It turns out that his mom would make him a German Chocolate Cake for his birthday when he was growing up and he wanted to continue that tradition for his celebration. I was happy to oblige of course, but talk about pressure to meet or exceed the expectations of childhood longing!
For this intimidating task, I turned to Cook’s Illustrated for guidance, and as always, I’m glad I did. The Cook’s Illustrated German Chocolate Cake uses whole eggs instead of separated eggs, which the kitchen testers found actually improves the cake texture. I also think the use of sour cream instead of milk/heavy cream has something to do with this, as the sour cream gives the batter a luscious thickness and structure that helps prevent any cake sinking.
The end result was a cake with a fine crumb and silky melt-in-your-mouth experience, and a very distinctively chocolate taste. I highly recommend this cake!
The coconut-pecan filling was great too, but honestly most recipes for the filling should be relatively good. I recommend toasting both the coconut and pecans before mixing for enhanced flavor.
I cut two 10″ cakes in half for 4 cake layers, each brushed with rum simple syrup, and topped with coconut-pecan filling. I then coated the sides of the layered cake with dark chocolate frosting. I originally intended to make small tempered chocolate cut-outs for a geometric decoration, but ran out of time. Hopefully I can execute that vision sometime in the future.