Then my newest issue of Cook's Country Magazine arrived, and I spotted their "Reduced Fat German Chocolate Cake, I felt a glimmer of hope. Is it possible, that my very favorite chocolate cake-- with that gooey, caramel coconut and pecan frosting-- could taste delicious and have a lot less calories and fat? Here's what Cook's Country (which is owned by Cooks Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen) had to say about this recipe "makeover":
- Although we usually don’t cut portion size to reduce calorie count, a triple-layer cake was too over-the-top. Two layers provided an ample serving.
- We rejected traditional German’s chocolate (which gave the cake its name), as it tastes more of sugar than anything else, and used a combination of chopped milk chocolate and Dutch-processed cocoa instead.
- For frosting with deep caramel flavor, we relied entirely on brown sugar.
- Fatty egg yolks typically thicken the frosting, but we found cornstarch worked equally well, without so many added calories.
- Traditional recipes have 740 calories, 45 grams of fat, and 23 grams of saturated fat per serving. Our changes brought the numbers down to 340 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 7 grams of saturated fat.
A few facts about German Chocolate cake-- You won't find this in Germany. Like Chop Suey being an American invented dish--so is German Chocolate Cake! This German Chocolate cake's main flavor component is that milk chocolate is used, rather than dark chocolate. While I really like my Dark Chocolate cake recipe, and this Chocolate Sheet Cake, I am a bigger fan of white chocolate (which isn't really chocolate) and milk chocolate.
To me, the flavor of a cake is in the proof of the batter. I liked the consistency, and it tasted good. The chocolate flavor was subtle, which is a good thing for someone who isn't a big fan of dark chocolate-- and I accept that I'm probably in the minority.
When we started this assignment, we ran to the health food store to pick up unsweetened coconut. Unsweetened has fewer calories than the sweet stuff ordinarily used in German chocolate cake, right? Wrong. Ounce for ounce, sweetened coconut has fewer calories and less fat! How can that be? Sweetened coconut contains more water, which means fewer calories per cup of coconut. We used the sweetened coconut in our cake after all.
The icing was very easy to work with. Divide it evenly and frost only the top.
... then, I realized that I had forgotten to add the reserved pecan-coconut topping! D'oh!
I added it to the rest of the cake... but, I think you could go either way.
EVERYONE ELSE'S VERDICT: They loved it! I left the majority of the cake with our guests-- but Craig wanted two slices to come back home. That pretty much sums up, that this cake is worthy of a repeat performance.
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Enjoying a rainy day at home,