We're joined by Chef Jon Ashton to find out about the keys to making a light coconut cake. Jon shows us how to prevent a cake from forming a dome on top, how to make a lighter chocolate frosting, and what type of flour is best when making a cake!
Find this Coconut Cake Recipe and many more on Jon Ashton's website.
Coconut Cake with White Chocolate Frosting
2 1/4 cups (270 grams) cake flour, sifted
1 tablespoon (15 ml) baking powder
3/4 (3 ml) teaspoon table salt
5 large egg whites
1 large egg
3/4 cup (180 ml) Coco Lopez or coconut cream (the cream used for making Piña Coladas)
4 tablespoons (60 ml) water
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract 1
2 tablespoons (170 grams) unsalted butter (1-1/2 sticks), cut into 12 pieces, softened, but still cool
1 cup (225 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) Malibu rum
2 cups (130 grams) coconut flakes
White Chocolate Frosting
10 ounces (283 grams) white chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 cups (720 ml) heavy cream, divided
1/4 cup (28 grams) confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) coconut extract
Directions: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans with butter and dust with flour. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium-sized bowl and place to one side. In another bowl, whisk together, egg whites, egg, Coco Lopez, water and vanilla and place to one side. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light yellow and fluffy. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly add half of the egg mixture and turn up to high for 30-45 seconds and allow to mix in well. Once mixed, lower to medium speed, and add the other half of the mixture and turn back to high for another 1-2 minutes until the mixture looks light and airy. Turn off mixer and add flour mixture and turn mixer back on to low and mix batter. For double layer cake:
Pour the batter evenly into the 2 pans (about 1 lb. 2 oz. in each pan) and smooth the top with off-set spatula or knife. Bake in the center of oven for 18-25 minutes, or until the tops are browned and a cake tester comes out clean. Be sure to check cakes are evenly browning, some ovens require rotating tins mid baking. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack and let cakes set for 10 minutes. Once cooled, loosen cakes from sides of pans with a paring knife, invert cakes onto racks and then re-invert; cool to room temperature for about 30 minutes.
For 13 x ( Cake: Pour the batter evenly into the 9 x 13 pan and smooth the top with off-set spatula or knife. Bake in the center of oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the tops are browned and a cake tester comes out clean.
Meanwhile, spread the coconut flakes on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F (6-12 minutes) stirring occasionally, until the coconut is toasted to golden brown. I like to check every three minutes as coconut color changes from blonde to golden quickly. Let cool completely. For Frosting: Melt the white chocolate and 1 cup (240 ml) cream in a medium bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Once melted, remove from heat and let cool for an hour. Add the remaining 2 cups (480 ml) chilled heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and coconut extract to stand mixer and whip until soft peaks. Add the cooled white chocolate mixture and whip on low speed for a few seconds just until the mousse is combined and forms soft peaks again— please be sure you do not over-mix. Keep chilled in fridge until ready to use. Using a long-serrated knife, held so that blade is parallel with work surface, use sawing motion to cut each cake into two even layers. Starting with first cake, carefully lift off top layer and set aside. Brush each layer with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) Malibu rum. Using icing spatula, distribute about 3/4 cup (180 ml) filling evenly on cake, spreading filling to very edge of cake and leveling the surface. Carefully place upper cake layer on top of filling; repeat using remaining filling and cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Press toasted coconut into sides of cake and sprinkle evenly over top. Refrigerate until filling and frosting are set, about 2 hours. (Cake can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.) Serves 10-12.