Sunday, 7 December 2008

Coconut sandwich

The basic cake recipe was for a 990g loaf cake and served plain. I’m sure that would be delicious but, noticing the quantities were perfect for a sponge sandwich I decided to add some buttercream and make a more elaborate cake.

There’s a reason why the sandwich (or layer) cake has survived for so long – it’s perfect! The layer of filling separating the two sponges and further icing on top is heavenly to eat and guarantees that you get a bit of all the components in every bite.

As I type this my home is filling with the aroma of warm coconut and I know already that this cake will be something special!

I’ve never used Swiss meringue buttercream as a filling before, normally I pipe it on top of cupcakes. I’ve done some piping here too but what struck me was how light the buttercream was as a filling – it worked really well.

For the cake:
175g unsalted butter
175g golden caster sugar
3 eggs
175g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
50g desiccated coconut
2 teaspoons coconut extract
3 tablespoons milk

For the buttercream:
4 egg whites
250g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons coconut extract

How to make:

- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
- Line two 20cm sandwich pans with baking paper.
- Place the butter and sugar into a bowl and beat until soft and well combined. Due to the ratio of ingredients, the mix won’t get light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a little of the flour if it looks like the mix might curdles.
- Add the remaining flour, baking powder, coconut and extract and beat until thoroughly mixed.
- Add the milk to loosen the batter.
- Spoon the batter into the two prepared sandwich tins and bake in the oven for approximately 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Mine took exactly 25 minutes.
- Leave to cool in the tins for at least 10 minutes before turning out and letting cool completely on a wire rack.
- The sponges can be made in advance and stored in an airtight tin.
- Make the buttercream. Place the egg whites and sugar in a bowl over a pan of simmering water (making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water) and stir constantly to stop the egg from cooking.
- After 5-10 minutes the sugar should have dissolved. You will know whether this has happened by looking at the back of the spoon – if you can see any sugar crystals the mix needs more heating and stirring.
- When no crystals are visible, remove the bowl from the heat and whisk the meringue mixture until it has puffed up and cooled.
- Add the butter and coconut extract to the meringue and continue to whisk. The mixture will collapse initially but don’t panic; keep whisking and it will form a smooth, fluffy buttercream.
- Spread half of the buttercream on to one of the sponges and place the other sponge on top.
- Pipe the remaining buttercream on top of the cake.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


Margaret said...

Such a pretty cake and the use of coconut essence really does lift a coconut cake.

glamah16 said...

I love the look and sound of this cake. And that yoyu piped the frosting just on top and in between so you dont have that overkill of sweetness. Perfection!

Opé - Style Artist said...

Looks delicious...I am tempted even though I don't care for coconut.
I DO like coconut extract though.

Katie said...

Wow this looks wonderful - so tall and fluffy. The swiss buttercream sounds amazing.