- 60 minutes
- 30 minutes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Get out all of your ingredients. If you do not have buttermilk, measure 1 cup of milk and a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Stir milk mixture. Put milk mixture aside. Fold parchment paper into three layers. Trace the bottom of a 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper. Cut out parchment paper rounds keeping the layers intact. When finished you should have three parchment paper circle cutouts. Spray the bottom of 3 (9-inch) cake pans (I used spring-form pans; made for easier process but regular cake pans are fine too). Line bottom of cake pans with parchment paper, and then lightly grease parchment paper.
Microwave (or you can use the double-boiler method; pot of hot water and a stove-top/oven safe bowl to put on top of pot; put pieces of chocolate in bowl and melt chocolate) chocolate baking bars and 1/2 cup of water in a large microwave-safe bowl at High temperature for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes; stirring chocolate after each 30-45 second intervals until chocolate is melted and smooth.
Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a sifter in a medium bowl. Sift ingredients. Set aside.
Beat unsalted butter and sugars at medium speed until mixer is fluffy with an electric mixer. Add egg yolks one at a time until each yolk is blended. Stir in the chocolate mixture and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternating with buttermilk, making sure to mix on low speed until combined (do not over-mix).
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in egg whites into the cake batter. Pour into prepared cake pans.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 25-30 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and onto a wire rack. Carefully take a knife and gently run the knife around the cake layer to loosen the cake from the pan. Cool for approximately 15 minutes. Remove cake layers from the pan, take the parchment paper off the bottom of cake and continue to cool on the wire rack for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. While cake is cooling toast coconut and pecans. While the toasted coconut and pecans are cooling, make the icing. In a large saucepan combine all ingredients except coconut and pecans. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick (if mixture is not thick enough for your liking, take small amount of the mixture and put in a small bowl, add a teaspoon or so of cornstarch to the mixture. Stir mixture and add back into the mixture that is in the saucepan). Remove from heat and stir in coconut flakes and pecan pieces.
When cake is cooled completely, layer each cake with some of the coconut pecan icing and some of the toasted coconut and pecan pieces. Garnish with whole pecans if desired. Drizzle the cake dark chocolate.
I usually make this cake and other dessert recipes with lower calorie ingredients. I typically use almond milk or low fat milk for whole milk products. Less egg yolks in the recipe and more egg whites (3 egg yolks for example instead of 4 egg yolks and two- three egg whites depending on size in the place of the egg yolk taken out). I use 1/2 Stevia (or you can use another sugar substitute) and 1/2 sugar instead of using all sugar in a recipe. It's healthier for you and my husband and his parents are diabetics, so I have to make my recipes healthier. Plus, you feel less guilty when eating the desserts made with lower calorie and lower fat ingredients.