Gooey frosting tops a fresh coconut cake


Pamela A. Mulshine of Odenton was looking for a recipe she had misplaced for coconut cake.

She said the cake had three layers and called for freshly grated coconut and coconut milk, and was frosted with Seven-Minute Frosting.

Claudine Carter of Aberdeen responded with a recipe from one of her many books.

Classic Coconut Cake

Serves 16

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 2/3 cups all-purpose or unbleached flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

7 egg whites

1 coconut

2 to 3 tablespoons sugar

Seven-Minute Frosting (see recipe)

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 2 cups sugar, beating well. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; fold into batter. Pour batter into three greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

To get the meat of a coconut, pierce "eyes" at end of coconut with an ice pick. Pour liquid through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a 1-cup liquid measuring cup; add enough water to measure 1 cup, if necessary. Set aside.

Crack coconut. To get the meat of a coconut, use a hammer to crack the shell and break the coconut open. Then pry the meat away from the shell with a knife or a clean screwdriver. Remove the brown skin from the meat, using a vegetable peeler. Shred the coconut meat with a grater or food processor.

Cook coconut liquid and 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Remove coconut syrup from heat.

Place 1 cake layer on a cake plate and drizzle with 1/4 cup coconut syrup. Spread 1 cup Seven-Minute Frosting over cake, and sprinkle with one-fourth of shredded coconut. Repeat procedure with a second cake layer, 5 tablespoons coconut syrup and 1 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer; drizzle with 1/4 cup coconut syrup. Spread top and sides of cake with remaining 2 1/2 cups frosting; press remaining shredded coconut onto top and sides of cake. Drizzle remaining 3 tablespoons coconut syrup over top of cake. Cover and chill at least 24 hours.

Seven-minute Frosting

Makes 4 1/2 cups

4 egg whites

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup water

Combine all ingredients in top of a large double boiler; beat at low speed with a hand-held electric mixer until blended. Place over boiling water, beating at high speed 7 minutes or until soft peaks form; remove from heat. Beat until frosting is spreading consistency. Spread immediately over cooled cake.

Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "This cake is a tall, gorgeous white cloud. Inside, the cake is very moist, the frosting is very gooey, and the taste of coconut is reasonably subtle. If you can't find a real coconut, Coco Lopez could be substituted for the coconut syrup and flaked coconut could be substituted for the real grated coconut. Grating the coconut in a food processor is more convenient than doing it by hand, but the resulting pieces are somewhat too big. Hand-grating yields smaller curls of coconut meat. If you don't have an ice pick, open the coconut by inserting a large screwdriver in the 'eyes' and tapping on the end of the screwdriver with a hammer."

Recipe requests

* Peggy Swift of Locust Point is seeking a recipe for a seven-layer cake that was served at either Hochschild-Kohn or Hutzler's department stores. She says a 91-year-old friend wants the recipe.

* Elberta Johnson of Albany, Ore., is seeking recipes for spinach quiche and blue cheese salad dressing.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278. If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.

Pub Date: 10/06/99

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