This is the ultimate coconut cake. Use fresh coconut for the best results. No yolks are used in the sponge, making it airy and light. The boiled, soft meringue frosting is as light as the sponge, and sprinkling grated coconut all over the top and sides of the cake makes it look extra special.
1 fresh coconut
430 g caster sugar
120 g unsalted butter. at room temperature
500 g plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
250 ml whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 egg whites
200 g egg whites (from 6-7 eggs)
320 g caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3 .
Pierce the eyes of the coconut and strain the milk into a jug Add water to make 250 ml and pour into a saucepan Add 60 g of the sugar and bring to the boil, stirring frequently, then set aside to cool Meanwhile, heat the drained coconut in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes Crack open the coconut and scoop out the fruit from the shell Trim off the brown skin with a sharp knife Grate the coconut and set aside Put the butter and remaining sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and cream until light and fluffy.
In a separate bowl. mix the flour and baking powder In another bowl, mix the milk and vanilla extract Beat the flour mixture into the creamed butter alternately with the milk mixture (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula) Beat until well mixed. In yet another bowl, whisk the egg whites with a handheld electric whisk until stiff peaks form Using a metal spoon, fold the egg whites into the cake mixture until well mixed but do not overmix.
Pour into the prepared cake tins and smooth over with a palette knife Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool slightly in the tins before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool
For the meringue frosting:
Put the egg whites, sugar and 75 ml water in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water Beat slowly with an electric handheld whisk until stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes Remove from the heat and beat in the vanilla extract.
The frosting should be thick and glossy When the cakes are cold, put one on a serving plate and drizzle with coconut syrup Spread one-fifth of the frosting over it with a palette knife and top with grated coconut Repeat for the next cake, then top with the third and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides Cover with grated coconut.
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