Friday, February 10, 2012

White Chocolate Coconut Cake

Remember the Dacquoise I posted in December? In it, I mentioned a pastry chef from the Atlanta Hilton and Towers?  Well, the cake I can still see (and taste) was done by the same guy and was sold in the coffee shop next door to the restaurant I managed.  It was a triple layer cake with a delicious white meringue icing and covered in fluffy white coconut.
Many years ago, I adapted a few recipes to create something similar using white chocolate layers.  If ever you are looking for an honest to goodness old time favorite you need to hunt down Junior League Cookbooks.  I have a few, California Fresh (Jr League of Oakland-East Bay), Connecticut a la Carte (Jr League of Hartford) , and Celebrations of the Bayou (Jr League of Monroe,LA).  Low and behold, I found a White Chocolate Layer Cake recipe that is already written for 3 layers in my Monroe book.  I made a few adjustments such as doubling the white chocolate and increasing the cake flour to make up for the extra moisture.  I omitted the pecans because I want a strictly white cake, white icing and white coconut.

For the white chocolate layers.  Using a cooking spray or Crisco, grease (3) 9" pans. Cut rounds of parchment by tracing the bottom of the pan and cutting out the circles.  Place on greased pan and re-grease the parchment so it completely sticks to the pan.   Measure 1 Cup Buttermilk into a measuring cup and add 1 tsp Baking Soda.  Place 8 oz White Chocolate in a bowl and place it in a pot of simmering water.  Once it melts, stir and remove from the pot of water.  Let cool slightly.  Measure out 2 3/4 Cups Cake Flour.  Preheat oven to 350.  Cream together 2 Sticks Butter with 2 Cup Sugar.  Separate 4 Eggs, the Yolks go in the butter mixture and the Whites go into a clean dry bowl for beating. Add 1 tsp Vanilla to the batter.  Continue to cream until it's combined.  To the batter add, 1/4 flour, 1/3 chocolate, and 1/3 buttermilk, begining and ending with flour, until it's all in the batter.

Whip Egg Whites until they are stiff.  Fold the whites into the batter, 1/3 at a time.   Divide the batter placing 1/3 in each pan.  Spread the batter until it touches the sides and is flat.  Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan.  Let cool for 15 minutes then loosen the sides and remove from the pan.   Place upside down and remove the parchment paper.  Let cool entirely before you assemble the cake.
For the icing, I use a Gale Gand recipe.  It is really fun to make and even more fun to spread.  I made 1 1/2 times the recipe.  This is cooked in a double boiler.  You can make one by using a bowl that fits snuggly into a pot.  Fill pot 1/2 way with water and boil over medium high heat.  To the bowl add 3 Egg Whites, 9 Tbl Cold Water, 2 1/4 Cups Sugar, and 3/4 tsp Cream of Tartar.  Place bowl over the pot of water and reduce to either medium or medium low and using a hand mixer, whip the mixture until stiff peaks.  This will take about 10-15 minutes.  Remove from the heat and mix every few minutes.  Once the mixture begins to cool, add 1 Tsp Vanilla.  Continue to beat every few minutes until it is cool.  This will take an additional 15-20 minutes.  Using a spatula, ice the cake by first icing each layer, then the top, then the sides.  The volume of icing should allow you to generously spread the icing without getting crumbs all over it.  (NOTE: I used all the of the icing) Add Coconut to the sides and top while the icing is still sticky.  Enjoy with your family!!

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