yolks, slightly beaten

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

1 package (7 ounces) Baker’s Angel Flake Coconut (about 2 ⅔ cups)

1 ½ cups chopped pecans

Mix milk, sugar, margarine, egg yolks, and vanilla in large saucepan. Cook and stir on medium heat about 12 minutes or until thickened and golden brown. Remove from heat.

Stir in coconut and pecans. Cool to room temperature and of spreading consistency.

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