According to my husband, this is the best German chocolate cake recipe in the whole world. Every bite has a light crunch from the pecans, a sweet taste of coconut and a drizzle of chocolate. —Joyce Platfoot, Wapakoneta, Ohio
4 ounces German sweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup water
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups evaporated milk
3/4 cup butter
5 large egg yolks, beaten
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1-1/2 cups chopped pecans
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon shortening
2 ounces semisweet chocolate
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 shortening; stir until smooth. Drizzle over cake.
1 slice: 910 calories, 53g fat (28g saturated fat), 237mg cholesterol, 511mg sodium, 103g carbohydrate (76g sugars, 4g fiber), 11g protein.