Coconut Pecan Cake
Coconut Pecan Cake
By Ellen, with thanks to Dolester Miles and the NYT (photo doesn't do cake justice)
- 1 cup/85 grams firmly packed sweetened shredded coconut
- 3/4 cup-74 grams pecan halves, toasted
- 2 cups/402 grams granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 cups/287 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
- 1 tbs baking powder
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 cp-170 grams unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened, plus more for pans
- 1/4 cup cream of coconut
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 coconut extract
- 1 cup plus 2 tbs unsweeteneded coconut milk
- Filling and simple syrup:
- 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 4 tbs unsalted butter
- 1 tbs cream of coconut
- 1 cup/85 grams sweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup/101 grams granulated sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup/31 grams confectioners' sugar
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- 2 cups/170 grams sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
- oven to 350. Grease two 9" round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Grease parchment paper, dust with flour, tapping out excess.
- finely grind coconut in food processor, then transfer to bowl. Add pecans to food processor, along with 2 tbs sugar, and finely grind.
In large bowl:
- sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in coconut and pecans.
In bowl of stand mixer:
- beat butter, cream of coconut and remaining sugar on high speed with paddle, until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down bowl as necessary, then beat in coconut extract.
- flour mixture in three batches, alternating with coconut milk, starting and ending with flour mixture. Divide batter between pans and smooth top of each with a spatula. Bake until cakes are golden and tester comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans on wire rack for 30 minutes. Run knife around edge of each cake, invert onto rack, and remove parchment. Let cool completely.
- place egg yolks in small heatproof bowl and set aside.
- combine condensed milk, butter, and cream of coconut, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until hot, about 4 minutes. Whisk 1/3 of hot milk into egg yolks. Transfer egg mixture to saucepan of milk and whisk constantly over medium-low heat until mixture is consistency of pudding, about 4 minutes. Do not let get too thick. Transfer to bowl and stir in shredded coconut. Let cool completely.
For simple syrup:
- in saucepan, heat sugar and 1/2 cup water, stirring occasionally, until sugar as dissolved. Remove from heat.
- layer cake in pan (not imperative, but assists with vertical lines of success:), by cutting each layer horizontally, and place one layer in the bottom of a 9" pan. Moisten top with 5+ tablespoons and spread 1/2 cup coconut filling in thin, even layer with an offset spatula. Repeat to make 2 more layers of cake and filling, then place final layer on top. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour. To unmold, run spatula around edges, invert cake plate over top, and flip cake over onto plate.
- Whip the cream with confectioners' sugar and coconut extract until stiff peaks form. Spread on the top and sides of the cake and sprinkle with toasted coconut. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Best served the same day (toasted coconut retains crunch first day), but delicious on all other subsequent days, just not so much texture variation.
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