Preheat oven to 350*. Grease 3 round cake pans(I also line the bottom with waxed paper). Set aside.Put water on to boil.
Mix together flour, soda and salt. set aside.
Beat together butter and sugar until light.
Add eggs and vanilla.
Add chocolate and beat 1-2 minutes.
Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture, alternating with buttermilk.Beat until smooth.
Slowly add boiling water, beating until completely smooth-batter will be thin.
Pour into pans. Bake 35-40 mins, until tester comes out clean.
While baking, make ganache, caramel and whipped cream.
Cool cakes in pans for 10 mins, then unmold onto racks to finish cooling.
CARAMEL-cook sugar, corn syrup and butter over low heat until 242*. Remove from heat and add cream and vanilla.Cool. Will thicken as it cools.
GANACHE-Melt butter, chocolate chips and cream over low heat.Whisk in almond extract. Cool.
WHIPPED CREAM- Whisk cream until it just begins to thicken, then add pudding powder. whisk until ready.Refrigerate.
PECANS- put butter on a cookie sheet& melt in oven (can toast pecans while baking cake)- when butter is melted, toss pecans in pan until coated. bake @ 350 until toasty smelling (~10 mins- watch carefully, they burn easily!)Salt to taste.
When everything is cool, assemle the cake:
Place first layer on cake plate. Plop 1/3 of the whipped cream onto cake. Drizzle caramel and chocolate over cream. Repeat for next 2 layers, but be a little "artistic" with the top layer-oozing the caramel and chocolate over the sides of the cake. Sprinkle liberally with pecans!