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Coconut Cake

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Coconut Cake


This was originally posted about here.


Coconut cake detail.jpg


It's a fairly challenging cake to make, and you'll make your life easier if you make it over the course of a few days.


Serves 8


Coconut financier (adapted from Philippe Conticini’s “Sensations”)


  • 140g icing sugar
  • 95g desiccated coconut
  • 95g butter
  • 135g egg whites (around 4½) at room temperature
  • 45g flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a saucepan, cook the butter until it turns toasted, brown and nutty.
  2. Sieve the sugar and the flour and combine with the coconut in a bowl or stand mixer.
  3. Gradually whisk in the egg whites, then the vanilla, then the hot butter.  Mix well.
  4. Grease and line a 16cm cake ring and pour in half the batter.  Freeze the rest for another use.
  5. Bake at 180°C for around 15 minutes.  It should be fully cooked but still moist.  It will not rise much.
  6. Once cool, even out the top using a long serrated knife.  You’re aiming for around 1cm of financier.


Coconut croustillant


  • 30g white chocolate
  • 20g neutral oil
  • 30g desiccated coconut
  • 20g pailleté feuilletine (or crushed wafer biscuits)
  • Fleur de sel


  1. Combine the chocolate and oil in a bowl and microwave until melted.  Mix to blend them.
  2. Add the coconut and feuilletine.  Stir well to completely coat the dry ingredients, then add a pinch of salt.  Mix again.
  3. While still warm, spread evenly onto the financier, aiming for a fairly thin layer.  You may not need all the croustillant.


Roasted pineapple confit (adapted from Philippe Conticini’s “Sensations”)


  • One small pineapple
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 40g lemon juice
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 2g pectin NH mixed with a tablespoon of sugar


  1. Remove the skin, leaves and eyes from the pineapple.  Cut in half and remove the core.
  2. Dust with half the sugar and roast for about an hour at 200°C, until at least a little caramelized.
  3. Leave to cool slightly, then dice the pineapple flesh.  You’ll need 160g of it.
  4. Mix this with the remaining sugar, lemon juice and vanilla, cover and leave for an hour to macerate.
  5. Transfer to a saucepan, bring to a simmer and stir in the pectin mixture.
  6. Simmer for around 30 seconds, then transfer to a bowl.  Leave to cool and set.




  • 100g eggs (2)
  • 70g sugar
  • 70g self-raising flour


  1. Combine the eggs and sugar in a bowl, and place over a hot water bath.  Heat until it reaches 50°C.
  2. Remove from the heat and whip until cool, until it reaches the “ribbon” stage.
  3. Gently fold in the sieved flour.  Ensure there are no lumps of flour.
  4. Grease and line a 16cm cake ring and pour in the batter. 
  5. Bake at 180°C for around 15 minutes.
  6. Once cool, cut a horizontal slice around 5mm thick using a long serrated knife.  Reserve.


Rum syrup


  • 40g sugar
  • 40g water
  • Dark rum, to taste


  1. Place the sugar and water into a bowl.  Microwave until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Leave to cool.  Add rum to taste- you want a powerful rum flavor.  Reserve.


Coconut crémeux


This will make about twice as much as you need, but it’s not practical to make a smaller quantity.  However, it freezes well.


§  Coconut milk, 250g + 20g

§  Caster sugar, 30 + 30g

§  Cornflour, 15g

§  Egg yolks, 60g

§  Gelatin, bloomed, 2g (dry weight)

§  Butter, 100g


  1. Heat the coconut milk with 30g of sugar in a fairly large saucepan.
  2. Mix the remaining sugar with the cornstarch, and add the remaining coconut milk.  Mix well.
  3. Incorporate the egg yolks.
  4. Temper the purée into the egg mixture, pour back into the pan and bring to the boil.  Don't stop stirring or it will catch and burn.  Keep at the boil for around thirty seconds.
  5. Take it off the heat, let it cool for a minute or two, and while still warm incorporate the gelatin.
  6. Cool to around 40-50°C (it shouldn't burn your finger, but it should feel warm).
  7. Using a stick blender/food processor, incorporate the cold butter, cut into cubes.
  8. Leave to cool completely in the fridge, preferably overnight.
  9. Before using, whip to aerate it.  It will turn pale and fairly fluffy.


