Toasted Coconut Layer Cake


(For the cake)
1 large egg
5 large egg whites
3/4 cup cream of coconut (found near the alcoholic beverage mixers in the grocery store)
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
2 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks), cut into 12 pieces, softened but still cool
2 cups baked sweetened shredded coconut
(For the buttercream)
4 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
A pinch of salt
1 pound of unsalted butter (4 sticks), each cut into 6 pieces, softened but still cool
1/4 cup cream of coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the cake:
Adjust over rack to lower-middle position and heat over to 325 degrees. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans with shortening and dust with flour.
Beat egg whites and whole egg in a large measuring cup with fork to combine. Add cream of coconut, water, vanilla, and coconut extract and beat with fork until thoroughly combined.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl of a standing mixer with paddle attachment. Mix on lowest speed to combine, about 30 seconds. With mixer still running on lowest speed, add butter one piece at a time, then beat until mixture resembles course meal, with butter bits no larger than small peas, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.
With mixer still running, add 1 cup liquid. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 45 seconds. With mixer still running, add remaining 1 cup liquid in steady stream (this should take about 15 seconds). Stop mixer and scrape down bowl with rubber spatula, then beat at medium-high speed to combine, about 15 seconds. (Batter will be thick.)
Divide batter between cake pans and level with offset or rubber spatula. Bake until deep golden brown, cakes pull away from sides of pans, and toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes (rotate cakes after about 20 minutes). Do not turn off oven.
Cool in pans on wire racks about 10 minutes, then loosen cakes from sides of pans with paring knife, invert cakes onto racks and then re-invert; cool to room temperature.
While cakes are cooling, spread shredded coconut on rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until shreds are a mix of golden brown and white, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times. Cool to room temperature.
For the buttercream:
Combine whites, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a double boiler; set bowl over saucepan containing 1 1/2-inches of barely simmering water. Whisk constantly until mixture is opaque and warm to the touch and registers about 120 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 minutes.
Transfer mixture to the bowl of a mixer and beat whites on high speed with whisk attachment until barely warm (about 80 degrees) and whites are glossy and sticky, about 7 minutes.
Reduce speed to medium-high and beat in butter 1 piece at a time. Beat in cream of coconut and coconut and vanilla extracts. Stop mixer and scrape bottom and sides of bowl. Continue to beat at medium-high speed until well-combined, about 1 minute.
To assemble:
With a long serrated knife, cut both cakes in half horizontally so that each cake forms two layers. Starting with one of the layers on your frosting pedestal, place a large scoop of frosting in the center of the layer and spread it to the edges with a frosting spatula.
Level the frosting between the layers and repeat for each layer. Repeat with remaining cake layers.
Once all the layers are on, frost the top and outsides of the cake. Don't worry about it being too perfect, as it all gets covered in coconut. Once the cake is completely frosted, place it on a rack on a baking sheet and press the toasted coconut all over it.




Thursday, May 20, 2010 - 11:28am

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