Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Moral of the Story: Cool Your Bundt . . . (Triple Coconut Cake with Chocolate Glaze)

I knew there'd be trouble when I read that line of the recipe instructions--the one suggesting that the cake could be turned out of the bundt pan within 2 minutes of taking it out of the oven. What? All of my past experience warned that, for me at least, doing such a thing would be delusional at best and suicidal at worst. Good sense hovered in the room like a ghostly specter in a cute apron, whispering, "Don't do it, Jane. You know it won't work. It's never worked before. Just put down the bundt pan and step away from the cooling rack."

But I ignored every molecule of my better judgment. It was crazy risky and destined to result in a mess. I tempted fate, and she slapped me back into reality. Needless to say, I decided to top this baby with a shiny chocolate glaze. Like the makeup we wear, it can't hide every imperfection, but it sure can help. 

And even though its outer beauty was marred beyond repair, it was a fine tasting cake. Moist tender crumb and rich coconut flavor, all deftly enhanced by the dark chocolate. You should try it. But bring the sense you were born with into the kitchen with you when you do. Because clearly, I forgot to bring mine!

About this recipe . . . 

Adapted from the little book, Kiss My Bundt, by Chrysta Wilson, this recipe is one I'd definitely like to use again. I altered the formula by using more coconut milk than called for and no regular milk, to enrich the batter and add more coconut flavor. I also decided to reduce the amount of vanilla extract called for, and I added in a small amount of finely shredded, sweetened coconut. Though the recipe also calls for coconut extract as well, I have never, ever seen 100% naturally flavored coconut extract for sale anywhere, so I used several drops of LorAnn brand coconut flavoring. It's a high quality substitute that does indeed impart great coconut flavor to baked goods (and it should not be confused with pure coconut oil, which will not work as a substitute for a flavoring in baked goods, as far as I am aware). I liked the dark chocolate glaze a lot. It sets up well on the cake, yet stays shiny and kind of soft. I also rewrote all of the directions to reflect exactly what I did.

Triple Coconut Cake with Dark Chocolate Glaze
(For a printable version of these recipes, click here!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 10-cup bundt pan by thoroughly greasing and flouring, making sure it's coated completely, or by spraying liberally with baking spray. (I used a light colored metal bundt pan, and I used baking spray.)

2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt (I used kosher salt)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 and 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. coconut flavoring blend or "extract" (I used several drops of a concentrated coconut flavoring called LorAnn's; available in cake decorating supply stores or sometimes in craft stores like Michael's. Any good coconut flavoring should do.)
1 and 1/4 cups coconut milk (Available canned, often found in the grocery aisle with Asian food ingredients.)
2/3 cup finely shredded sweetened coconut (I pulsed it in my food processor a few times.)

In a medium size bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the large bowl of your mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter for two minutes, or until completely soft. Pour the sugar in slowly, on medium low speed, and mix again for two more minutes.

One at a time add in the eggs, beating on medium speed after each addition until well blended. When all the eggs are in, beat for two more minutes, scraping bowl and beaters as needed.

In a separate small bowl, stir together fork the coconut milk and flavorings.

On medium-low speed, starting and ending with the flour mixture, alternately add in one third of the flour, then half of the coconut milk until it's all combined. Add in the shredded coconut until combined.

Fill your prepared bundt pan no more than 3/4 full. Bang the filled pan firmly on your work surface a couple of times to close up large air pockets.

Bake the cake for at least 40 minutes. Don't open the oven door at all until quite late in the baking cycle.

Be sure to cool the cake in the pan for at least 15 minutes or far more before you even attempt to remove it. (Some bundt cake recipes will even tell you to cool the cake entirely in the pan. Use your own judgment, but be careful. Don't make the mistake I did!)

Apply the glaze only after the cake has completely cooled. It will begin to set up quickly after being poured.

Dark Chocolate Glaze

3/4 cup unsalted butter
6 oz. premium dark chocolate (I used a combo of Scharffenberger and Ghirardelli), chopped into small pieces
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over low heat.

Remove the pan from the heat and add in all of the chocolate; let it melt in the pan, stirring gently as needed.

Add in the corn syrup and stir well with a whisk, until completely combined.

Let the glaze sit for a couple of minutes before spooning or pouring it over the cake. 

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