German Chocolate Cheesecake


3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 large eggs, separated
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
Cake Layers
1 (4 ounce) package sweet German cooking chocolate
1/3 cup water
1 2/3 cups flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt (not iodized)
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon vanilla (optional)
Coconut Pecan Topping
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
2/3 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla

One 9-inch cake round or a foil covered piece of cardboard cut to the exact size of the cake.
Cheesecake: Preheat oven to 325°.
All ingredients should be at room temperature.
Line bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with a circle of parchment paper cut to fit.
Beat cream cheese, sugar and flour till light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
Add yolks one at a time, mixing thoroughly (by hand) until each is blended.
Add lemon juice and vanilla, stir to blend, then stir in sour cream.
Whip egg whites until soft peaks form, fold in to cream cheese mixture.
Pour mixture into lined, ungreased pan.
Bake 1 hour 10 minutes at 325° or until center of cake is firm.
Turn oven off and cool cake in oven for 1 hour with the door cracked open (I stick a wooden spoon in the door).
Remove cake from oven and let it cool to room temp, then refrigerate it overnight before removing pan.
Cake Layers: to be used as a base and top for the cheesecake-- makes two 9-inch layers, you can use both layers for this cake or split one layer in half to make 2 thin cake layers and freeze the remaining whole layer for another use.
(I prefer using thinner layers with the cheesecake middle.).
Combine chocolate and water, cook& stir over low heat till melted.
Cool chocolate mixture.
Combine flour sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add melted chocolate, milk, butter and vanilla.
Beat on low/med speed till combined; beat at high speed for about 2 minutes.
Add eggs and beat 2 minutes more.
Pour batter into 2 greased and floured round layer cake pans (9 x 1 1/2 inch size).
Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes or till done (use"toothpick test").
Cool on rack for 10 minutes, remove from pans and cool completely on racks.
When completely cool, wrap layers and refrigerate until the next day, they slice easier when cold AND the cheesecake MUST chill overnight before removing it from the pan to assemble the cake.
Ganache: Make the ganache before assembling the cake layers, this way it will have time to cool before you use it.
Place the chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl and set aside.
Heat the cream and butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat and bring it to a boil.
Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow it to stand for 5 minutes.
Stir with a whisk until smooth.
If desired, add the vanilla and whisk a bit to blend.
Let the ganache cool a bit (till its just warm) before glazing the cake.
Make sure the cake is cold (chilled) before covering with the ganache so that the ganache will not get dull when the cake is refrigerated.
Coconut Pecan Topping: Make the topping while the glazed cake is chilling.
Melt butter in small saucepan.
Stir in sugar, evaporated milk and egg yolk.
Cook and stir over low heat about 10 minutes or till thickened.
Stir in 2/3 cup coconut, chopped pecans and vanilla.
Set aside to cool a bit, spread topping over the top of cake.
To assemble the cake: You will need a 9-inch cake round or a foil covered piece of cardboard cut to the exact size of the cake.
Make the ganache (steps # 25 to 32) and set it aside to cool while assembling the layers.
Place a cooling rack on a cookie sheet and set it aside for use later.
When ready to assemble the cake, remove cake layer (s) from refrigerator, and using a long knife, slice one layer in half (making 2 round layers); if you prefer, you can use the 2 layers whole.
To remove cold cheesecake from pan, run a thin knife around the inside of the pan (between the cake and the pan) to loosen it from the pan, being careful not to cut into the cake.
Place a cake layer on top of the cheesecake (if using a"split layer," put the cut side on the cheesecake, if using a"whole layer" put the bottom side on the cheesecake).
Unlatch the spring and carefully remove the side.
Place a 9-inch cake round (or foil covered piece of cardboard which has been cut to fit the exact size of cake) on top of the cake layer.
With one hand on the cardboard and one hand on the springform base, quickly invert the cake/cheesecake and place on the cooling rack (the cake layer should be on the bottom, cheesecake layer on the top).
Carefully remove the springform base and the parchment paper from the cheesecake.
Place second layer of cake (cut side down) on the top of the cheesecake.
The cheesecake should now be sandwiched between 2 cake layers.
Pour the warm ganache on the middle of cake, smoothing evenly across the top and over the sides.
Smooth the dripped ganache around the sides to cover the sides completely.
You can use the ganache that dripped into the"catch pan" if you run a bit short.
(If the ganache gets too thick, you can reheat it slightly to thin it.) Chill glazed cake for about 20-30 minutes to set the glaze.
While glazed cake is chilling, make the pecan topping (steps # 33 to 38) and set aside till needed.
Remove chilled cake from refrigerator, spread the cooled pecan coconut topping on the top of the cake.
Cover finished cake lightly and refrigerate.
Keep cake refrigerated until 20 minutes before serving.
The cake tastes best if its not “refrigerator cold”.