Saturday, September 14, 2013

Crazy Little Coconut

My friend Casandra is the most fun person I know.  She has a huge heart and an even larger sense of humor.  She always knows how to cheer you up and make you laugh, even on your worst of days.  And like I may have mentioned before, she's a little crazy, but only in the best possible sense of the word.  Casandra is also one of the most genuine friends I have ever had.  If you don't know her, you are definitely missing out.

When I found out that her boyfriend hadn't planned anything for her birthday, I immediately decided last minute that her needed to do something for her.  I suggested taking her out to dinner, and she invited the rest of her friends, and I immediately started planning a cake.  Of course, neither Casandra nor her boyfriend have Facebook, so I couldn't do any sneaking around to find out what flavors of cake she likes.  I decided that since I was on a 2-day time crunch to plan this thing, I would just come out straight and ask her.  She said that she likes chocolate and vanilla, but also chocolate with coconut.

Well, I had already made a Mounds cake, and an Almond Joy cake, so I needed to invent a new combination of chocolate and coconut.  This is what I came up with:

Dark Chocolate Cake filled w/ Liquid Milk Chocolate and Topped w/ Coconut Buttercream and Shredded Coconut
Recipe sort of adapted from here
Yield: 1 8" double-layer cake (approx 16 servings)

Cake Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsps baking soda
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup milk
1 cup strong black coffee
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs

I am sorry I didn't have time to take all the photos.  I was really rushing to finish it.

Assemble Ingredients
Whisk together dry ingredients
 Whisk together wet ingredients.

Slowly mix the wet ingredients into the dry and stir just until combined
 *If your batter looks bubbly, let it sit for a few minutes and then pound the bowl on the table to let the air rise to the top.  Let sit another few minutes.

Next, pour the batter into two well-greased 8" cake pans dusted with cocoa powder.

Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the cakes cool on wire racks for 10 minutes, then invert cakes directly onto wire racks to finish cooling completely.

Coconut Buttercream Directions:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp vanilla

Beat butter and coconut oil on high until fluffy.  Add in vanilla and shredded coconut and beat on high for 3 minutes.  Refrigerate for 10 minutes to stiffen up, then beat on high again just before frosting the cake.

Liquid Chocolate Filling:
4oz Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate
3 Tbs coconut oil

Mix together chocolate and coconut oil in double boiler until smooth.  Place bowl in refrigerate for ten minutes.

Cake Assembly:

Shave cakes so that the tops are flat.

Pour a thin layer of chocolate over the cut sides of the cakes and brush chocolate until it soaks in.

Invert the cakes chocolates side onto chocolate side.  Then cover with buttercream and sprinkle shredded coconut.

I thought the cake needed a little color, so I threw a brown ribbon around the bottom and voila!  You have one gorgeous and delicious cake:

Happy Birthday, Casandra, you crazy little coconut! We love you!

Love and cookies,

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