Vanilla mousse (adapted from Francisco Migoya’s “The Modern Café”)


  • 180g whole milk
  • 180g double cream
  • 150g sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
  • 120g egg yolks (6)
  • 240g double cream, whipped to soft peaks
  • 7g gelatin, bloomed (dry weight)


  1. Combine the milk, first cream, half the sugar and vanilla in a saucepan.  Bring to a simmer.  Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for at least one hour, preferably overnight.
  2. When you are ready for the final assembly of the cake, bring it back to a simmer.
  3. Whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar, then temper in the hot milk mixture, return to the pan and cook to 84°C.
  4. Remove from the heat and incorporate the gelatin.  Strain into a bowl and leave to cool to 35-40°C.
  5. Fold in the whipped cream in two additions.  Mix until homogenous.
  6. Use immediately.


Neutral glaze (optional, smooth, slightly diluted apricot jam may be used as a replacement)




  • 50g sugar
  • 50g water
  • 4g pectin NH


  1. Combine the pectin with the sugar.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, pour in the sugar-pectin mix while whisking, and whisk well.
  3. Boil for 20 seconds, whisking continuously.
  4. Remove from the heat, transfer to a container and leave to cool.





  1. Using a 16cm diameter x 4.5cm high cake ring, place it on a sheet of acetate or parchment paper.  Place this on a chopping board or other flat surface that will fit in your freezer.  I strongly recommend lining the ring with acetate, it will make unmolding a lot easier.
  2. Place the financier with the croustillant facing up in the circle.
  3. Remove the vanilla pod from the pineapple confit, the stir it to loosen it up.
  4. Spread a 1cm layer onto the croustillant.
  5. Place the génoise disc on top of the pineapple.  Soak liberally with the syrup.
  6. Spread a layer of whipped coconut crémeux on top of the génoise.  You’re aiming to leave a 5-10mm gap between the top of the crémeux and the top of the circle.
  7. Freeze for at least 3 or 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  8. Prepare an 18cm diameter by 4.5cm high cake ring as in step 1.
  9. Finish making the vanilla mousse.
  10. Fill it around 1/3 with vanilla mousse.
  11. Unmold the frozen cake, remove the acetate, invert it and push it into the mousse so the naked biscuit is facing upwards.  Keep it centered.  Push down all the way, until the biscuit is flush with the top of the ring.  The mousse will come up the sides.  If there is too much, scrape it off with a spatula, keeping the biscuit clean of any mousse.  If there is not enough, pipe some into the gaps and even out with a spatula.
  12. Place another sheet of acetate or parchment paper over the top and press down.  Aim for as few air bubbles as possible.  Place another chopping board or flat object on top, and weigh it down with something heavy.
  13. Pipe any remaining mousse into demi-sphere silicon moulds.
  14. Freeze the cake and the demi-spheres overnight.




  • Desiccated coconut


  1. Unmold the demi-spheres and remove the cake from the ring, keeping the liner on the sides of the cake.
  2. Arrange some demi-spheres on top of the cake, using neutral glaze to stick them on.  Stick two small demi-spheres together and keep frozen.
  3. Brush neutral glaze all over the top of the cake and the domes.  Sprinkle liberally with coconut.
  4. Holding the cake by the liner on the sides, turn the cake upside down to remove the excess coconut.
  5. Put the cake back down, the right way up.  Remove the liner and brush glaze over the sides.
  6. Tilting the cake upwards, liberally sprinkle the sides with coconut.  The whole cake should now be evenly covered.  Transfer to the serving plate/board.
  7. Remove the small mousse sphere from the freezer.  Spike it with a cocktail stick and brush with glaze.  Roll it in coconut and place on the cake.
  8. Leave the cake to defrost completely before serving.
  9. Serve with a Sauternes dessert wine.







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