Sunday, December 7, 2008

Southern Living’s Coconut-Almond Cream Cake for Christmas…

Coconut-Almond Cream Cake from Southern Living

Prep: 30 min.; Bake: 47 min.; Cool: 1 hr., 10 min.

Brooks makes this cake with the precision of a skilled baker who has made his masterpiece many times. If the tops of the layers are a little rounded, he recommends leveling them with a serrated knife. This is a tall cake, he says, and it needs to be level if you want your friends to admire your work before they devour the cake--as they absolutely will.

Yield

Makes 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 2  cups  sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2  cup  sliced almonds
  • Parchment paper
  • 3 1/2  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1  tablespoon  baking powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1 1/2  cups  unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4  cups  granulated sugar
  • 1  cup  firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 5  large eggs
  • 1  cup  whipping cream
  • 1/3  cup  coconut milk
  • 1  tablespoon  vanilla extract
  • 1  tablespoon  almond extract
  • Coconut-Almond Filling
  • Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Garnishes: kumquats, currants, fresh mint sprigs

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Bake coconut in a single layer in a shallow pan 6 minutes. Place almonds in a single layer in another shallow pan; bake, with coconut, 7 to 9 minutes or until almonds are fragrant and coconut is lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

2. Line 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with parchment paper. Grease and flour paper.

3. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a very large bowl.

4. Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy; gradually add sugars, beating until blended. Beat 8 minutes or until very fluffy, scraping bottom and sides of bowl as needed. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition (about 30 seconds per egg). Stir in whipping cream and next 3 ingredients.

5. Gently fold butter mixture into flour mixture, in batches, just until combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.

6. Bake at 325° for 30 to 32 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour).

7. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate. Spread half of chilled Coconut-Almond Filling over cake layer. Top with 1 layer, pressing down gently. Repeat procedure with remaining half of Coconut-Almond Filling and remaining cake layer.

8. Gently spread Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting on top and sides of cake. Press toasted coconut onto sides of cake; sprinkle toasted almonds on top. Garnish, if desired.

Source:  Brooks Hamaker, New Orleans, Louisiana, Southern Living, NOVEMBER 2008

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