The Paris baker: Chocolate coconut cake
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There can never be too many chocolate cakes for me, and this particular one is special. I remember vividly my “Bounty” years, when I couldn’t get enough of those so-sweet chocolate and coconut bars, and my affection for this combination is still strong.
In this version I have changed the milk chocolate to dark, which is even better. The idea came about as I was serving one of our most popular cakes, chocolate orange polenta, and it occurred to me to change the polenta for coconut. After several trials we settled on this recipe, which has finally quelled my nostalgic desire.
This cake is very dense and perfect for a dessert or tea time. It could be even better if you can find natural coconut essence (I haven’t succeeded so far in France). A scoop of coconut ice cream would be lovely to serve and, as always, make sure the chocolate is the best you can buy. We use Valrhona Guanaja for all our chocolate cakes.
Rose Carrarini is co-owner of Rose Bakery in Paris and author of ‘How to Boil an Egg’ (Phaidon, £22.95)
Chocolate coconut cake
Take care when baking this cake as it might not seem cooked when the specified time is up. But as long as the knife comes out clean, it is – it dries and sets afterwards. You will need a buttered and lined loaf tin of about 26cm. Preheat oven to 180C.
100g desiccated coconut
200g ground almonds
90g rice flour
90g (90ml) cream
60g dark chocolate
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2-3tbsp hot water
220g unsalted soft butter
200g caster sugar
3 large eggs
1tsp vanilla essence
● In a baking dish toast the coconut until very lightly golden. Take out and cool before adding to the ground almonds and rice flour.
● Gently heat the cream until almost boiling and pour over the chocolate in a bowl. Let this stand until the chocolate has melted and stir into a smooth paste. In another small bowl put the cocoa powder and add the hot water and stir into a smooth paste too. Add this to the chocolate cream (ganache) and stir well. Put aside.
● Beat the butter and sugar together until light, then add the eggs one by one until well mixed. Add the vanilla (and a dash of coconut flavouring if you have it). Fold in the dry ingredients and salt. Mix well and put into the tin. Bake for about 55 mins.
● Take out and cool in the tin. You can pour some melted chocolate and cream on top or dust with icing sugar.