German Chocolate Cake with Coconut-Pecan Frosting

CAKE: 4 ounces sweet cooking chocolate -- cut into pieces

1/2 cup water

2 cups sugar

1 cup butter or margarine -- softened

4 eggs

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk*

* {or 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice, plus enough milk to make 1 cup} 1 teaspoon vanilla

FROSTING: 1 cup sugar

1 cup evaporated milk

1/2 cup butter or margarine

3 eggs -- beaten

1 1/3 cups flaked coconut

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour three 9-inch round cake pans. In small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate with water; cool. 2. In large bowl, combine 2 cups sugar and 1 cup butter or margarine; beat until light and fluffy. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in chocolate mixture. Add all remaining cake ingredients; beat at low speed until well combined. Pour batter into greased and floured pans. 3. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool 1 hour or until completely cooled. 4. In medium saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar, evaporated milk, 1/2 cup butter or margarine, and 3 eggs; mix well. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in coconut, pecans, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cool 30 minutes or until completely cooled. 5. Place 1 cake layer, top side down, on serving plate. Spread 1/3 of the frosting. Repeat with remaining cake layers and frosting, ending with frosting.

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