Heat oven to 350F/176C. Grease two 9 inch cake pans, line with parchment paper, then grease and flour that as well. In a pinch, you can use wax paper. Moistened cake strips around the pan are recommended.
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
To Make the Mocha Frosting
Put the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat them together until they are soft and fluffy.
Add the vanilla, cocoa, and coffee and continue to beat.
Slowly start adding the powdered sugar a little at a time.
When you notice that the frosting has begun to ball up like a dough, it is time to add the cream. Do not add it all at once, just a little at a time until you have the right consistency.
To Make the Coconut-Pecan Frosting:
Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 176 C. Reserve 8 of the pecans. Place the remaining pecans on a baking sheet and bake for about 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from oven, cool, and then chop fairly fine. Use the food processor to do this.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, milk, egg yolks, butter, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, and when the mixture begins to boil and thicken, remove from heat (about 5 minutes). Stir in the chopped pecans, coconut, and vanilla extract. Let cool until spreadable (about 30-60 minutes).
Put about half of the coconut pecan frosting on the first layer of cake.
Top with the second layer.
Put the mocha frosting all around the sides of the cake and a thinner layer on top, but don't use it all up.
Put the rest of the coconut pecan on the top of the cake about seven inches in circumference, leaving a 2-inch border of the mocha frosting.
Put more of the mocha frosting on that border so the two are relatively the same height. You could pipe this on to make it even more special.
Finally, arrange the reserved pecans on the top of the cake on top of the coconut pecan frosting.
For the cake:You will not be able to taste the coffee. It just makes the chocolate more chocolate tasting. Don't use brewed coffee.For the coconut-pecan frosting:For the 1 1/2 egg yolk, give the other half of the egg to the dog. Seriously, there are chemical reactions going on here, so adding more yolk than necessary can easily make this fail.