~Coconut Almond Cake~
Ok, so its not the most professional of pictures (taken p.b.; pre-blog,) but you get the gist of what the cake will look like. Its a beautiful cake in person. It looks especially striking on my Mem-maw's Fostoria cake stand.
I made this cake for the first time at Thanksgiving several years back. We had lots of friends and family get together and everyone gave it a thumbs up. (I like to try new recipes when there's a crowd. You get an honest review by how much is left over!)
This isn't a quickie dessert. I make the cakes ahead of time, wrap them well in saran wrap and freezer bags, and store them in the freezer. To help the cakes retain their shape in my FULL freezers, I put them back in their pans after the saran wrap. This way you won't end up with a big dent somewhere on your cake that you have to "fix" with extra frosting!
The filling also needs to be made ahead of time. The day before you are going to serve it, you can put the cake together with the filling and put back into the fridge. I like my cream cheese type frostings to be fresh. Make it the day you plan to serve it. Frost and garnish your cake, then leave it out long enough for the layers to thaw. Cakes are best at room temperature so you can fully taste all of the components and textures.
So, for your next special occasion, I hope you'll give this cake a try. Your friends and family will adore you for it!
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup sliced almonds
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, at room temperature
1 cup whipping cream, at room temperature
1/3 cup coconut milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon almond extract
Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 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 until almonds are fragrant and coconut is lightly browned, stirring occasionally. (Stay by oven during this time. If you can smell your almonds away from the oven, they're probably too brown. They can go from PERFECT to unusable very quickly!)
Line 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with parchment paper. Grease and flour paper.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a very large bowl.
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 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.
Gently fold butter mixture into flour mixture, in batches, just until combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake at 325 degrees 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.) (This is the point where you can wrap the layers and place in freezer. It is absolutely crucial that the cakes are COMPLETELY cool before placing in freezer.) When ready to finish putting cake together, continue on to step 7.)
Place 1 cake layer (no need to thaw first if frozen,) on a serving plate. Spread half of chilled Coconut-Almond Filling (recipe follows) over cake layer. Top with 1 layer, pressing down gently. Repeat procedure with remaining half of Coconut-Almond Filling and remaining layer. (Again, this is the point where you can wrap the entire cake and place in refrigerator.) (On the day you plan to serve cake, finish with step 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.
This cake serves 12 very generous servings.
(It would easily serve 18.)
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/4 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups loosely packed sweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup sour cream
Stir together cornstarch, almond extract, and 2 Tbsp. water in a bowl.
Bring whipping cream, brown sugar and butter to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat, and immediately whisk in cornstarch mixture. Stir in coconut and sour cream.
Cover and chill at least 8 hours.
Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting
Beat 2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened and 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Increase speed to medium, and beat in 1 Tbsp. cream of coconut and 1 tsp vanilla extract until smooth.
Don't forget to come back October 3rd thru October 9th for the Pretty Packages Party!