This was a contest-winning entry from Taste of Home magazine that I found on the good ol' internet, and it was the most impressive German chocolate cake yet. The changes I made are noted in bold.
One last change I would make in the future is to make 1 and 1/2 times the coconut frosting, 'cause that's my favorite part.
- 4 ounces German sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-1/2 cups cake flour (I used regular flour but removed one tablespoon from each cup of flour the recipe called for)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk (I used sham buttermilk; whole milk plus one tablespoon white vinegar to make one cup; let sit for five minutes
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1-1/2 cups evaporated milk
- 3/4 cup butter
- 5 egg yolks, beaten
- 2 cups flaked coconut (I added more, to taste, because I like to taste, and I toasted it first in a 300 degree oven for about 15 minutes until golden and toasty)
- 1-1/2 cups chopped pecans (I added more, to taste, and I toasted the pecans on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven first, for about five minutes, which made their flavor tremendous)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon shortening
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate (Skip this icing! Instead, I made some ganache with heavy cream and chocolate chips. Melt about a cup of chocolate chips with 1/4 cup heavy cream and spread it when it cools to spreading consistency.)
- Line three greased 9-in. round baking pans with waxed paper. Grease waxed paper and set aside. In small saucepan, melt chocolate with water over low heat; cool.
- Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 4 egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in melted chocolate and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
- In a small bowl and with clean beaters, beat the 4 egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold a fourth of the egg whites into creamed mixture; fold in remaining whites.
- Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 24-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- For frosting, in a small saucepan, heat sugar, milk, butter and egg yolks over medium-low heat until mixture is thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut, pecans and vanilla extract. Cool until thick enough to spread. Spread a third of the frosting over each cake layer and stack the layers.
- In a microwave, melt chocolate and heavy cream for ganache; stir until smooth; let cool, and spread on cake.