Boxed cake mixes have come a long way, but once you've tasted this cake you'll truly understand why you just can't beat homemade. This cake is unbelievably moist.
PREP TIME: 1 hour
COOK TIME: 30-40 minutes
1 (4 oz.) package of Sweetened Chocolate
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
Frosting: (double the below incredients if frosting top and sides of cake)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
3 beaten egg yolks
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/3 cup flake coconut
Cake: Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare three 8-inch cake pans. Use a knife or a pen to mark 3 sheets of wax paper around the exterior of the pans Then, with scissors, cut along the lines to create circles that will fit inside the cake pans. Coat the inside of each pan with shortening, then dust the insides of each pan with flour. Place the cut wax paper in the bottom of each pan.
In a small bowl mix sweetened chocolate and 1/2 cup boiling water until the chocolate is fully melted. Set aside to cool.
Sift together the flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, then set aside. Using a mixer, combine 1 cup butter with 2 cups sugar mixing until fluffy. Continue mixing, slowly add in the four egg yolks until fully incorporated. Add the melted chocolate and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add the buttermilk and the flour mixture by alternating portions of each. Don't stop mixing as you do this. Once all the buttermilk and flour mixture have been added- continue mixing until smooth.
In a separte bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed until they are fluffy and have formed peaks. This takes about 5 minutes. Working quickly, so egg whites stay fluffy, fold the egg whites slowly and gently into the cake batter. Do not stir or beat. Once incorporated pour equal amounts of batter into each of the 8-inch cake pans and bake for 30-40 minutes. Do not open the oven while baking or the cakes may fall. Insert a tooth pick in cakes and if it comes out clean the cakes are done. Place cakes on cooling racks for 15 minutes, then use a knife to cut the cakes away from the sides and remove cakes from pans. Remove the wax paper from the bottom and let cool completely.
Frosting: Spread 1 cup of pecans on a microwavable plate and microwave for 1 minute. Then take the pecans out and turn them over a few times with your hand. Put them back in the microwave for another minute. Chop the pecans into several pieces. Do not chop too finely. Note: Remember to double the recipe if frosting the entire cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting. The other option is to frost the sides of the cake with chocolate frosting, in which case you will not need to double the Coconut Pecan Frosting recipe.
In a medium size pan, over medium heat, stir together 1 cup evaporated milk, 1 cup sugar, 3 beaten egg yolks 1/2 cup butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla and cook for 12 minutes. Then add the coconut and roasted pecans. The mixture should be fairly thick. Remove from heat and let cool until it is firm and easy to spread.
Assembling the cake: Divide the frosting into three separate, but equal parts. If you made a double recipe, divide the frosting in half first, then divide one of the halves into thirds. Place one of the thirds onto the first cake layer and spread the frosting to the edges, completely covering the top of the layer. Place the second cake layer on top of the first and frost with another third of the frosting. Repeat with the third cake layer. You are now ready to frost the sides of the cake. If frosting the sides with the Coconut Pecan Frosting, press the frosting onto the sides to make it stick. It won't be perfectly smooth, but by pressing it into the cake it will stick. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes (or so) to help the frosting set. Once set, you no longer have to refrigerate the cake.