Sunday, 4 August 2013

Coconut Almond Anniversary Cake

Coconuts! Almonds! Chocolate! OH MY!

A few months ago, my supervisor from work hired me to bake his wife a surprise cake on their anniversary! That is just the cutest thing ever. So obviously, I said Heck Yes I will. He managed to sneakily ask her what her favorite cake might be and she came up with this:

A coconut cake, filled with chocolate ganache, and frosted with an almond buttercream.

And the Coconut Almond Anniversary Cake was born!

I was a tad nervous making this cake because I had never made (or eaten, really) a cake like it. It was my first time making an almond frosting... Sometimes I find that almond flavoured foods taste kind of artificial and fruity? That is weird. So I used very little almond extract, and mostly almond butter to create it. Good news it was delish! 
How do I know it was delish?
I tagged along with them on their anniversary and ate their cake. NO! Just kidding. I did not.
That could be creepy, so instead, FUN TIP: I decided to save just enough cake batter and made a single cupcake, which I later filled and frosted the same way that I did for the larger cake. This way, I could do some quality control taste testing before releasing my cake out into the big world! Quality control is extensively important and probably the best part of cooking. Always do some quality control :)

The toasted coconut and almonds on top of the cake added some lovely texture. And what is a proper dessert without a little chocolate? The ganache filling made it that much more special.

So if you are celebrating your anniversary, or somebody else's, try this cake! And if you are not, then it is probably somebody's anniversary somewhere in the world... do it for them.

Coconut Cake
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

Almond Butter Cream
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) softened butter
  • 4 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamed. Add half of the icing sugar, and beat until everything is light and fluffy, add in the almond butter and extract, beat until combined. Add in the remaining half of the icing sugar and beat until everything is combined and delicious.

Chocolate Ganache
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
Place your chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Warm the cream on the stove to just a simmer, just until you see bubbling around the edge of the pot. Take off the heat, and pour the cream over the chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes or so to start melting the chocolate. Gently stir until the cream and chocolate make a uniform mixture. The ganache needs to set in the fridge before so it can become spreadable, and ready to go on the cake! 

Cake Assembly!

Place one of the cake layers on a serving platter. Spread the ganache over the cake, and top with the second cake layer. Cover the sides and top of the cake completely with the Almond Buttercream. Here is the cool part! In my stocking for Christmas... I got to open this one early for this reason... I got a nifty cake decorating tool called a decorating triangle. They are pretty inexpensive to buy and give the sides of your cake a fancy finish. And I am all about the fancy finish. All you have to do is make sure the side of your cake is covered in a nice even layer of frosting, then drag one side of the triangle all the way around. Tadaa: fancy sides.
I garnished the top of my cake with toasted shredded coconut, toasted sliced almonds, and some large-flaked coconut. Large flake coconut is my new favourite ingredient! It's just so fancy looking. And as previously mentioned, I am all about the fancy. It is hard to find in regular grocery stores, but I found mine at a health food store.
I have discovered that I have more fun now wandering in health food stores than I do in clothing stores. There are so many cool foods and ingredients that you don't normally see in a regular grocery store! I love going in and walking out with something totally new to try. Such as large-flake coconut.
If you have extra buttercream leftover, use it to pipe a nice little frame around your cake to finish it off.

Happy Anniversary or Non Anniversary! (Those are important to celebrate too.)

<3 Lari

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