Cocktail-party factoid for the day: German chocolate cake–that messy and ridiculous pile of layer cake, coconut, and pecans slathered with caramel-infused goo–has nothing to do with Germany. It’s actually named for Samuel German, an employee at Baker’s Chocolate Company who, in 1852, invented a new kind of sweet baking chocolate. In his day, most chocolate was far less sweet than the bars we’re used to now, and so he created German’s Sweet Chocolate Bar, which has more sugar and less cacao, saving cooks the trouble of adding sugar.
German was long dead by the time a Dallas housewife sent a recipe for this cake to a local newspaper in the 1957. General Foods, which owned the Baker’s brand back then, made that lady’s life by distributing the recipe nationwide. It was a clever marketing move; the popularity of the cake reportedly stoked sales of Baker’s–now owned by Kraft–by well over 50%.
Thurs, June 11
National German Chocolate Cake Day
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