Wednesday, January 5, 2011

southern coconut cake

Oh coconut cake how I love thee.  How I love that my father in law puts you on his Christmas list each year and allows me to create you, indulge in you, enjoy you and then HATE you!  Coconut cake is my absolute favorite dessert.  I know that coconut is a love hate food and many more hate then love but, lucky for me I have my father in law to share this decadent treat with once a year.  It has become a tradition to bake a coconut cake for Christmas Eve each year and often the only people eating a slice from this heavenly triple layer cake is me and my father in law.  The good news is there is more cake for us to enjoy.  The bad news is I get sent home with a quarter of the cake, a cake I know what went into it (butter, sugar and cream cheese galore) and even knowing that the fork keeps moving to my mouth.  I don't even put it on a plate because I know it is all for me.  I eat it right off the cake plate.  This year I had to pull in the big guns.  I called to Brad and in the kitchen he came.  I said "you have to do me a huge favor".  He said"ok" and that is how the coconut cake ended up in the trash can outside.  I hate wasting food especially my beloved cake but, I simply could not consume that entire cake alone or I may still be in a sugar induced coma.  

The coconut cake which I made last year was a catalyst for me to start a blog and begin to record my recipes and document my learnings.  I went to look back at my comments and well I guess at that point I only noted the recipe.  If I remember correctly I think I liked the one I made last year slightly more but ... eventually there will have to be a taste test so, I can land on my go to coconut cake.  With that being said this cake like every other cake I have made out of Sky High is insanely delicious.  The frosting is a little time consuming but, very good.  It is lighter and more delicate then a traditional cream cheese frosting which is a nice change.  The snowy white layers are stunning and the pure white coconut covers the cake like a dusting of snow.   See you 12-24-11 lover.

southern coconut cake
Source: Sky High Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes
Makes one 8-inch layered cake

5 egg whites
1/2 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups cake flour
2 1/3 cups sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

For the Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting:
12 ounces cream cheese, slightly chilled
1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
3 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three 8-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper.

Put the egg whites in a bowl and whisk slightly. Add the 1/2 cup milk and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Set aside.

In the mixing bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and coconut milk and combine on low speed. Increase speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add the egg white mixture in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing just long enough to incorporate between additions. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

To make the frosting, put the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed until fluffy and smooth. Add the butter 1-2 tablespoons at a time, mixing until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until creamy. Set aside.

Combine the granulated sugar and water in a small heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue to cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches the soft-ball stage, 238 degrees F on a candy thermometer.

Meanwhile, have the egg white in the bowl of an electric mixer, ready for when the syrup is at the proper temperature. Slowly add the hot syrup to the egg whites, while mixing on medium-low. Take care not to cause the hot syrup to splash. When all of the syrup is incorporated, raise the speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture has cooled to body-temperature and it forms stiff peaks.

With the mixer on medium-low, add the cream cheese and butter mixture one spoonful at a time. When all is incorporated, raise the speed to medium and whip until the frosting is smooth and fluffy.

Frost the cooled cakes and cover with shredded coconut.


Joanne said...

I'm a lover of coconut myself but my roommate hates it so I never make it (since she is the one who is most often sharing baked goods with me). If you and your father in law want a third to go in on this luscious cake, I'm in.

Gwenevere said...

Is this the coconut cake you referenced in the comments on Joy the Bakers site today? It just sounded yummy. I like coconut

Allison said...

It isn't the Easter version of coconut cake. I just realized that both Easter and Christmas have a family tradition around a coconut dessert. This cake is over the top delicious but, it is MAJOR. Like put on elastic pants major. The Easter version is lighter with angel food cake, custard and coconut. My mom makes it and I don't have it shown on the blog but, now you have inspired me to.

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