Do you think the person you are today would make the 8 year old you happy?
I have been contemplating this question, wondering if the child I was would be truly happy with the adultI have become. Would the little girl who dreamed of being an opera singer be content with writing recipes and shooting food porn? Could 8 year old Kelly understand the complexities of life, love, and change? I’d like to think she would be, upon deeper reflection, proud of what she will become – once she got over never being lauded around the world as the next Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. The reason I have gone off on this philosophical tangent is I have been thinking a lot lately about who I am, what I want from my life, and if I am really on the right track to get there? I can’t answer those questions entirely just yet, but I do know that when I get bogged down in the ‘what do I want to be when I truly grow up’ blues, cake is a wonderful distraction.
I have loved coconut since I was little. My Aunt Ruby used to make delectable chocolate covered coconut candies around Christmas that I would devour until I was nearly ill. Thinking about childhood made me crave chocolate and coconut. This cake has three coconut elements – coconut oil, coconut flour, and unsweetened shredded coconut. All three of these combine to make this cake incredibly moist, and to add a rich coconut flavor without a speck of chemical extract or artificial flavoring. Rather than frost the cake with regular icing, I made a coconut milk ganache as a glaze and let it run over the sides. I love the random drips! Finally, I sprinkled a little toasted coconut on top so everyone will know this cake is all about the coconut. As distractions from the deep questions in life go, this is a winner. It’s also good when you are not deep in thought, too.
- For the cake:
- ¾ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup coconut oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup coconut flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- For the glaze:
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ¼ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- For garnish:
- ⅓ cup shredded sweetened coconut, toasted
- Heat the oven to 350 F and spray an 8-inch cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- In the work bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, combine the sugar and coconut oil. Mix until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition, about 30 seconds each, then stir in the vanilla.
- In a separate bowl combine the flour, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine the dry ingredients and the coconut milk with the sugar mixture and mix until just combined, about 10 seconds. Add the unsweetened coconut and stir until well combined, about 20 seconds more.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake springs back when pressed gently in the center and the edges of the cake have started to come away from the sides of the pan. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cake cools prepare the glaze.
- Heat the coconut milk to a simmer in a small saucepan. Once it reaches a simmer pour the coconut into a small bowl and add the chocolate chips. Let stand for 1 minute then whisk until smooth. Cool to room temperature.
- To assemble the cake, place the cake onto a decorative plate of cake stand. Pour the glaze onto the center of the cake and use the back of a spoon to spread the glaze just to the edges of the cake. Allow the gaze to drip naturally down the sides. Sprinkle the top with the toasted coconut. Let stand for 1 hour before serving so the glaze can set.