Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

German Chocolate Cake

Servings: 12
A lovely and delicious chocolate layer cake you'll want to serve at almost any holiday or celebration. If desired, place pecan halves around cake edges for a decorative touch.

1/2 cup boiling water
4 ounces German's Chocolate or Milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks/8oz/226gm) unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh buttermilk

Coconut-Pecan Filling and Frosting (see recipe below)

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (see recipe below) optional

Pecan Halves, for decoration (optional)

To Make Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Using a small brush, lightly coat three 8-inch round cake pans with softened butter or nonstick vegetable cooking spray. Dust with flour and tap out any excess. Set aside.

In a medium heat-proof bowl, pour the boiling water over the German's Chocolate (or milk chocolate, if using). Stir until smooth and set aside. In another medium bowl, combine the flour,
cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, using a mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the sugar and butter until very light,1 to 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks, one at a time,
until well incorporated. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the chocolate mixture and vanilla. Add the flour mixture by thirds, alternating with the buttermilk and ending with the dry ingredients.

Thoroughly clean the mixer beaters. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Use a rubber spatula to gently stir a half cup of the beaten whites into the batter. Fold the remaining whites into the batter.

Divide the batter equally between the pans and spread evenly. Bake on the middle rack of the oven until a tester inserted in the center of each cake layer comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.
Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Use a knife to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan and invert onto the wire rack to cool completely.

To Fill, Frost and Assemble Cake
Place one layer on a cake plate and top with one third of the Coconut-Pecan Filling. Repeat with second and third layers and remaining filling, leaving sides of cake unfrosted, OR as an option, just fill cake layers with Coconut-Pecan Filling and frost the top of cake with the Coconut-Pecan Frosting (not the sides of cake); then spread the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting on sides of cake. If desired, place pecan halves around top edges of cake for a decorative touch. Serve or store cake in an airtight container at room temperature.

Makes 12 servings.

Coconut-Pecan Filling

Makes 3 1/2 cups

1 cup granulated sugar
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 oz./113g) unsalted butter
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Make the filling: In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, milk, butter, egg yolks, and vanilla. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in coconut and pecans. Transfer to a bowl and, stirring occasionally, allow to cool to room temperature before filling and frosting the cake.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (optional)

Makes about 2 cups frosting

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 2/3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat butter in small bowl. Add confectioners' sugar and cocoa alternately with milk; beat to spreading consistency, (additional milk may be needed). Stir in vanilla.

Date: January 20, 2004