Special equipment: a double boiler
For the cake: Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the chocolate with 1/2 cup boiling water in the top of a double boiler until the chocolate is melted.
Cream together the sugar and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed, 3 minutes. Fold in the melted chocolate. Add the egg yolks.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Add to the butter mixture and stir to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Stir in the buttermilk.
Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl with cleaned beaters until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the cake batter. Divide the batter among the prepared cake pans and bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Invert the pans onto racks and cool well.
For the frosting: Combine the sugar, evaporated milk, butter, egg yolks and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously, being careful not to scorch the frosting. Lower the heat and cook, 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut and pecans. Spread the frosting in a shallow pan, and place in the refrigerator to cool completely.
To assemble the cake: Slice each cake layer in half horizontally, making a total of 6 thin layers. Place the first cake layer on a cake plate, then spread about 1/4 inch of the frosting over the top of the cake. Place the next cake layer over the frosting. Repeat the layers, alternating cake and frosting, until all the layers have been used. Frost the outside of the cake.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Rosine's Restaurant, Monterey, CA