Germany is known for numerous tasty desserts: lebkuchen, Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (Black Forest cake), Bienenstich (bee sting cake), Rote Grütze (Red Berry Pudding), streusels, linzers, and dozens more.
But ironically, one dessert that did not originate in Germany is German Chocolate Cake.
It is named not for its country of origin, however, but to honor the man who developed the type of chocolate used.
Samuel "Sammy" German was an Englishman who came to Dorchester, Massachusetts in the mid 19th-century, and found a job at America's first chocolate factory, Baker's Chocolate Company. Baker's was started in 1764 (then known as Hannon's Best Chocolates, although John Hannon and Dr. James Baker were partners.)
For over eighty years, the company produced cakes of chocolate for use as drinking chocolate, and by the California Gold Rush in 1849, Baker's Chocolate (now under the direction of Walter Baker) was found across America.
|Baker's Cocoa Advertisement, January 1919 Issue of Overland Monthly. Public Domain.
Over a hundred years later, on June 3, 1957, The Dallas Morning News printed a recipe of the day: "German's Chocolate Cake" submitted by Mrs. George Clay. The cake, with the pecan-coconut frosting, became an instant hit. Some sources claim that the recipe was in wider circulation at the time, but Mrs. Clay's recipe has been credited as the one that drew Baker's attention.
General Foods owned Baker's by this time, and they shared Mrs. Clay's recipe with other American newspapers. Sales of Baker's Chocolate increased by 73%, and the cake became an American favorite.
|Still available, even on Amazon!
And if you're not a cake person? Don't despair. German Chocolate is available as a flavoring in beverage syrups and coffees, too.
June 11 is National German Chocolate Cake Day in America. Are you tempted to celebrate it with a slice this year?
Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she's an award-winning, RWA RITA®-nominated author who's seen her work on the ECPA, Amazon, and Publisher's Weekly Bestseller Lists for Inspirational Fiction. To learn more, visit her website, www.susannedietze.com, and sign up for her newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRldfv
Her latest is novel is The Blizzard Bride.