Easter Coconut Cake
5 hours 0 mins
1 cup fresh raspberries, rinsed
1 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Creme de Cassis, if desired
1 ½ tablespoons water
1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
2 ½ cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup coconut
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon coconut milk
1 cup room temperature
1 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 egg whites
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons coconut extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup water
¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
10 egg whites
2 ¾ cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- Prepare raspberry filling 4 hours before making cake: Combine raspberries, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt in small saucepan; stir to coat. Cook over medium-low heat until sugar is dissolved, taking care not to boil. Add Creme de Cassis, if desired; simmer 10 minutes or until raspberries are liquified.
- Combine cold water and cornstarch in small bowl; whisk to blend. Stir cornstarch slurry into raspberries; bring to a slow boil. Cook 30-45 seconds or until sauce coats back of spoon. Strain into medium bowl with fine-mesh strainer to remove seeds. Cool completely. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Heat oven to 325ºF. (Highly recommended to use oven thermometer, as proper oven temperature will impact final cake.) Butter bottoms of 3 (8"") round cake pans. Cut parchment circles to fit each; place in pans. Butter and flour parchment circles and sides of pans.
- Combine flour, baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Sift flour mixture into another medium bowl. Add coconut; break up any clumps with your fingers. Whisk to combine; set aside.
- Combine crème frâiche and coconut milk in liquid measuring cup; set aside.
- Beat butter in bowl of stand mixer (or in bowl with hand mixer) on low speed 30 seconds or until smooth. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar; increase speed to medium. Beat 5-10 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add 2 egg whites, 1 at a time, beating at least 45 seconds after each addition, scraping bowl as needed, 2 minutes or until mixture is airy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating at least 45 seconds after each addition, scraping bowl as needed, 4 minutes or until well blended. Add coconut and vanilla extracts; beat 1 minute or until thoroughly combined.
- Add half of flour mixture; reduce speed to low. Beat 30-45 seconds or until combined. Add crème frâiche mixture; beat 1 minute or until combined. Beat in remaining flour mixture 1 minute or until just combined. Fully scrape side and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula. Stir batter until smooth and blended, being sure to fully scrape bottom of bowl.
- Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. Level surface with spatula. Tap pans on countertop to prevent large bubbles of batter.
- Bake 25-35 minutes or until instant read thermometer inserted into center of cake reaches 210ºF. Do not overbake. Cool cake in pan 5 minutes; turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.
- To make simple syrup, combine 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar in small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat; cool completely. Transfer syrup to small bowl or squeeze bottle.
- To make meringue, bring 3"" water to a slow boil in 3-quart saucepan. Reduce heat to a simmer. Place 10 egg whites in clean nonreactive metal bowl (either stand mixer or large stainless steel bowl). Add 2 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar; stir to combine.
- Place metal bowl over top of saucepan while water simmers. Whisk egg white mixture over saucepan 3 minutes or until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove metal bowl from stove. With whisk attachment on mixer on low speed 1-2 minutes or until nearly opaque. Increase speed to medium. Beat 4-6 minutes or until light and fluffy. Increase speed to high; beat 2-3 minutes or until meringue is done. To check for doneness, remove whisk attachment and invert. If meringue slowly folds down over attachment, it's done.
- To assemble cake, place 1 cake round on turntable or cake stand. Place dollop of meringue on cake to secure to cake stand. Gently cut off slightly domed cake to make level. Add simple syrup to cut layer with spoon or squirt bottle.
- Place thick dam of meringue around edge of bottom cake layer. Spoon 4-5 tablespoons raspberry filling in center; spread to edges of dam. Slice top off second cake layer; place on first layer. Repeat simple syrup, meringue dam and raspberry filling layers. Invert final cake layer; place on top of other 2 layers. Press down gently; double check to make sure cake is level. Using offset spatula, quickly spread meringue over cooled cake. Using clean fingers, pull or swirl meringue. Use butane torch to toast meringue, if desired.