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Tag Archives: coconut

Coconut Cake with Orange Cream Frosting

18 Apr

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It is with very little fanfare that I present this delicious cake to you without any accompanying photos, sans the one you see above. You see, I did not initially plan on sharing this cake with you all. This was a cake made for a birthday, and I went about creating it with simply the desires of the birthday person in mind, and not the requirements of a certain food-based website in mind. I baked it like I used to bake everything: without a camera at the ready.

And yet, please believe me when I tell you that this cake, this burst of coconut delight and citrusy cream, is one of the best cakes I have ever made. The yogurt and extra egg whites in the cake make for an especially light crumb, and the surrounding cloak of orange zest infused whipped cream provides the perfect amount of decadence without any element of heaviness. It’s what I always tend to think of as a grown up cake, meaning, the type of cake that a child would reject in a second (and, in this case, most did), but an adult would welcome with open arms (and open mouth). No matter, of course. Whatever the kids don’t eat, that just leaves more for the rest of us.

Last Year: Honey Cream, Strawberry, and Chocolate Pizza and Vegetable Pakoras

Coconut Cake with Orange Cream Frosting

Coconut Cake

2 ¼ cups sifted cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 large egg whites

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup plain nonfat yogurt

½ cup unsweetened coconut milk

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Orange Cream Frosting

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon powdered sugar

¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

finely grated zest of 1 large orange

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms of the pans with rounds of parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, or in the bowl of stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy, about 60 seconds. Slowly add the sugar, and beat together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. One at a time, add the egg, then the egg whites, beating about 15 seconds in between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if things resist mixing together. Beat in the vanilla.

With the mixer on low, beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture, then beat in the yogurt. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in half of the remaining flour mixture, followed by the coconut milk. Add in the last of the flour mixture, then mix until just combined. Beat in the coconut until just incorporated, about 10 seconds. You don’t want to overmix the cake batter, so use a gentle hand with all the incorporating of the ingredients.

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake in the center of the oven for 22 to 30 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.The cakes will be done when a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of a cake emerges somewhat clean, with just a crumb or two attached.

Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then invert the cakes onto a wire rack to continue cooling completely.

To make the frosting, in a stand mixer, or using an electric mixer, beat the cream on high speed until it just begins to thicken. Drizzle in the powdered sugar, then vanilla, and continue to beat until the cream forms soft peaks. Add in the orange zest, and beat in until just combined. You can beat the cream until it forms firm peaks, as I did here, if you will need the cake to sit for a bit before eating it. However, if you will be eating the cake right away, and the cream will not be in danger of weeping, I’d go for light and soft peaks in the whipped cream.

When the cakes have cooled completely, frost with orange cream frosting as you would any other two-layer cake.

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Lemon Coconut Cake

30 Jan

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I opened a kitchen cabinet last week and was met with the most aromatic blast of coconut imaginable. It was like I had stuffed my entire face into a bag of freshly shaved coconut. Being me, the first place my mind went upon being bombarded with the scent of coconut was not to Hawaii, but to cake. What can I say? I like what I like (which is not to say that I do not like Hawaii—because I do, very much—but more to say that, when it comes to what I can make happen ASAP to satisfy my needs, making a cake lands far, far ahead in the realm of plausibility than making a spontaneous trip to Hawaii).

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Because, as we know, I like making cakes, I tend to have a lot of documentation of many, many cakes. After a while, however, though the cakes I make are mostly new affairs that I test out in the name of promised deliciousness, I have noticed that many of the cakes I make tend to look fairly indistinguishable from one another. Observe:

This ginger cardamom cake:

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looks a lot like this rum cake:

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which looks pretty much identical to our current lemon coconut cake:

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Oh, don’t get me wrong. The cakes may look the same, but their tastes are anything but the same. That ginger cardamom cake is a blast of spiciness and subtle cardamom, while the rum cake is boozy enough to make you feel a little flushed after eating it. But how boring is it to show you all pictures of what appear to be the same golden cake, time after time again? It’s super boring, I admit. The good thing is, this cake may look like just a plain old bundt cake, but, like the cakes that came before it, there is nothing plain about it.

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With coconut milk taking the place of regular milk, an added hit of shredded coconut, and a double burst of both lemon zest and fresh lemon juice, this cake is totally worth sharing with you. In fact, it would be a crime not to let you know about it. That initial inspiration provided by the coconut shines through like a tropical dream, and the punch of lemon, plumped up just a tad by the addition of a light lemon glaze, makes for a perfect pairing. Though not a traditional pound cake in the sense that the ratios of flour, butter, eggs and sugar do not line up equally, the crumb of this cake is very much in the realm of a pound cake, with a dense, moist crumb, and the unmistakable flavor undertone of rich butter. It may look like a plain, innocent bundt cake, but don’t be fooled. This cake had got kick, and it wants to be heard. I mean tasted. You know.

