Saturday, 29 November 2014

Toasted Coconut Chocolate Layer Cake


Guess what??? I got married! And it was everything that we could hope it would be – low key but beautiful and intimate. Imagine a conservatory in the evening with tea lights in mason jars and hanging string lights. And now, back to real life – and yet it feels different. Not the day to day routine, but just us, inside. Like we have a fun secret. That’s the only way to explain it.


So that’s what I blame the lack of posts on – just the wedding. But now that that’s over (and btw the husby said “aww, I’m kinda sad it’s over” and after which I rolled my eyes thinking about how stressed he was prior to the wedding to the point of almost calling it off!), I want to catch up on sharing some of the baking that’s been going on. And no, I didn’t make my own wedding cake – in fact, we didn’t have a “wedding cake”, just a bunch of cakes and desserts. But my sister and I did make some of the treats, but more on that later.

Anyways, first one up is a Toasted Coconut Chocolate Layer Cake that I made for my colleague’s baby shower. And this is my undercover work on finding out what flavours she likes: “Hi Sophie, do you like chocolate? You do? Ok, that’s all” (and I walk out of the room). And on a subsequent day: “Hi Sophie, do you like coconut? Yes? Ok, that’s all”, followed by the turning around and walking out. But I like to think she was surprised by the cake.

Check out the verdict at the end of the post!

Chocolate Cake
From hereI halved the recipe and baked them in 2, 6-inch baking pans.


Funfetti Cookie Crumble
Adapted from hereCan be done ahead of time and kept in an airtight container.

Ingredients
1 cup flour
¼ cup sugar
½ cup butter, room temperature
2 Tablespoons sprinkles

Directions
1.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.   Combine flour and sugar in a bowl. Cut butter into the mixture with a pastry cutter until you get small pieces.
3.   Add sprinkles and mix. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
4.   Break it apart to get big chunks and bake for another 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheet and store in an airtight container.


Coconut Ganache
Ingredients
255g dark chocolate, chopped to small pieces
1 cup whipping/heavy cream
¼ teaspoon coconut flavouring

Directions
1.   Put chopped chocolate in a bowl. Set aside.
2.   Heat cream in a small saucepan until almost boiling. Pour over chocolate and let it sit for 5 minutes.
3.   Whisk to combine.
4.   Add ¼ teaspoon of coconut flavouring and whisk. Taste it before adding more, 1/8 teaspoon at a time (coconut flavouring tastes nasty when there’s too much!).
5.   Cool to room temperature. Whip to soft peaks – as it stands, it will become stiffer.


Toasted Coconut (can be done ahead of time and kept in an airtight container)
I used about 2 ½ cups of flat dried coconut ribbons. I placed it on a cookie sheet and baked until golden in a 300 degree F oven – about 10 minutes, stir, then another 5 minutes. Keep an eye on it – coconut burns easily in the blink of an eye! Cool completely before using on cake.


Assembly
1.   Slice cakes into 2 layers each. Place a dollop of ganache on a cake plate and place the first cake layer on top.
2.   Spread a thin layer of ganache on the cake. Sprinkle on cookie crumbs. Place next cake layer on top and repeat with all layers.
3.   Spread ganache on the top and sides of the cake. Don’t worry about crumbs because you’ll cover it with coconut. The thicker the ganache layer, the easier it will be for the coconut to stick.
4.   Place toasted coconut in a bowl. Hold the cake over the bowl in one hand and grab some coconut with the other hand and place it on the side of the cake. Make sure the cake is hovering above the bowl so that the extra coconut will fall back into the bowl.
5.   Fill in gaps by delicately inserting coconut. Leave out until ready to eat!


Verdict: This cake was pretty darn awesome! The cake was super moist but fluffy and not overly sweet. Loved the coconut flavour. Unfortunately the cookie crumb lost its crunch, but it was still tasty. Everyone loved!


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