We’re backkkkkk. It’s Progressive Eats time and after a sabbatical over the Christmas season, our crew is ready to gather together and share some of our favorite recipes again. This month our group has been challenged by Lana with the blog Never Enough Thyme to take a trip down Memory Lane with a comfort food from our past. For me that one thing would have to be German Chocolate Cake; my first choice for a birthday cake since I was a young girl and certainly something that fits perfectly in the ‘comfort food’ family. I made the birthday cakes in our family and that included my own and I admit my efforts utilized a box cake mix with coordinated frosting. That was before icings were pre-made and packaged in cans; they used to be a blend of dry ingredients that you mixed with butter and milk and it made a decent enough frosting. But I’ve NEVER liked the stuff in a can; I’m just certain there is no butter in there but something hydrogenated or de-hydrogenated or whatever but I just don’t like it. When the dry product was no more, I decided to do it the old fashioned way and went looking for a recipe for both the cake and the yummy frosting. I’ve made this in times past by simply following the recipe on the German’s Sweet Chocolate Bar but this time around I wanted to change it up a bit and I’m betting it’s no surprise to anyone that I would be adding a bit of booze. The resulting German Chocolate Cake with Rum Glaze and Buttercream is simply divine.
That first effort at locating a recipe was interesting; I suppose like many I had always assumed this cake was a tried and true confection brought to this country by German immigrants; you know, my people. To say the story was a surprise would be an understatement. Not so much German as simply a cake named after the chocolate bar used in a recipe that was created by an American baker. I had always associated lederhosen but bobby socks would have been more appropriate! Ah well…despite the letdown that it was not from the country of my great grandparents origin, I still loved the cake and German’s Sweet Chocolate (now owned by Baker’s) and that ingedient would remain…some things are sacred!
I mentioned I changed it up a bit and yes, I do think the end result is even better. Not big changes but just enough to amplify the flavors. I always add espresso to chocolate cakes; it elevates the flavor of chocolate. I also wanted something a bit more unique than the bazillion versions of the same thing scattered over the Internet so I decided to add some rum. There is rum in each component; complimenting but not taking over either. The Rum Buttercream? Decorative purposes only…do you know how hard it is to try and decorate a German Chocolate Cake? Spreading more of the coconut pecan frosting on the sides didn’t appeal to me; this cake seems to be the original of the ‘no frosting on the sides’ rustic look we see more and more of today and I saw no reason not to keep that. Drizzling chocolate seemed to be just messy and not enough contrast to really make it more attractive. The idea of buttercream came to me only after the cake was done and cooling and I had been adding rum to all of the separate components…you know, one of those, “Hmm,. maybe a rum buttercream would work?” I was after a color contrast as much as anything but it’s a nice little flavor surprise too and I know I won’t make a German Chocolate Cake again without it. Ever.
What foods make you think of Comfort Foods? Are any of them similar to what we’ve put together? Don’t forget to check out all of the great comfort foods from my friends after the recipe; you won’t be disappointed!
Memory Lane Comfort Food
- Cheesy Spinach Dip from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Welsh Rarebit Crostini from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Stuffed Cabbage from Mother Would Know
- Chole Aloo (Chickpas & Potatoes) from Spice Roots
- Old-Fashioned Chicken Pot Pie (Gluten Free) from The Heritage Cook
- Chicken and Rice Casserole from Miss in the Kitchen
- Texas Tater Tot Casserole from Stetted
- Chings, Junior Style (Copycat Recipe) from Pastry Chef Online
- Chicken Cordon Bleu All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
- Pineapple Upside Down Cake from Never Enough Thyme
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is Memory Lane and is hosted by Lana Stuart who blogs at Never Enough Thyme. For our Memory Lane dinner, we all created recipes based on comfort foods which evoke feelings of nostalgia and warmth
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.
We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.