I think we are ready to move beyond the classic Coconut Cake recipe, don’t you?
I know, it’s the one we all have, it’s been handed down for generations, and of course it is moist and sweet and just the aroma reminds you of time in the kitchen with Grandma and of special occasions with your mama.
I think Mother’s Day is the perfect occasion to dig deep into your box for a good coconut cake recipe. The scent and flavor of this particular confection is reminiscent of a faraway tropical isle… a place just about every Mother I’ve ever known would like to be.
I wanted to create an innovative and interesting cake for Mother’s Day this year- something that isn’t old-fashioned and cloyingly sweet and that uses lots of coconut in lots of different ways. I think I found it.
You can use coconut in many different ways with Coconut Cake: use coconut oil or butter to replace fats, roasted coconut chips for crunch, coconut water, cream of coconut, coconut milk, coconut or palm sugar and even coconut flour in place of binders, flavor enhancers and sweeteners. Just stay away from the chemical coconut extracts.
Executive Chef Dyan Ng came up with a brilliant version (yes! again! She gave me three and this is number two!), which I think you will really enjoy. The photo here isn’t mine. I’ll tell you why. This week I took on a major new client, planned a shindig for my sweet baby Daisy Girl Scouts, ran the Warrior Dash way down in Southern Maryland and even squeezed in a special day with #1…all while hubs was away on a business trip.
I set aside Thursday and Friday night to make this cake for you. Thursday #2 ran out of the bathroom screaming like there was a zombie oozing from the plumbing. In fact, he had flooded the entire room with the contents of the toilet bowl. That was awesome.
Then I found #1 had taken Lulu, our pet hamster (her name is Honolulu Pelmeni, which says a lot about our house) from it’s cage, and let it proceed to poo-poo all over the family room. If you have a hamster, you know it as a sphincter like a Tommy-gun. Also awesome. Then I discovered that both children had spilled the chickie’s water all over their box, so I had to clean up wet, nasty, chicken-poo paper and scrub the box. It was literally an evening filled with, well, you know what. Friday I was just too tired to make a layered cake. I had wine and went to bed.
I will make a cake for you soon. In the meantime, here is the recipe:
Dyan Ng’s Coconut Cake
Yields: 1, 3 layer, 10 inch cake
- 1 ¾ cups of sugar
- 2 lemons, zest only
- 6 whole eggs
- ⅓ cup of milk
- 2 ¾ cups of pastry flour
- 1 ½ tablespoons of baking powder
- ⅓ cup of melted butter
- ⅓ cup of melted coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- ⅔ cup of honey
- ½ cup of unsweetened coconut flakes
- Using a stand mixer, whip eggs, sugar, and lemon zest on high, until thick and pale in color, about 8 minutes. Let sit.
- Sift flour and baking powder
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and coconut oil stirring to incorporate. When completely melted add in the honey and stir.
- Lighten butter mixture with a ½ cup of of whipped eggs, mixture should feel like lightly whipped cream.
- Take the stirrer out of the stand mixer and fold the milk into the egg and sugar mixture, then fold in the sifted flour and baking powder, followed by the lemon juice, and the butter, coconut and honey mixture by hand.
- Lastly fold in coconut flakes.
- Bake at 350 ̊F until a knife comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the cake.
- When finished and cooled, soak cake with lime simple syrup.
- 2 cups of milk
- 2 cups of coconut milk
- ⅔ cup of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- 8 egg yolks
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- ½ cup of butter
- 2 cups of heavy cream
- In a large pot over high heat, boil milk, coconut milk, and sugar, stirring occasionally. When it comes to a rolling boil, turn heat down
- While milk mixture comes to a bowl, in a separate bowl whisk together egg yolks and cornstarch until well incorporated.
- Temper the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks by stirring a small portion of the milk mixture into the egg yolks. This will slowly bring the egg yolks to temperature and will prevent curdling.
- Next pour the tempered egg yolk mixture into the milk mixture, bring to a boil while constantly whisking.
- Boil for 4 minutes. Then turn off heat and add butter.
- Combine well but do not over mix.
- Let cool to room temperature.
- Whip cream to form medium peaks and fold into cooled coconut cream.
- 1 ¼ cups of egg whites
- 2 cups of sugar
- ½ cup of light corn syrup
- ½ cup of water
- In a medium pot, stir water and sugar together and bring to a boil until it reaches 120̊ C.
- In the meantime, in a stand mixer or using a hand blender, whip the egg whites on medium until medium peaks form.
- Once the sugar has reached 120̊ C, remove from heat and slowly drizzle into the egg whites while whipping.
- Whip on medium high speed until cool, about 10 minutes.
- Spread on top of cake