So, can you tell I’m getting ready for Easter? Last week I wrote about making Easter bread, and this week I’m thinking about dessert for Easter. For me, Easter screams coconut. I’m a huge fan of coconut, in any form. I love coconut eggs, coconut cream pie, coconut shrimp, anything coconut. A woman who I used to work with made the most amazing coconut cake…I’ll have to write about that sometime! Anyway, so, when I was flipping through the April edition of the Martha Stewart Living magazine, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I stopped at the Coconut Crunch Cake!
This coconut cake is different. It has a coconut flavored cake-like layer on the bottom, but with a soft and chewy coconut topping. Covered in chocolate sauce, it is an amazing dessert that reminds me of a reconfigured coconut cream egg.
To start, whisk together 1 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. In a liquid measuring cup, mix 1/2 cup cream of coconut (as a side note, this stuff is amazing and I can eat it straight out of the can with a spoon) and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. If you have trouble finding cream of coconut, it may be in the Hispanic section of your grocery store, if you have one.
Next, with a mixer, beat 1 stick softened butter and 1/4 cup coconut oil (in solid form, do not melt) on medium-high speed until smooth. Add 1 cup sugar and beat until fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add 3 eggs, 1 at a time, beating and scraping the sides after each addition. Finally, with the mixer on low, add the flour and cream of coconut mixtures alternatively. Starting with 1/3 of the flour, then add 1/2 of the cream of coconut, then flour, coconut, ending with flour. Beat until just combined. The cake batter is now ready.
Make the topping by beating 2 egg whites with 1/8 teaspoon salt in a mixer until thick and frothy, about 1 minute. Stir in a 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Fold in 3 cups sweetened shredded coconut.
Butter and flour a 10-inch spring-form pan. Spread the batter evenly in the pan. Top with the coconut topping and carefully spread to make it even. Bake on a sheet pan at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs. You may need to cover with foil if it is browning too quickly.
For the chocolate sauce, I doubled the recipe. What can I say, I love chocolate. For the original recipe, heat 1/3 cup heavy cream and 1/4 cup sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, and the mixture is close to boiling. Pour the cream mixture over 4 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate and 2 tablespoons butter. Make sure the mixture is in a heat-proof bowl. Stir until smooth then add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. This is a delicious chocolate sauce, so don’t worry if you have leftovers. To serve, slice the cake and pour the chocolate sauce on top!