I have been in the Secret Recipe Club since 2011, joining just a few months after it was founded, and was the first hostess to manage a group when the founder decided it was getting to big to handle by herself. This is my last month as a hostess. It has been my honor to manage the team, but it is time to let someone else have the experience. I am handing the reins to Lisa Inouye who will be a fantastic leader for Group-A! It will be strange not to manage the reveal days, but I’m looking forward to being just another member of the Club.
Over the years I’ve had dozens of assignments, a very wide variety of blogger’s sites to explore and recipes to make. Some of my favorite bloggers are also members of the SRC, people whose work I have admired and learned from. I’ve been lucky to meet a few in person, but most remain online friends.
Because I write Chocolate Mondays, I am always on the lookout for terrific new chocolate recipes to share with all of you. Occasionally it can be challenging if someone isn’t a baker, but most of the time I have quite a few that catch my eye.
This month it was a huge challenge to narrow down the choices to just one. I have the distinct honor to introduce you to Shelby’s blog, The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch, one of my favorites in all of the Blogoshpere! I not only love Shelby’s recipes (truly drool-worthy), but her stories about her life and family adventures are always entertaining. It is a guaranteed good read!
As I searched Shelby’s site, I kept getting distracted by all the beautiful photographs and recipes. It was so hard to narrow my choice down to just one! But I finally hit on the ideal recipe to make – her German Chocolate Bundt Cake with the normal coconut frosting inserted in the center of the cake. Perfect!
The Artist loves bundt cakes – they remind him of the cakes his mom used to make when he was a child. He has always had a fondness for German Chocolate cake, but as he has grown older, they are far too sweet for his tastes. He prefers dark chocolate, so instead of the traditional Baker’s Chocolate, which is nearly as light as milk chocolate, I substituted semisweet chocolate chips. It gives you a deeper chocolate flavor that offsets the sweet coconut filling more.
I have seen a lot of blogger’s photos lately with perfectly symmetrical glazing on bundt cakes. If you put the glaze into a plastic bag, snip off a little of one corner, and pipe it on squeezing the bag gently. It gives you a lot more control than the spoon I usually use. Also, to give a little added interest, I made two variations, one with powdered sugar and one with brown sugar. That created two colors to make it even more fun!
The hardest thing about this cake is having to wait until it is cool to slice it. But I learned a secret the other day. When you are pouring the cake batter into your cake pan, reserve a little and bake it in a ramekin like a cupcake. You can taste the flavors and appease your sweet tooth without ruining the big cake. Talk about brilliant!
Our home smelled amazing while the cake was baking. When The Artist walked in the house after running some errands, he was SO excited! When I told him he had to wait until the cake was totally cooled and I had photographed it before he could eat it, he got the cutest pout on his face ~~ made me laugh! That’s what a great chocolate cake can do to a grown man, LOL!
Thank you Shelby for an outstanding recipe. It was wonderful to have the luxury of browsing through your site, getting inspired at every turn of the road.
Make sure you check out all of the posts at the bottom of the page. This group always makes the most remarkable recipes to share with all of you courtesy of the Secret Recipe Club, Group-A!!
Happy Chocolate Monday!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
If you love bundt cakes, it is worth spending a little more for a higher quality bundt pan. It will more than pay for itself many times over. The better quality pans are thicker and help avoid the burning that can happen in thin baking pans.
For the most accurate measuring of gluten-free flours, always use a kitchen scale that can measure both grams and ounces. For each 1 cup of all-purpose flour called for in a regular recipe, you can substitute 120 grams of an all-purpose gluten-free flour.
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour blend
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tbsp chilled butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/3 cup flaked sweetened coconut
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- Softened butter, for the pan
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 oz semisweet chocolate chips (about 3 tbsp)
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup butter (5 tbsp), softened
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour blend
- 2 tsp baking powder (gluten-free if needed)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda (gluten-free if needed)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1 cup powdered sugar (gluten-free if needed)
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or paste)
- 2 tsp buttermilk or milk, or more if needed
- 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or paste)
- 1 tsp buttermilk or milk, or more if needed
- Combine 1/4 cup flour and brown sugar in a small bowl; cut in 2 tbsp butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in coconut and pecans.
- Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with butter, getting into all the nooks and crannies; sprinkle with 1 tbsp granulated sugar. Turn the pan, tapping as you go to coat the interior with the sugar. Set aside.
- Combine cocoa and baking chocolate in a small bowl; add boiling water, stirring until chocolate melts. Set aside.
- In another bowl, combine 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, whisking until fully incorporated. Set next to the mixer. Measure out the buttermilk and set it next to the flour blend.
- Combine 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar and softened butter in the bowl of your standing mixer. Beat at medium speed until fully incorporated and lightened in color, about 3 to 5 minutes. The mixture will be very granular, but when you scrape the side of the bowl, it will hold together. Beat in vanilla. Add the egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in chocolate mixture. Stop the mixer; scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl (especially in the center where ingredients tend to hide) and the beater blade.
- Add flour mixture to batter alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan; smooth with a flexible spatula and top with all the streusel. Spoon remaining batter over streusel. Smooth the top with the spatula, making sure all of the streusel is covered with batter.
- Bake at 325°F for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted halfway between the edge and the center comes out clean. Note: if you are using a really long toothpick, it may go into the molten coconut layer in the middle. Ignore that and try in another place, pressing the toothpick in more shallowly.
- Cool in pan on the wire rack 10 minutes. Invert the pan onto the rack, letting the cake drop out of the pan. Remove the bundt pan. Cool cake completely.
- * In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, butter and vanilla, stirring together. Add the buttermilk; whisk until smooth. If it gets too thin you can add more powdered sugar or chill the mixture to solidify the butter slightly.
- In a second small heatproof bowl, combine the brown sugar glaze’s brown sugar, butter and vanilla, stirring together; add the buttermilk and whisk until smooth. Pop the bowl into the microwave and heat for 30 seconds. This will help melt the brown sugar. If it gets too thin, set the bowl in the freezer to thicken up slightly.
- Place the powdered sugar glaze in a plastic bag and press it into one corner. Repeat with the brown sugar glaze. When the cake is completely cooled, drizzle the first glaze over the top and sides in a decorative patter, and then repeat with the second glaze. The two subtle colors will look beautiful on the cake. Set the cake aside to give the glazes time to harden before cutting.
- Slice and enjoy!
- *If you want to make only one glaze, just double the measurements of the ingredients of one of the glazes.
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