Before making the cake I thought I should learn the meaning behind the name. Per wikipedia:
Contrary to popular belief, this cake did not originate in Germany. Instead, the name derives from Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate, which was created in 1852 by an Englishman named Samuel German for the Baker's Chocolate brand. The original recipe for "German's Chocolate Cake" was sent by a Dallas, Texas homemaker to a local newspaper in 1957. The cake became quite popular and General Foods — which owned the brand at the time — distributed the recipe to other newspapers in the country, and sales of Baker's Chocolate are said to have increased by as much as 73%. The possessive form (German's) was dropped in subsequent publications, forming the "German Chocolate Cake" identity we know today.So, not so German after all...but pretty darn good nontheless!
1 (4-oz) package of Bakers Sweetened Chocolate
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup salted butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs - whites seperated from yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups sifted baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
Roughly chop chocolate and mix with 1/2 cup boiling water. (I know...it seems counterintuitive to mix water and chocolate...but it works!). Allow it to cool to room temperature. Combine butter and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy (5-7 minutes) Add egg yolks while slowly and mix until incorporated. Add cooled chocolate liquid and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Sift flour, baking soda and salt. Add milk and flour to the mixture (alternating between the two) and mix until incorporated. Add egg whites to a clean mixing bowl. Make sure no egg yolk is mixed into the egg whites. Mix on high speed until you have stiff peaks (about 5 minutes). Fold the egg whites into the cake batter SLOWLY. Resist the urge to just stir it in, your patience will be rewarded! Line three 8-inch round cake pans with parchment. Butter and flour the sides to prevent sticking. This is sort of a pain, but if you've ever had a cake stick will agree it's worth the extra effort. Pour equal amounts of batter into each cake pan and level batter as much as possible. Bake for 30-40 minutes (or until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean). Cool in pans for 15 minutes then transfer to cooling racks and allow to cool completly
I decided to do the traditional coconut pecan frosting between the layers and a chocolate buttercream frosting on top of the cake. Since I couldn't really see myself making two different frostings from scratch, I took a shortcut and used Pillsbury's Coconut Pecan. It probably wasn't as good as making it from scratch, but it was quite tasty!
For the buttecream, I used this Ina Garten recipe. I'm not sure what exactly Ina was intending to frost with all this buttercream, but I made a half recipe and still had a good amount to spare.
I frosted the cake and topped it off with some Dagoba chocolate shavings.
I must say that the result was quite tasty!