They taste good, they look good, and they’re made by good people — talented bakers from around the world. Today, Seton Rossini shares a chocolate covered coconut cake, an Almond Joy all grown up, from her cookbook Sweet Envy: Deceptively Easy Desserts, Designed to Steal the Show.
Coconut Bliss Cake. (Photo: Seton Rossini)
Makes one 8-inch layer cake
I’ve had a longtime love affair with coconut candy. Almond Joys and Mounds bars are always the first to disappear from my Halloween stash. (I use the present tense because at my age, I proudly continue to collect Halloween candy.) This recipe is a deconstruction of the Almond Joy, reassembled in the best possible way. The coconut cake is inspired by my aunt Edna’s incredibly light and flawless coconut cake. At 91, Edna is the eldest of my mother’s 15 siblings (Yes, 15!), and her coconut cake is the thing dreams are made of. Her frosting is simple, made with fresh coconut, sugar and egg whites—but cracking into a coconut is no joke. While aunt Edna never seems to have trouble with coconuts, I’ve nearly lost fingers trying to pry one open. So to preserve our appendages, we’ll just stick to store-bought coconut flakes for this recipe. One bite of this cake, coated in a decadent chocolate fudge sauce and adorned in almonds, and you’ll be hooked. It’s the Almond Joy, all grown up.
2½ cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
5 egg whites
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 can (13.5 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
Dark-chocolate-covered almonds, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, grease and set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift or whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
Beat the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form. Scoop the egg whites into a bowl and set aside. Wipe the mixing bowl clean.
Beat the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, then add the vanilla.
With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture, alternating with the coconut milk until the batter is completely mixed and smooth. Use a spatula to fold in the egg whites, carefully stirring until no white streaks remain.
Divide the batter evenly among cake pans and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean. Cool completely in the pans.
1 cup granulated sugar
4 egg whites
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed and softened
2 cups coconut flakes, for assembly
10 ounces high-quality semisweet chocolate, chips or chopped
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
In a stand mixer bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk the sugar and egg whites until combined.
Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is very warm, about 3 minutes.
Move the bowl to the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whip on high for 5 minutes, or until cooled and stiff peaks form.
Switch from the whisk to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on medium, add in the butter, one cube at a time.