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Peninsula Grill Coconut Cake


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Thanks to Darcies blog I am craving this cake. I am making it today, along with the Rainbow Jello mold I made last night.

I made the filling last night as the recipe suggested. However, I would really like to do the 12 layers by cutting the 3 9-inch layers in half.

I was wondering if anyone else has done this without doubling the filling. Was it enough?

You would think the recipe would account for that since it is the way it is served at the restarant.

Thanks

-Becca

www.porterhouse.typepad.com

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Thanks to Darcies blog I am craving this cake. I am making it today, along with the Rainbow Jello mold I made last night.

I made the filling last night as the recipe suggested. However, I would really like to do the 12 layers by cutting the 3 9-inch layers in half.

I was wondering if anyone else has done this without doubling the filling. Was it enough?

You would think the recipe would account for that since it is the way it is served at the restarant.

Thanks

Glad to be an inspiration! I am quite sure you will have to double the filling because it was only just enough to fill in between 3 layers. It was about 1/4 inch thick between each layer and I don't think you would want to go much thinner. That cake is scrumptious!

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Everyone I've heard speak of making it has seemed to tweak it in some way...Ling, DarcieB and myself, for example. I may have gone the farthest afield in that I used another recipe for the cake! (I had an interesting 2-layer cake recipe that I wanted to try and also needed a smaller cake).

It would be interesting to hear your comments, whether you follow the recipe as is or make adjustments. Same to anyone else out there that has made this.

Good luck and enjoy your delicious cake!

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I made extra filling even when I was only splitting my two 9" cakes to make four layers, and I also reduced the amount of cake by about 1/4...I really prefer it with more filling, and less cake, as I found the cake quite dense. (I also like it made with unsweetened, fine coconut...I don't like the texture of the bigger pieces in the sweetened stuff I get here. Oh, and a bit of extra sour cream makes it taste better, I think!)

The cake portion of the recipe is not my favourite recipe to use...I would use Sarah Phillip's butter cake recipe in the "Best Of" thread next time I do the cake, and use Darcie's suggestion of adding coconut milk + extract. :smile:

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How do you get to the "Best of" threads?  Cannot seem to find it...

It would be nice to have those pinned... maybe we can ask the mods about that.

I just searched "coconut" in the title and in the P&B forum.

Here's a thread on "best" coconut cake, with some comments on the Peninsula Coconut Cake as well.

click

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Okay I followed Darcies changes. 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract in the filling and 1/4 cup cream of coconut in the filling and cake in place of heavy cream.

This is the best coconut cake I've ever made. I thought I loved my Cooks Illustrated recipe but it didn't touch this. This would be one of my top 5 favorite cakes of all time.

My bil doesn't really even like coconut but he loved this. It was SO good.

It is these nights I wish I had a digital camera. (Is it wrong that I want one for food photography more than for my children. :huh: )

I wish you all could see my beautiful rainbow mold and coconut cake. One day...

-Becca

www.porterhouse.typepad.com

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My bil doesn't really even like coconut but he loved this. It was SO good.

Glad you liked it! It is one of my favourites too and I'm not a coconut fan either! I like it a lot better with the fine coconut though, like I mentioned above. It's just the texture of the coarser coconut I can't stand.

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I mentioned this in DarcieB's blog, but for future reference here were my modifications... (so far!)

Use grated (medium holes) fresh coconut in both the filling and for covering the cake. I did not toast the coconut b/c I just like the flavor of untoasted coconut better. The toasted coconut cake looks beautiful but I also love the look of the pure white cake. I didn't add any other flavoring to the filling--to me, it had a pure lovely taste with the fresh coconut in it.

I had to laugh when I saw Ling's post above, because I have the opposite "taste' in this case. :smile: I really don't like the dried, finely flaked coconut (does not have much coconut flavor to me and I don't like the texture) so I really like the bigger flakes. Again, this is preference is when using fresh coconut.

The cake recipe I used had fresh coconut milk in it and grated lime zest; a firm, dense and delicious cake.

I liked the cream cheese/butter frosting very much in combination with this cake, but I might try decreasing the proportion of cream cheese to butter next time to have a less tangy result.

Now that I'm armed with a digital camera, I'll take a photo next time!

