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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

COCONUT ORANGE DREAM CAKE

For whatever reason, I tend to crave tropical things in the fall and winter. Maybe you too? This Coconut Orange Dream Cake has "dream" in the title for a reason...it's dreamy. If you want to simplify the recipe, you could totally leave off the coconut fluff and add a little coconut extract to the cake instead. However, if you have the time, make the fluff. It's super special.


Here's a trio of this cake that I made for the Atlanta Girl Gang Repairing Paradise fundraiser. I considered making three different cakes for this event, but I knew people would love this one, so I went for it!


COCONUT ORANGE DREAM CAKE

Ingredients
Vanilla Cake
490g all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
500g granulated sugar
255g unsalted butter, room temperature
4 eggs, large, room temperature
1 egg white, large, room temperature
340g milk, room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
Orange Cream Frosting 
226g unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
3 tsp orange oil or extract
906g/2 lbs confectioners sugar
1/2 c heavy whipping cream
Coconut Fluff
37g water
75g granulated sugar
117g light corn syrup
1 1/2 egg whites, large, room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp coconut extract
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions
Vanilla Cake 
Prepare three 8 inch round cake pans with butter and flour. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the sugar and butter until lightened in color and fluffy.

Add in the eggs and egg white one at a time, making sure that each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down the bowl as needed.

Add in one third of the dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated. Add in the vanilla extract, almond extract, and half of the milk. Mix until just incorporated. Follow in the same way with another third of the dry ingredients, the rest of the milk, and, finally, the rest of the dry ingredients. Scrape down the bowl as needed.

Divide the batter evenly amongst the three prepared pans. Bang the filled pans on the counter to level the batter and to knock out large air bubbles.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. The cake is done when it is lightly browned, pulling away slightly from the side of the pan, and springs back when lightly poked.

Cool the cakes for 5 minutes in the pans before turning them out on to cooling racks to cool completely.

Cakes can be made ahead of time. Store tightly wrapped on the counter for one day, or tightly wrapped and stored in the freezer for up to one month.

Orange Cream Frosting 
Combine the butter, salt, vinegar, vanilla, and orange in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix until smooth.

Add in about half of the sugar. Mix on low until combined. The mixture will be dry. Add in 1/4 cup of the cream. Mix on low for about 3 minutes. 

Add in the remaining sugar. Mix on low. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add more cream 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.

Frosting can be made up to two days ahead. Cover tightly and chill in the refrigerator. Return to room temperature and mix on low for one minute before using.

Coconut Fluff
In a small sauce pot, combine the water, sugar, and light corn syrup.

Heat over medium-high heat until 240°F. Do not stir! 

While the sugar mixture heats, prepare the egg mixture. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar. Whisk on high until soft peaks form. Turn off mixer until the sugar has reached the proper temperature.

Once the sugar mixture is at 240°F, remove from heat, and turn the mixer on to medium-low. Slowly stream the hot sugar syrup in to the eggs. Do your best to avoid the whisk or the side of the bowl.

When all of the sugar has been added, turn the mixer to high and mix until it becomes a white, glossy cloud.  Add in the extracts and mix a minute more. Use immediately. 

Assembly
Trim the cakes to make each layer even and flat.

Alternate layers of cake and frosting and cover the outside thinly with frosting. Chill for 15 minutes.

Color the extra frosting in desired colors. Dab little dollops of the colorful frosting here and there on the sides of the chilled cake. You can use an off-set spatula or cake smoother to carefully spread the colors around the cake. Wipe your utensil often and work in small sections to avoid over working the frosting.

Top the cake with the coconut fluff, and, if desired, torch the fluff until lightly browned.

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