Melt chocolate in water, cool (original recipes says microwave chocolate and water in large microwaveable bowl on High for 1½ to 2 minutes or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 minute. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.)
Cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time beating well after each egg. Stir in vanilla and chocolate. Mix flour, soda and salt. Beat in flour mixture, alternately with buttermilk. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, fold into batter. Pour batter into three 9 inch layer pans, lined on bottoms with waxed paper. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly pressed center.
Cool 15 minutes, remove and cool on rack.
COCONUT - PECAN FROSTING
Combine evaporated milk, sugar, slightly beaten egg yolks (original recipe whisk until well blended) then add butter and vanilla in saucepan.
Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened (original recipe says to cook on medium heat 12 minutes or until thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly.) Remove from heat
Stir in shredded coconut and chipped pecans. Cool until thick enough to spread.
Makes 4¼ cups of frosting.