BLOOD AND COCONUTS CAKE


This cake was originally going to be meyer lemon and coconut but I had Blood Oranges on hand and in a moment you will see why I decided to go with them.

This post is inspired and dedicated to Ian Knauer, for a couple of reasons. First, his tutorial on opening a coconut saved me from smashing many things on my counter top and possibly prevented the loss of an eye. Second, his post on making his Tart Tatin, wherein he is injured, was both funny and also reminded me why I wanted to mess with fresh coconut to begin with.
I grated my thumb, making this cake, (I will spare you the pic) which is a bloody and painful pitfall of grating fresh coconut. BUT. You then have FRESH COCONUT in and on your cake. Much like the risk of burning yourself with scalding hot sugar making caramel- it’s worth it.

BLOOD AND COCONUT CAKE
Cake:
4 oz butter
7 oz sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
8.5 oz cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 blood orange juice
7 oz freshly grated (OUCH!) coconut
leftover grated coconut for sprinkling etc

Oven is at 325.
You know the drill, butter and sugar into the mixer, until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and then the extract. Flour, baking powder and soda and the pinch of salt are whisked nicey nicey in bowl. Add half of the flour into the egg and butter mixture, then add milk and juice then add coconut. The remaining flour goes in and a few turns of the beater and you are good.
For this cake I take my time weighing out the batter and dividing it into two 9 inch pans and because it looks sort of crazy with all that coconut, I smooth it as well. The layers come out so even every time!
Which reminds me, butter and parchment your cake pans, unless you want to end up swearing and crying instead of smiling and eating cake.
Bake for 25 -30 minutes and cool.

BLOOD ORANGE CURD
Juice of 4-5 blood oranges ( in hindsight I think adding some lemon juice would have been a good idea)
one stick of butter
at least 5 egg yolks (I used 3 like a chump and my curd was loose)
1 cup sugar

Juice and zest oranges. In a sauce pan whisk together sugar and yolks. Add juice and cook over med heat. Stir with a spoon until it gets thicker and coats the back of a spoon. STRAIN.
Let cool.

RUM BUTTERCREAM
3 sticks butter
4 egg whites
1 1/4 cup sugar
Rum!
Over a double boiler, whisk egg whites and sugar until no longer grainy.
Switch over to the electric mixer and whip until mixture cools and peaks start to form. Slowly add the butter in pieces which you have cut up previously (which, I forgot to mention). When the mixture starts to look luxurious and satiny, add a little bit of Rum at time to your liking, but let’s not get crazy.

*Oh and one last thing, In the pics you will see wide shards of toasted coconut. I saved some pieces and sliced them on the mandoline. I toasted them at 325, stirring every few minutes until they looked right.
Assembling the cake:
Place one cake layer on a flat surface covered with parchment. Spread ( or in the case above, pour) your curd onto the layer and (scramble to clean it up as it runs down the side) then cover with second layer. (You can also pipe a ring of buttercream, outlining the edge of your first layer and then fill that in with curd, using the buttercream as a dam.)
Frost top and sides of cake.
With remaining grated coconut, (which depends on the size or how many you decided to fool with), sprinkle on top and gently press into sides of cake. Make a halo with toasted pieces or use them for the sides- it’s your cake, I just work here.

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