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Monday, April 18, 2011

Southern (Manhattan) Coconut Cake - two ways

I had made this cake for hubby's birthday a couple of years ago. I made dinner and had several friends over. I remembered the cake was easy to make but the buttercream was time consuming. The addition of flaked coconuts into the buttercream made it difficult to frost the cake. I did not anticipate this when I planned my time throughout the day. So, when the guests arrived, the cake was partially frosted. Thankfully, one of my friend bakes and so she finished frosting the cake.

It was so hectic that evening (for me at least - everyone else were busy eating) that I forgot to take a picture of the cake until it's almost gone! But as you can see from the photo below that the cake was a success. It's soft and crumbly, in a good way. And considering this cake feeds 16-20 and we only had 10 people, that speaks for itself.

Hubby loved the cake so much that once everyone got their piece, he covered the piece that's in the photo and put it in the fridge. I looked at him confused, until he whispered to me "so no one eats it and I can have it for tomorrow."

At this point, you might be asking yourself what are the cupcakes in the photo at the beginning of this post.

I was planning on skipping this week's cake and bake ahead - making something for the free choice next week.

That was the plan, until I saw Hector's post about coconut curd. I was intrigued and Hector was nice enough to give the link to the recipe. If you follow the comments' conversation in his post you will see that I thought of making this cupcakes with coconut curd whipped cream. And that's exactly what I did.

First I made the coconut curd. Hector's recipe yield 400 grams. I made half the recipe. Making coconut curd is like making any other curd, in that it takes forever and you have to stand there and stir and stir. About 10 minutes in, I got impatient, so I grabbed a stool to sit down and started reading Zach's La Bomba recipe just to kill time. It helps.

Here's the picture of the finished curd. So yellow. Looks just like lemon curd isn't it?

Next, I made the cupcakes. 1/3 recipe this time. It turned out it yield 504 grams in total, enough to fill 12 cupcakes, 42 grams each. I know this because I weigh each cupcake, a tidious process that I find annoying but I do it anyway because I like the result. Each cupcake looks the same.

Here are the cupcakes. I filled the middle with a little dollup of coconut curd. There are only 10 cupcakes in the photo, the other two didn't make it to the photo because the photographer was hungry (YUM!).

I had planned to make fluffy whipped cream that I will pipe decoratively and beautifully on top of the cupcake. That's not how it turned out. The whipped cream wouldn't reach any pipeable-stiffness, even with numerous chilling attempt. I think adding the coconut curd into the whipped cream made it runnier. I tried adding a couple of tablespoon of powdered sugar. It didn't help. Next time I will try using more the cornstarch or maybe use gelatin.

I was pretty happy with the result though. It looks kinda rustic and the toasted coconut made it looked better.

Tasting impressions:
YUM! So good! The curd is good by itself but it's better added into the whipped cream. The cupcake is very soft and crumbly. Hubby loves it and said it's very coconut-y. I'm not a big fan of coconut dessert myself, but this one is really good.


  1. Very pretty! And coconut curd sounds delicious.

  2. Those have to be the most beautiful cupcakes I've ever seen!

  3. good job Jenn!!! thx for trying my coconut curd recipe. yes, the consistency is on the runny side, and i created this recipe as a flavor addition to mousseline buttercream.

    i m so glad you added it to whipped cream, i love the runny consistency, looks stunning and sounds delicious. i love that u used a dark colored cupcake paper! makes the "white coconut" so elegant.

    anytime you add a curd or preserves to whipped cream, it will be runny. i think using gelatin is the solutions as Cake Bible's cloud creams.

  4. beautiful both ways, jenn! the last slice of cake looks just like the cake in the book, but your cupcakes! i love the frosting and the contrasting dark liners. i weigh all my cupcakes too now since it ensures they all finish baking at the same time. i will have to look at hector's coconut curd now.

  5. Wow! Lovely! I have to try that too..even though i'm not a coconut fan!

  6. Hey! what happen to my comment??!?!?! Yikes, the computer ate my comment! now I don't remember what I said.. oh yeah.. the whipped cream totally fooled me, when I saw the first picture I though you covered them in liquid fondant! They look that smooth! But I love how they came out.. I made cupcake as well (extra batter) but they did not make it pass saturday with Tom hovering around the kitchen as they came out of the oven.


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