The man of the house will tell you that there are three desserts that he really likes; thin and chewy chocolate chip cookies, pecan pie and German Chocolate Cake. The German Chocolate Cake he grew up with is the original recipe printed on Baker's brand German Chocolate bars. Apparently this is the cake he requested for all of his childhood birthdays and I didn't want to go messin' with a good thing when I made this German Chocolate Cake last weekend. I was honestly surprised at the complexity of the cake recipe found inside the box. I figured this recipe would be one step removed from the boxed, add water, eggs and oil variety, but soon found out that I would be whipping egg whites into stiff little peaks and stirring constantly at my stovetop to make the gooey coconut-pecan filling that elevates German Chocolate Cake to crave-worthy status. The chocolate cake layers are light and are not overwhelmingly chocolate-y. They are a perfect counterpoint to the sinfully rich and decadent coconut pecan filling.
For the Filling
4 egg yolks
1can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine
1 pkg. (7 oz.) sweetened shredded coconut (about 2-2/3 cups)
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
For the Cake
1 pkg. (4 oz.) Baker's brand German's Sweet Chocolate
1/2 cup water
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
Now You're Cookin':
I would recommend making the filling first and then making the cake layers. The filling takes longer to cool than the cakes and I'm afraid my layers suffered a bit from having still warm filling added. If you have patience and time to spare make the cake in any order you'd like but wait until both are cooled to room temperature before assembling the cake.
In a large saucepan whisk together the egg yolks, milk and vanilla in large saucepan with wire whisk until well blended.
Add sugar and butter. Cook on medium heat 12 minutes or until thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat.
Add coconut and pecans and mix until thoroughly combined.
Set aside until cooled to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cover bottoms of 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with parchment paper. Grease sides of pans and the top of the parchment paper.
Microwave chocolate and water in medium microwaveable bowl on full power 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 min. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl beat butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.
Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Blend in melted chocolate and the vanilla.
Add flour mixture and buttermilk in alternating additions, beating until well blended after each addition. The original recipe didn't specify how many additions to use. I did 6.
In a small metal or glass bowl beat egg whites with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form.
Gently stir into batter.
Pour evenly into prepared pans.
Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean.
Immediately run small metal spatula around cake layers in pans.
Cool in pans 15 minutes then remove layers from pans and place on wire racks.
Remove and discard parchment paper.
Cool cake layers completely.
Spread Coconut-Pecan Filling and Frosting between cake layers and onto top of cake.