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Lots of steps, but nothing too complicated, and this is the best German Chocolate Cake I’ve had! I like to let my coconut filling and frosting sit over night, but you can just cool it to room temperature.
(adapted from David Lebovitz)
FOR THE BATTER:
1. Butter two 9-inch cake pans, then line the bottoms with rounds of parchment or wax paper. Preheat the oven to 350°.
2. Melt both chocolates together with the 6 tablespoons of water. Use either a double-boiler or a microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir until smooth, then set aside until room temperature.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1 ¼ cup of the sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the melted chocolate, then the egg yolks, one at a time.
4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
5. Mix in half of the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture, then the buttermilk and the vanilla extract, then the rest of the dry ingredients.
6. In a separate metal or glass bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold soft, droopy peaks. Beat in the remaining ¼ cup of sugar until stiff.
7. Carefully fold about one-third of the egg whites into the cake batter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining egg whites just until there’s no trace of egg white visible. Don’t overmix!
8. Divide the batter into the 2 prepared cake pans, smooth the tops, and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool cake layers completely.
TO MAKE THE FILLING:
1. Mix the cream, sugar, and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Put the 6 tablespoons butter, salt and toasted coconut in a large bowl.
2. Heat the cream mixture and cook, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the spoon.
3. Pour the hot custard immediately into the coconut mixture and stir until the butter is melted. Refrigerate overnight. Add the pecans when ready to assemble the cake, so they don’t get soggy.
TO MAKE THE SYRUP:
1. In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and water until the sugar has melted. Remove from heat and stir in the dark rum.
TO MAKE THE ICING:
1. Place the 8 ounces of chopped chocolate in a bowl with the corn syrup and 3 tablespoons of butter.
2. Heat the cream until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let stand for one minute, then stir until smooth. Refrigerate, tightly sealed, overnight. When ready to use, bring to room temperature, and whip to form a spreadable frosting.
TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE:
Remove the cake layers from the pans and cut both cake layers in half horizontally, using a serrated bread knife, so you have four cake layers.
Set the first cake layer on a cake plate. Brush well with syrup. Spread a thin layer of frosting, then ¾ cup of the coconut filling over the cake layer, making sure to frost and fill to the edges. Set another cake layer on top.
Repeat, using the syrup to brush each cake layer, a thin layer of frosting, and ¾ cup of the coconut filling over each layer, including the top.
Ice the sides with the chocolate icing, then pipe a decorative border of chocolate icing around the top, encircling the coconut topping. It seems like a lot of frosting, but use as much of it as you can!