For our Easter party I made this coconut lemon cake, borrowed from pineappleandcoconut.com. The cake itself was delicious, but the icing was somewhat of a disaster. I was admiring pictures on Pinterest of glossy, smoothly iced cakes and thought this speckled egg cake would be the perfect addition to our party.However, at 9pm the night before the party I was rushing to get the cake finished and had to attempt this icing twice. The result was an overly meringue-like taste and the consistency was very hard to spread. It was almost like having to ice with semi-hard butter. No matter how much food dye I added, I couldn’t get the lovely robin’s egg blue colour featured in the above picture. And don’t even get me startled on the speckling method. I still occasionally find dots of cocoa on the kitchen walls. As I only have two cake tins, I made a two layer cake (instead of three) and used the rest of the batter to make a few cupcakes. I iced the cupcakes with creamcheese frosting left over from my bunny cupcakes, and these turned out better than the cake itself.
2 3/4 cups flour
1 cup shredded coconut
1 tbsp. and 1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter (softened)
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs (room temperature)
5 egg whites (room temperature)
1 can coconut milk
2 ounces melted and cooled white chocolate
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. coconut extract
1 jar of lemon curd
I used a half recipe since I only had two layers
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 lb. butter cooled and cut into cubes
1 tsp. coconut extract
1 tsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. water
I picked up miniature easter eggs from Sainsbury’s for decoration.
To make the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 F and grease, line, and flour your cake tins.
In a large bowl combine the flour, coconut, baking powder, and salt.
In another large bowl cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add in the whole eggs, one at a time, mixing well with each addition.
In a separate bowl, combine egg whites, coconut milk, melted white chocolate, and the extracts. Add the egg white mixture to the butter mixture and mix well. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let rest ten minutes then cool inverted on cooling racks.
To make the frosting:
Bring a pan with an inch of water to a low simmer. In a bain marie combine egg whites, sugar, and salt, whisking until combined, and then whisking over the simmering water continuously for five minutes.
Remove from heat and whisk with an electric mixer on high until stiff, white meringue peaks form. Add the butter a tablespoon at a time and whisk on medium. Add the coconut extract and mix on high for two minutes.
*As mentioned above, I didn’t like this icing and I would recommend using an alternative.*
To assemble the cake:
Pipe a circle of the icing around the edge of the first cake layer (to act as a barrier) and then fill the space with lemon curd. Ice the cake with a spatula. (I found I had to use my fingers to get the icing to spread at all)
Speckle the cake by flicking the cocoa mixture with a marinading brush. Decorate with eggs.
With the remaining batter, I made cupcakes. These needed to cook for less time (about 10-15 minutes). I injected them with some of the lemon curd and iced them with creamcheese frosting. These tasted much nicer than the original cake!
The lesson I learned from this kitchen adventure is to be realistic about what I can accomplish in a limited amount of time, and to manage my expectations about what I am capable of baking versus what I see on Pinterest. Having said that, I enjoy challenging myself and it is always fun to try new recipes, even if they are a bit above my skill level!