More videos from this episode German Chocolate Cake with Coconut-Pecan Filling This cake has made it into the dessert hall of fame, but a closer look reveals shortcomings: faint chocolate flavor, microsuede-like texture, and a complicated mixing process. Gauging Softness of Butter To cream butter for cookies or cakes, the butter must be brought to cool room temperature (about 67 degrees) so that it is malleable but not soft. Don’t hurry this step. Cold butter can’t hold as much air as properly softened butter, and the resulting cakes and cookies may be too dense. If you don’t have an instant-read thermometer to take the temperature of butter, use these visual clues. Cocoa Powder How is Dutch-processed cocoa different from "natural" cocoa? Does the home cook need both? After weeks of testing, we discovered a simple, surprising answer.