(by Tamala Coleman)
I would like to believe that my mother’s love began when she found out she'd be having her first child, and it never stopped. When I started kindergarten, when I had a fight in school with a bully, when I got my first skinned knee, she was always there to console and comfort me with words of healing.
And with German chocolate cake.
I was born in Nuremburg, Germany (my father was in the U.S. Army). I don’t know if my place of birth had anything to do with my love for this cake, but it is my mom’s specialty—what she made from scratch for my birthday, excitement bubbling up inside of me every year as the baking commenced. My sister and I both loved licking the spoon as much as the finished cake.
My mother, Marie, knew me well, even knew about my aspirations to write before I did. But our relationship was not always happy-go-lucky, especially during my teenaged years in Atlanta, Georgia. I remember wanting to go to the mall with a couple of girlfriends, which meant riding the bus—something that did not meet my mother’s approval. I cried and cried and shut myself up in my room. But my mother had a calm nature, never yelling or speaking loudly, just explaining her concern for my safety. And happily, our ability to communicate has grown over the years.
Just as with cake baking, the ingredients of relationships must be mixed and given a chance to rise in order to become what they were meant to be. Each step of the way, the flour has to adjust to the other ingredients. Each new ingredient transforms the flour. Sometimes the mixing process can stress the flour, and the new ingredients have to be added a little at a time. But with each step, the baker gives the flour time to rest and become accustomed to its new state of being. Mothers are like that, seeing their children for what they can be and continuing to love them through the process.
Thank you, Mother, for loving me unconditionally—and for German chocolate cake.
Tamala Coleman is the founder of TC Praise Productions and host of the podcast Spiritually Speaking With Tamala.
German Chocolate Cake 4 oz. Baker's German Sweet Chocolate 1/2 c. boiling water 1 c. butter 2 c. sugar
4 egg yolks
1 t. vanilla extract 2 1/2 c. sifted cake flour or 2 1/4 c. sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 t. salt 1 t. baking soda 1 c. buttermilk 4 egg whites, stiffly beaten
Preheat oven to 350 F. Melt chocolate in boiling water, and allow to cool. In a mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and melted chocolate. Sift flour with salt and baking soda.
Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk to chocolate mixture, beating after each addition until smooth. Fold in beaten egg whites. Pour into three 9-inch round cake pans lined on the bottom with parchment paper and greased on the sides. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes.
Cool before frosting the tops of each layer and stacking the layers.
Coconut Pecan Frosting
1 c. evaporated milk
1 c. sugar
3 slightly beaten egg yolks
1/2 c. butter or margarine
1 t. vanilla extract
1 1/3 c. Baker's Angel Flake Coconut
1 c. chopped pecans
Combine evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, butter or margarine, and vanilla extract. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened, about 12 minutes. Add coconut and pecans. Cool until thick enough to spread, beating occasionally. Makes 2 1/2 cups.