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2012-11-29 digital edition

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2012-11-29 / General Stories

From the Chef’s Corner

Toasted Coconut Cake with Walnuts and Cranberries
by Chef Deedle

I’ve found the biggest help to successful baking is to be organized! Gather all your ingredients and read through your recipe so you don’t find any surprises. This cake is worth all the ingredients it calls for and more.

Cake:
2 cups cranberry juice
1 ½ cups dried cranberries
2 2/3 cups flour
2 ¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
6 lg. egg whites
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. coconut extract
¾ cup buttermilk
Frosting:
¾ cups unsalted butter, softened
2 lbs. powdered sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk (usually found in the
Asian section of the supermarket)
1 tsp. coconut extract
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 ½ cups flaked coconut, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9-inch cake pans.

In medium saucepan, bring cranberry juice to boiling. Add dried cranberries and return to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat. Let stand while preparing cake; then drain.

In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and soda and salt. In a large bowl, combine ¼ cup butter and the granulated sugar. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in the egg whites, vanilla, and 1 tsp coconut extract.

Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk, until combined. Divide evenly among the cake pans.

Bake cake layers on two racks in center of oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of each layer comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.

Meanwhile, for frosting, in a large bowl beat ¼ cup butter with an electric mixer on medium until smooth. Gradually add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, beating well. Slowly beat in coconut milk and coconut extract. Gradually beat in remaining powdered sugar until fluffy (if frosting is too dry, beat in a little more coconut milk, 1 tsp at a time).

Place layer on cake plate. Spread with one third of the frosting. Sprinkle with the cranberries. Place second cake layer on top of the filling. Spread with another third of frosting. Top with 2/3 cup of toasted walnuts and1/2 of the coconut. Top with last cake layer. Spread remaining frosting. Top with remaining coconut and walnuts.

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