Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chocolate Coconut Cake

Operation:  Birthday!

A good friend of mine commissioned a surprise birthday cake for her boyfriend and only gave me three requirements:
  • Coconut
  • Chocolate
  • Almonds
After brainstorming and pouring through recipes, this is what I came up with:
  • Dark chocolate cake, Coconut cake, Dark chocolate ganache, Coconut buttercream icing, Sweetened shredded coconut, and Toasted sliced almonds
I made four 6-inch round cakes, two were dark chocolate and two were coconut.  While the cakes were cooling, I melted 62% dark chocolate in a double-boiler for the ganache filling.  After adding some heavy cream, the ganache was set aside to cool to room temperature.  Once the coconut buttercream was made, I began assembly.  Here's how it all stacked up starting from the base of the cake:
  • Coconut cake layer
  • Dark chocolate ganache
  • Dark chocolate cake layer
  • Coconut buttercream
  • Dark chocolate cake layer
  • Dark chocolate ganache
  • Coconut Cake
  • Final top layer of Coconut buttercream
  • Coconut buttercream to frost the cake
  • Sweetened shredded coconut pressed into the sides
I am still working on my ability to pipe letters directly onto the tops of cakes.  I get all nervous that I will make a mistake and panic that I will ruin the cake.  So instead, I melted some of the leftover dark chocolate in a bowl in the microwave and poured it into a paper piping bag that I made. (The link will take you to a super easy tutorial on how to make a paper piping bag with parchment paper!)  On a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, I piped "happy birthday brian" in cursive with the chocolate.  The cursive lettering makes it so that the chocolate is all in one piece for easy transport to the cake top.  After 2 or 3 minutes setting in the fridge, the chocolate accents were ready to top the cake.

I came back with the melted chocolate after and crossed my "t's" and dotted my "i's".  It wasn't until I brought the cake to work for delivery that I remembered to add the toasted almonds in a decorative border around the lettering.  (Convenient that I work in grocery retail so the ingredients and oven were readily available at the last minute!)

I do enjoy the simplicity and clean lines of the cake without the almonds, as well.  You could leave them out entirely or even put them on top of the ganache layers for an added crunch.

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