Coconut almond cake?
This recipe doesn't involve any coconut,but Id like to add some if you think the flavor would match well. I want to make a cake for my mother's birthday next week and this seems like something she'd like. I have coconut extract (imitation is the only kind available) and sweetened shredded coconut. What do you think about adding some of that to the batter? does shredded coconut not turnout well in batters? I see that they are usually added to frostings. (She doenst like sweet things, only subtely sweet things, so frosting is probably not an option)
i've never used coconut extract so i can't speak to that, but i absolutely would NOT use sweetened, shredded coconut in the batter. granted, that particular ingredient happens to be my personal culinary kryptonite, so i guess i'm biased. however, the texture is the primary reason i abhor the stuff - it's stringy, gritty, chewy, and just unpleasant to eat. IMHO, biting into a lovely piece of cake only to discover that you have to gnaw your way through those evil little strands just kills the whole experience.
i know, i know, i really need to learn to be more forthcoming with my opinions ;)
seriously though, if Mom loves coconut, add some extract, or coconut cream, or coconut milk, or even coconut flour...but please don't put the shredded stuff in there!
The flavors will go together very well, think coconut and almond candy - yum. Shredded coconut is fine in cake batters. I use it in Italian creme cakes and it's really not overly sweet at all.
I use shredded coconut in a delicious caked called 'hummingbird cake' and no one had ever complained about it in the 20 years ive been making it! (Theres also mashed bananas and crushed pineapple that all just disappear but leave behind this delicious taste that makes you go 'mmmmm'-thus the hummingbird title. not a gourmet recipe-but everyone always asks for it.) ANyway, I digress--channel Emeril here...if you like shredded coconut, use it, if you dont like it, then leave it out!
Instead of coconut extract, why not go with the almond extract for that almond taste, and add 4 oz. of the shredded coconut? That way you get both flavors. Make the frosting less sweet by adding less sugar (for instance, a cream frosting with just a few tablespoons of sugar) and add slivered almonds and coconuts as frosting decorations?
Here's a recipe for Coconut almond cake I'm using as a reference:
Prep: 30 min.; Bake: 47 min.; Cool: 1 hr., 10 min.
Brooks makes this cake with the precision of a skilled baker who has made his masterpiece many times. If the tops of the layers are a little rounded, he recommends leveling them with a serrated knife. This is a tall cake, he says, and it needs to be level if you want your friends to admire your work before they devour the cake--as they absolutely will.
Makes 12 servings
* 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
* 1/2 cup sliced almonds
* Parchment paper
* 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
* 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
* 5 large eggs
* 1 cup whipping cream
* 1/3 cup coconut milk
* 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
* 1 tablespoon almond extract
* Coconut-Almond Filling
* Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting
* Garnishes: kumquats, currants, fresh mint sprigs
1. Preheat oven to 325°. Bake coconut in a single layer in a shallow pan 6 minutes. Place almonds in a single layer in another shallow pan; bake, with coconut, 7 to 9 minutes or until almonds are fragrant and coconut is lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
2. Line 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with parchment paper. Grease and flour paper.
3. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a very large bowl.
4. Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy; gradually add sugars, beating until blended. Beat 8 minutes or until very fluffy, scraping bottom and sides of bowl as needed. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition (about 30 seconds per egg). Stir in whipping cream and next 3 ingredients.
5. Gently fold butter mixture into flour mixture, in batches, just until combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
6. Bake at 325° for 30 to 32 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
7. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate. Spread half of chilled Coconut-Almond Filling over cake layer. Top with 1 layer, pressing down gently. Repeat procedure with remaining half of Coconut-Almond Filling and remaining cake layer.
8. Gently spread Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting on top and sides of cake. Press toasted coconut onto sides of cake; sprinkle toasted almonds on top. Garnish, if desired.
Source: Brooks Hamaker, New Orleans, Louisiana, Southern Living, NOVEMBER 2008
I would substitute coconut milk for some of the water -- 1 to 1 1/2 cups. That will give you more coconut flavor -- then you can use almond extract.
You've probably already made your cake this time but for future reference, you can add coconut. But if I didn't want it to be too sweet I'd use unsweetened coconut. Sometimes a little harder to find but it's around. More and more places seem to have it.
An Alford and Duford (sp) baking book uses it in a banana bread that was very good.