Among the Christmas gifts I received this year was the Barefoot Contessa's Foolproof cookbook. Unlike most cookbooks I have, I am trying to actually use this one and not just stare at the pictures. When it comes to the cooking recipes, I will probably prove the Foolproof title wrong so I decided to start with a baking recipe.
All of the dessert recipes sound great except maybe Prunes in Armagnac. Probably because I initially read the title as Prunes in Armageddon and I thought of the movie and Bruce Willis VERY DRAMATICALLY pushing Ben Affleck out of the way so Bruce could save the world and then I had the Aerosmith song from the movie stuck in my head for the rest of the day.
So with Steve Tyler wailing "Don't Want to Miss a Thing" in my head, I set about making the German Chocolate Cupcakes.
And then I had the profound realization that I do not think I have ever had German Chocolate Cake ever. Is that normal? Or does this probably rank right up there with silencing a room last week when I said that I had never seen the Little Mermaid. Honestly, I think the only animated Disney movies I have seen are the Lion King and Bambi. And part of Beauty and the Beast before I fell asleep fifteen minutes in. Animation creeps me out. And obviously, I am much too busy watching high-quality films like Armageddon.
So I do not know the plot of the Little Mermaid and I also had no idea what was in German Chocolate cake. I knew coconut just from seeing cake but what else? And why is it oh-so-German? Was there a delicious soft pretzel and beer baked in the middle? Wikipedia shed some light that it has no association with Germany country but the recipe was created by someone with the last name German.
I really liked the chocolate cake portion of the cupcake. The cake is fluffy and rich. The yield calls for 14-15 cupcakes. I put more batter in each liner than I normally do and I had 18 large cupcakes. I think this recipe could easily make 24 regular-sized cupcakes.
The topping is a combination of coconut, pecans, and toasted almonds.
The almond flavor overpowers the filling a bit. In the future, I would likely halve the amount of almond extract the recipe calls for. Unless it is supposed to taste this almondy? I probably should not be judging the flavor since I actually have no idea what German Chocolate Cake tastes like. German Chocolate Cake experts, now is your chance to weigh in!
I think I am just used to pretty frosting cupcakes because while they cupcakes tasted good, the appearance of them left something to be desired in my eyes.
Working through this recipe, I have to say that I like the Barefoot Contessa recipe-writing style (or that of the Barefoot Contessa's official recipe writer on staff). It is very clear and easy to follow. I am excited to keep trying more recipes from the book!