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Okay, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say I didn't exactly love this cake even though the finished product looked spectacular. Oh, I liked the filling and the frosting, but the cake itself pretty much sucked. The crumb was coarse, on the dry side, it crumbled an awful lot when cutting and I thought the flavor profile was flat. For the hit on the fat grams delivered by the huge amount of fat in this cake I was expecting something better than what I got. I wish I had found this thread before I baked it. I like the idea of both the lime and coconut milk. I did add some coconut extract to the filling which helped enhance the flavor on that component.

I'm a pretty good baker when it comes to cakes, but as I went back over how I made it, I really couldn't come up with a good reason for the cake to have been as dry and crumbly as it was. I was pretty precise with the method.

I really do like coconut cake, so I may go ahead and make this again and do some tinkering. If I do, I'll probably reduce the amount of overall fat in the recipe and switch the heavy cream in the cake itself to buttermilk and perhaps add some coconut extract to the batter as well. I might also consider using lime curd in place of the filling. I just kind of fail to see what the hype is about this recipe and this cake. :sad:

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Darcie and I both added creme of coconut to the cake as well as a little extract. Perhaps that is why I was so happy with it.

The cake has to be on the firm side so that it is easily sliced in half.

I loved it. I wouldn't mind trying Inas though.

-

-Becca

www.porterhouse.typepad.com

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  • 1 month later...
Darcie and I both added creme of coconut to the cake as well as a little extract. Perhaps that is why I was so happy with it.

The cake has to be on the firm side so that it is easily sliced in half.

I loved it. I wouldn't mind trying Inas though.

-

Okay...I am confused...do you add the creme of coconut to the Peninsula Cake recipe....how much? And do you eliminate anything else? Wendy..do you change anything in the Ina Garten recipe?

I saw one recipe for a cake where they put a syrup of coconut cream/water and brush it on the cake...I thought that might make it more coconutty. If I froze the layers...would I put the syrup on before I froze the layers..or after it has defrosted?

Thanks!

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Wendy..do you change anything in the Ina Garten recipe?

I saw one recipe for a cake where they put a syrup of coconut cream/water and brush it on the cake...I thought that might make it more coconutty.  If I froze the layers...would I put the syrup on before I froze the layers..or after it has defrosted?

Thanks!

I like the Garten cake as is. I don't think the coconut taste needs to be punched up.

If you wanted, you could definately brush a syrup on to add to the flavor. I'd be more likely to use a simple syrup with a coconut liqour then a water mixture. You can put the syrup on either before or after, just so long as the cake is defrosted when you apply the syrup so it's absorbed.

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Having had the actual Peninsula Grill coconut cake four times, and hearing the reports of how the cake comes out when prepared according to the home recipe, I've got to say I'm suspicious of the recipe that Bon Appetit printed. The Peninsula folks have been famously guarded about that recipe, not wanting to enable commercial reproduction (they sell the cakes by mail at an exorbitant price). Certainly, the cake as served in the restaurant (and the mail order version, which is about the same) is anything but dry.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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  • 1 year later...

So, I'm thinking of making this cake for my mother's 70th birthday (which just so happens to be on March 21st the date of the last posts on this thread!) and I'm at a loss as to how to proceed.

Fat Guy and I have discussed a strategy and of course, I'll have to do a trial run first (poor us, we'll have to eat a coconut cake for the cause) but did anyone have any final reports on their experiences with the cake?

I'm thinking of using an altogether different cake recipe and adding some creme of coconut and/or coconut extract and do the cake with the Peninsula frosting and filling.

Any further reports would be most welcome.

Ellen Shapiro

www.byellen.com

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So, I'm thinking of making this cake for my mother's 70th birthday (which just so happens to be on March 21st the date of the last posts on this thread!) and I'm at a loss as to how to proceed.

Fat Guy and I have discussed a strategy and of course, I'll have to do a trial run first (poor us, we'll have to eat a coconut cake for the cause) but did anyone have any final reports on their experiences with the cake?

I'm thinking of using an altogether different cake recipe and adding some creme of coconut and/or coconut extract and do the cake with the Peninsula frosting and filling.

Any further reports would be most welcome.

It's been quite awhile since I've made it so I'm trying to remember. I know for sure it looked very impressive. Unless you have a lot of people tasting the trial run I would halve the recipe and bake it in three 6"pans as it is quite rich. The filling was excellent but I think you're right about the cake. If you've got a favourite yellow cake recipe, I'd use that and add coconut extract. I think it would be a great choice for a 70th birthday.

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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