Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Nutty for Coconut



If you know anything about me at all, then you probably I know I love coconut. I’ve been in camp-coconut as long as I can remember—I like the way it smells, I like the way it tastes, I like the way it resists for just a brief moment then gives under your teeth when you bite into it. I just love everything about coconut. I’m the girl who passes up the caramel and goes straight for the creamy, gooey coconut filled chocolate in a box of chocolates. I order the coconut cream pie, the coconut cupcake, the coconut Italian soda, and coconut gelato. Growing up, my birthday cake was always German chocolate with coconut pecan frosting, and I’m always down for an Almond Joy… or a Mounds, because sometimes you don’t feel like a nut. I usually do though, especially when it’s with chocolate and coconut.


So, with my affinity to coconut and chocolate, it was a given that I was through the moon when I spied a recipe for coconut cake with chocolate chunks and coconut drizzle. And, since the only thing I love more than coconut and chocolate together is coconut, chocolate, and nuts together, it was a given that I added almonds to the cake. And, since there’s really nothing better than an everyday type of cake that you can eat any time of day (with a cup of coffee in the morning, with a cup of tea in the afternoon, with a scoop of ice cream for dessert), it was a given that I basically devoured this cake within a day of making it.


By complete accident, I made an amazing gooey topping that was hands-down the best part of the whole shebang. I didn’t have the patience to wait until the cake cooled (a very bad habit for a cook), and ended up adding half the glaze to the warm cake… which quickly melted into the coconut and chocolate topping, and through to the top layer of the cake. When the cake finally cooled, I drizzled on the rest. The resulting cake was hearty and dense, filled with coconut and chocolate chunks, topped with a layer of thick, gooey glaze, a sweet coconutty drizzle, and crunchy, nutty almonds. Everything I want in a cake.


Why this cake wasn’t named after me, I’ll never know.

Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cake
Adapted from Bon App├ętit

I subbed half the flour for whole wheat, because I like the heartiness it gives a good coffee-cake—it’s one of the things that makes this an all-day cake. The original recipe calls for orange zest, which I used… and regret. With the added orange, there were just too many competing flavors.

Cake
1 cup all purpose flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, divided in half
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate bars (do not exceed 61% cacao), broken into 1/2-inch irregular pieces, divided
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Topping
¾ to 1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 canned unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch cake pan with 2-inch-high sides; dust pan with flour, shaking out excess. Sift flours, baking powder, and sea salt into medium bowl. Stir in unsweetened shredded coconut, and half of sweetened coconut, set aside. Cream sugar and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with coconut milk in 2 additions, beating just until blended after each addition. Fold in half of chocolate pieces. Spread batter evenly in prepared cake pan. Sprinkle remaining chocolate pieces over batter, then sprinkle with remaining sweetened flaked coconut.

Bake cake until golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, tenting with sheet of foil if coconut on top is browning too quickly, 60 to 70 minutes. Transfer cake to rack and cool in pan 15-20 minutes.

Whisk powdered sugar, coconut milk, and vanilla in small bowl to blend well. Carefully run small knife around sides of cake to loosen. Invert cake onto platter, then carefully invert again onto another platter, coconut side up. Evenly drizzle half of powdered sugar mixture over cake. Cool cake completely on platter, and add 1/3 cup coconut, almonds, and remaining drizzle.

2 comments:

  1. oh my I'm totally in love with coconut, I wouldn't have waited for it to cool either!!

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  2. Thanks Steph! I mean, really... how could someone NOT love coconut!?

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