March 04, 2011
I've gotten into something of a habit of making a big dessert over the weekend, Juli and I having a bit of it, then me bringing the rest of it in to work to share with my colleagues. Last weekend I decided to make a coconut cake using a recipe I'd seen in the July 2010 issue of Bon Appetit.
That recipe included a sauce with hibiscus and citrus zest, but not having any hibiscus, I decided to skip that and just go with the cake and frosting, which sounded rich enough.
The cake part of the recipe is actually a pretty ordinary sheet cake. Probably the most notable aspect of the cake is the inclusion of some coconut extract. The real coconut flavor, and most of the cake's richness, comes from the topping.
Heavy whipping cream is whipped with a bit of cream of coconut. After the coconutty whipped cream is spread atop the cake, more cream of coconut is poured atop and swirled into the whipped cream, then the whole thing is topped with a full cup of toasted, sweetened flaked coconut. That topping gives the cake more moisture, and a lot of flavor.
As usual, Juli and I only had a couple pieces of the cake. I brought the rest in to work to share with my colleagues. It was a big hit, and even a couple days later I've had coworkers come come up to me to praise the cake. I thought it was pretty good, but some of my coworkers really, really loved it. I'm guessing you'd get pretty much the same response.