Recipe: German's sweet chocolate cake

Total time: 1 1/2 hours, plus cooling time for the cakes and frosting

Servings: 16

Note: Adapted from Baker's German's sweet chocolate box.

1 package (4 ounces) Baker's German's sweet chocolate

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

2 cups sugar

4 eggs separated

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup buttermilk

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottoms of 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with wax or parchment paper; grease the sides of the pans. Set aside.

2. Microwave the chocolate with 1/2 cup water in a large microwaveable bowl on high for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until the chocolate is almost melted; stirring after each minute. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Alternatively, melt the chocolate with the water in a nonreactive metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until the chocolate is completely melted.

3. Mix the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the chocolate mixture and vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beating until well-blended after each addition.

4. Beat the egg whites in another large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently stir the whipped egg whites into the batter. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.

5. Bake the cakes for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. Immediately run a spatula between the sides of the cakes and the pans. Cool the cakes for 15 minutes on a rack, then remove the cake layers from the pans. Remove the wax or parchment paper. Cook the cakes completely on the wire racks.

Coconut-pecan filling and frosting and final cake assembly1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup (1 ½ sticks) butter

4 egg yolks, slightly beaten

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 package (7 ounces) sweetened coconut

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

3 prepared chocolate cake layers

1. Mix the milk, sugar, butter, egg yolks and vanilla in a large saucepan. Cook on medium heat for 12 minutes or until thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and set aside.

2. Add the coconut and pecans; mix well. Cool to room temperature and desired spreading consistency. This makes 4 1/2 cups frosting.

3. Spread the coconut-pecan filling and frosting evenly between each of the layers and the top of the cake.

Each serving: 645 calories; 8 grams protein; 70 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 39 grams fat; 20 grams saturated fat; 164 mg. cholesterol; 209 mg. sodium.

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