Sunday, September 11, 2016

White Chocolate Coconut Cake

Last weekend was the 2nd anniversary of our wedding, and we spent a quiet Saturday at home, finishing a few projects to get ready for the baby, such as reorganizing the kitchen cabinets to clear some space for baby things, and I don't even remember what else.  That afternoon, we went grocery shopping at our favorite Asian market, which we used to visit quite frequently when we first started dating, and made homemade sushi for dinner (cooked fillings for me, of course, since it's still a few weeks before I can eat raw fish...).  It felt like one of our early dates, except for the baby bump, of course.

The next day we went for a drive to the mountains and a picnic, which ended up being a colder adventure than we anticipated.  Even in early September, the higher elevations can get pretty chilly.  But in spite of the cold, it was a fun time walking through the woods and using the new picnic pack that Jamie gave me for our anniversary.

There was cake, too, of course, this white chocolate coconut cake covered in fluffy buttercream and toasted coconut.  This is my favorite pound-cake-as-a-layer-cake recipe, which is more dense, rich and buttery than one might expect, but works exceptionally well with the addition of white chocolate chips and toasted coconut.  With cream cheese and coconut milk in the cake batter, it's a luscious cake recipe that's worthy of a celebration.

White Chocolate Coconut Cake

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 can (14 ounces) full-fat unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 5 ounces white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk
  • 2 cups sweetened coconut, lightly toasted
Preheat the oven to 350.  Grease two 8-inch and two 6-inch pans for a 2-tier cake with non stick spray (or, you can use three 8-inch pans for a 1-tier cake).

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the extracts.  Scrape down the bowl and beat for another minute.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the coconut milk, starting and ending with the flour.  Stir in the white chocolate chips.

Divide the batter between the pans.  Bake until done, about 20 minutes, then set the pans on a wire rack, covered loosely with a clean kitchen towel, until cooled completely.

In a double boiler, or in a metal bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, melt the white chocolate until smooth.  Set aside to cool slightly so that it is no longer warm, but not so cool that it re-hardens.  In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the melted white chocolate with the butter and shortening until smooth.  Gradually add the powdered sugar, then the meringue powder and salt and mix on low to combine.  Add the vanilla, and whip the buttercream on medium high, adding the milk as needed, for about 5 minutes until very light and fluffy.

Stack and fill the cake layers with the buttercream, then frost with a thin crumb coat of buttercream.  Chill for 15-20 minutes, then frost all over with a final coat of buttercream.  Press the toasted coconut all over the cake.

Recipe by Curly Girl Kitchen

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