German Chocolate Layer Cake with Coconut Pecan Filling

Source: A Whisk & A Spoon

German Chocolate Layer Cake with Coconut Pecan Filling
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated - Baking Illustrated

To keep sides fresher longer - use cream cheese frosting from Coconut Cupcakes - Add some melted dark chocolate to the frosting and ice the cake with it, and use all of the filling between the layers. Then decorate the cake with some toasted coconut chips.

For the cake (two 8-inch rounds):
1 1/4 cups (6 1/4 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup non-alkalized cocoa, such as Hershey’s
2 tsp. instant coffee or espresso powder
1/3 cup boiling water
1/3 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
12 Tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 oz) granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature

For the filling:
4 large egg yolks
1 cup (7 oz) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted

For the cake: Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease and flour two 8″ round pans lined with parchment rounds. Combine cocoa and instant espresso powder in a small bowl. Add boiling water and mix until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, then stir in the buttermilk and vanilla.

Using a mixer, beat butter until smooth (about 30 seconds). Gradually add the sugar and beat until light & fluffy (about 5 minutes). Beat in eggs one at a time, combining well after each. Scrape down the mixing bowl.

Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. With the mixer on low, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and 1/3 of the cocoa mixture to the batter. Repeat twice more, scraping as needed, until ingredients are just combined.

Divide batter evenly between the pans. Bake 23-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes on wire rack. Turn out of pans and cool completely before assembling.

For the filling: Whisk yolks, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Beat in the butter, and then gradually add cream and vanilla. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 180°F. This will take about 15-20 minutes, and the mixture will be puffy and slightly thickened. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Stir in the coconut and pecans before assembling cake.

To assemble: Cut both cakes in half horizontally so you have four layers total. Spread 1/4 of the filling on top of each layer, stacking as you go.