My Dad called me just before his 75th birthday and asked me to bring him a cake to his birthday dinner, because Mom had him on a diet and I was under strict orders to not mention that he asked for a cake. He loves chocolate cake and coconut so I thought if I was taking the wrap for his birthday cake I was going to make it an impressive one
TO MAKE CAKE: Preheat oven to 325, spray 3 8' round cake pans or 2 9" rounds with cooking spray and dust with cocoa. shake excess out of pans. Chop the German's chocolate into 1' pieces and place in microwave safe bowl and cook on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes stopping and stirring every 30 seconds until chocolate is melted. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form and set aside. Place sour cream and oil in large mixing bowl mix till incorporated add pudding mix and melted chocolate and mix till all comes together. Then add cake mix and hot water, mix together than add egg yolks one at a time. Beat on low until all ingredients are combined about 30 seconds Scrape down sides of bowl and increase mixer speed to medium and beat 1 1/2 minutes longer. The batter should look smooth and thickened. Fold in whipped egg whites. Divide batter between pans and smooth tops place pans side by side on the ovens middle rack bake 29 to 33 min till done. Transfer cakes in pan to wire rack let cool 5 minutes then turn out cakes right side up on rack and let cool completely 20 minutes or longer
TO MAKE FILLING: Spread coconut on one sheet pan and the chopped pecans on another. Toast in a 350 degree oven 4 to 5 min just until light brown stir around coconut and pecans after about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Place evaporated milk, sugar, butter, and egg yolks in a large sauce pan over medium heat. cook stirring constantly with wooden spoon until thickened and golden brown in color, this will take at least 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla let filling cool 5 minutes then fold in toasted pecans and coconut and let cool another 15 minutes or till room temperature.
TO MAKE CHOCOLATE GANACHE FROSTING: Place chopped semi sweet chocolate in a large stainless bowl. Pour cream into small heavy saucepan and place over medium high heat and bring to boil stirring constantly. Remove the cream from the heat and pour over chocolate pieces. Using wooden spoon stir until chocolate is melted. Stir in vanilla and let cool at room temperature 45 minutes to 1 hour, then whip with mixer 1 to 2 minutes.
TO ASSEMBLE CAKE: If you baked 2 9" layers slice each layer in 1/2 to make 4 layers or if using 3 8" layers no need to slice. Place bottom layer cut side up on cake plate spread 1 cup of filling over layer to edges. Place next layer cut side down, spread another cup of filling over layer repeat with final 2 layers. On final layer on 8 or 9" cakes use the rest of the filling on the top spread to edges of cake. Ice sides of with whipped ganache.Place ganache in a piping bag with a large star tip and pipe boarder around bottom of cake and rosettes around top of cake and one in center and place reserved pecan halves in rosettes.