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Last Year: Apple Cinnamon Crumb Bread (this may be called a bread, but, come on, it’s a cake in a bread tin) and Grilled Lemongrass Chicken

Lemon Coconut Cake

2 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

1 1/3 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup coconut milk

Lemon Glaze:

1/3 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

drop of pure vanilla extract

pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously grease and flour a 10 or 12-cup bundt pan.

Into a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter on medium-high speed until soft and fluffy. Grandually add in sugar and continue to beat on medium high speed until mixture is fluffy and light. Reduce mixer speed to medium, and add in eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl in between each egg. Beat in vanilla. Beat in lemon zest, shredded coconut, and lemon juice, and mix until just combined.

Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl, then add in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by ½ of the coconut milk. Mix until barely combined, then add in ½ of remaining flour mixture, barely mixing to combine, then rest of coconut milk. Add in remaining flour, beating until just combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl one last time, and gently fold the batter two or three times, just to incorporate any unmixed bits of flour.

Pour batter into prepared bundt pan, then bake in center of oven for 50 to 55 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the cake emerges with just a few moist crumbs attached. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to continue cooling.

While cake is cooling, prepare glaze. In a small bowl, combine all glaze ingredients and whisk to combine thoroughly. Whisk for 2 to 3 minutes, until powdered sugar has lost some of its graininess.

While the cake is still warm, gently brush on glaze, covering as much of the surface of the cake as possible.

Chocolate Coconut Marble Cake

14 Jun

Nostalgia can have a very powerful pull.  Sometimes in the summer, if the light is just right and the air is barely hovering below stillness, I can feel myself being a child, waiting for that hour between darkness and light when I could stretch my bedtime out a little bit further everyday.  A whiff of certain smells—Meyer lemons and eucalyptus trees—reminds me of my grandfather’s house.  Ak-Mak crackers, sad to say, conjure up memories of the three-plus months I spent being mind-bendingly nauseated and curled up, fittingly, in the fetal position while newly pregnant.  To this day, I can’t even look at one of those crackers without feeling mildly uncomfortable.

Marble cake, on the other hand, brings to mind a sea of childhood memories.  I am not sure if marble cakes were huge in the ‘80s, or if I just happened to associate with people with very much enjoyed the yin and yang of a cake marbled with two separate flavors, but when I was a child there was a lot of marble cake floating around.  A couple of weeks ago, when I shared some of this cake with a friend of mine, her first reaction upon seeing it was one of sheer surprise.  She hadn’t seen anyone make a marble cake in years.  Neither had I, and perhaps that is what drove me to make one in the first place.

It is worth pointing out, however, that this cake, with its gentle coconut undertones and light, chocolaty ribbon is a different animal than the marble cakes of my past.  Whereas my memories of marble cakes lie firmly in the layered-with-frosting realm, this is a more casual cake, fit for afternoon snacking or for taking along on a sunny picnic.  While you could certainly adorn this cake with some sort of light glaze or frosting, I believe it is perfect as is, and certainly not lacking in appeal with its unencumbered crumb.  In fact, I am feeling nostalgic for it already, since I have yogurt in the refrigerator, coconut milk in the cupboard, and, of course, an unrelenting love of cake and the joy it never fails to bring.

Last Year: Pear and Mascarpone Pizza, a fantastic twist on a pear tart

Chocolate Coconut Marble Cake Recipe

2 ¼ cups cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

2 large egg whites, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt

2/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk (low-fat is fine)

For Chocolate Marbling:

1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup unsweetened coconut milk (again, low-fat is fine)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease and flour a 10-cup bundt pan.

In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until it is creamy, about 1 minute.  Gradually add the 2/3 cup of sugar, and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Reduce the mixer speed to medium, then add the egg, followed by the egg whites.  Beat until just combined, then beat in the vanilla.

Whisk together the yogurt and 2/3 cup of coconut milk.  With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the yogurt mixture in 2 parts, starting and ending with the flour mixture.  Beat gently until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

In a medium bowl, combine cocoa powder, ¼ cup of sugar, and ¼ cup of coconut milk.  Whisk together until smooth.  Pour 1 ½ cups of the plain coconut batter into the chocolate coconut batter, and stir to combine.

Pour ¾ of the plain coconut batter into the prepared bundt pan.  Spoon the chocolate coconut batter on top of it, leaving it unsmoothed.  Pour the remaining plain coconut batter on top.  Using a knife of an offset spatula, marble the two batters together without completely blending them.

Bake the cake in the center of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake emerges with just a few moist crumbs attached.  Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

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