Monday, May 08, 2006

Martha's Coconut Cake

Coconut Cake

Makes one 9-inch square cake. Feel free to use 9-inch round pans if you do not have square pans. The baking time will be the same.

3 sticks unsalted butter, plus more for pans
3 1/2 cups flour, plus more for pans
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed sweetened, shredded coconut
2 2/3 cups sugar
4 large whole eggs, plus 4 egg whites
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
Seven minute frosting
Coconut curls or toasted coconut for garnish

Preheat oven to 350º. Butter two 9x9x2 inch cake pans; line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter parchment, and dust with flour, tapping out excess, set aside. Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Pulse shredded coconut in a food processor until finely chopped. Stir chopped coconut into the flour mixture until combined; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. One at a time, beat in the eggs, egg whites, and vanilla; incorporating each egg fully before adding another. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in two parts, alternating with the coconut milk and beginning and ending with the flour, beat until combined after each addition.

Divide batter between prepared pans, and smooth with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until cakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 30 minutes. Invert cakes onto the rack; peel off the parchment. Reinvert the cakes and let them cool completely, top sides up.

Using a serrated knife, trim the tops of the cake layers to make them level. Place on layer on a cake and top with 1 1/2 cups seven minute frosting. Place other cake layer on top, cut side down. Using an offset spatula, spread remaining frosting over entire cake, swirling to cover in a decorative fashion. Sprinkle entire cake with coconut curls or toasted coconut as desired. Cake can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

**My notes: I used Baker's Joy spray instead of butter, flour, and parchment to grease the pans. I also opted for the toasted coconut, which adds a really great flavor. The seven minute frosting is a perfect compliment to this cake. The recipe follows:

Seven Minute Frosting

Makes about 8 cups

1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
6 large egg whites
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine sugar, corn syrup, 1/4 cup water, and the egg whites. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until themixturee reads 160º on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 minutes.

Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the mixture on high speed until glossy and voluminous, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, use immediately.


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