Coconut Cake

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On my way to the grocery store to pick up ingredients for this cake, Santana and Michelle Branch’s Game of Love started playing. I had forgotten about this song, I wish those two collaborated more often. His guitar riffs paired with her sultry tone, so fitting for summer nights spent sipping cocktails on a terrace and enjoying this city’s street parties.

This tropical coconut cake is a great dessert for this season. You can taste the coconut flavour throughout the cake. The frosting is a silky meringue which is light and not too sweet. Next time I’ll toast the shredded coconut that is used to embellish the white cake.

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Bon appétit!

Source: Flour

Yields 8 to 10 slices (one 8-inch 2-layer cake)

Ingredients:
•cake
270g (2 1/4 cups) cake flour
250g (1 1/4 cup) sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
170g (1 1/2 sticks, 3/4 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 2-inch pieces
6 egg whites
240g (1 cup) coconut milk
240g (2 cups) sweetened shredded coconut
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
•frosting
300g (1 1/2 cups) sugar
6 egg whites
342g (3 sticks, 1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
160g (2/3 cup) coconut milk

Instructions:
•cake
1) Preheat oven to 350F.
2) Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Dust the sides with flour.
3) Sift the cake flour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
4) Add the sugar, baking powder, and salt to the bowl and beat on low speed until blended.
5) Add the butter and beat on low speed until the mixture is coarse and crumbly, about 1 minute.
6) In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites, coconut milk and 1 cup of the shredded coconut until well combined.
7) Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the coconut milk mixture. Whisk until seeds are well dispersed.
8) Pour half of the coconut milk mixture into the flour mixture and beat on medium-high speed for 1 minute, until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
9) Pour in the rest of the coconut milk mixture and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. The batter should be light and fluffy.
10) Divide the batter equally between the two prepared baking pans.
11) Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the tops are firm and golden brown.
12) Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool completely.
•frosting
1) Whisk the sugar and egg whites in a heatproof bowl.
2) Make a bain-marie, setting the heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk occasionally for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the mixture is hot to the touch. It thins out as the sugar melts.
3) Remove the bowl from the heat and pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment.
4) Whip on medium-high speed for 6 to 8 minutes. The mixture will become a light, white meringue and will be cool to the touch.
5) Lower the speed and add the butter.
6) Increase the speed to medium and whip until the butter is well incorporated.
7) Add the vanilla extract, salt and coconut milk. Whip for 1 to 2 minutes, or until smooth.
•assembly
1) Remove the cakes from the pans and use a long serrated knife to level the tops.
2) Place one of the layers onto a cake stand. Scoop 2 cups of the meringue onto the layer. Use an offset spatula to spread it evenly to the edges.
3) Place the second layer on top (top-side down).
4) Scoop 1 cup of the meringue onto the layer and spread it on the top and down the sides of the cake. This is the crumb coat.
5) Place the cake in the fridge for 20 minutes so the crumb coat can firm up.
6) Scoop the rest of the meringue onto the cake, spreading it evenly on the top and sides of the cake.
7) Press the remaining 1 cup of shredded coconut onto the sides (and top) of the cake for decoration.

Store the cake in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 3 days.

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