Coconut is one of those things that people typically hate or love. My mom has always loved coconut. The bad news for her was that coconut rarely made an appearance in our food since no one else would touch it. (I've become more sophisticated and will now consume items containing coconut.) The good news for her was that she could have Almond Joy or Mounds candy bars untouched by other hands for weeks.
When I found a Mounds Layer Cake from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen, I knew I wanted to make it for my mom. I just had to find the right occasion. Her retirement party was the perfect place to debut the recipe since she would be able to enjoy it, and there would certainly be enough coconut lovers to consume the cake.
Here's the verdict: Made as a cake, this is incredibly challenging to cut and becomes a sticky mess. But, it received rave reviews (Like my mom saying if she knew how good it was going to be that she wouldn't have let it come to the party. Or my aunt sneaking the plate away to clean ... with her fingers). So, here's the recipe, but I'm converting it into trifle form for next time for easier serving and presentation.
(And I didn't snap pictures before the party. I'll work harder on pictures with posts in the future.)
2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. coconut extract
3/4 cup boiling water
Ganache1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
Coconut Filling14 oz. bag sweetened, shredded coconut
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup salted butter, slightly softened
1/3 cup cream of coconut (look for this with the drink mixers)
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round
pans. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper to ensure easy removal of the cakes.
Combine sugar, cocoa
powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add eggs, oil, buttermilk and coconut extract, and beat on medium speed for two minutes. Scrape sides of
bowl, and stir in boiling water. Divide batter into cake pans (batter
will be thin). Bake for 35 minutes or until tops spring back until
lightly touched. Allow cakes to cool in pans for about 5 minutes, and then
remove to cooling racks to cool completely.
To prepare ganache, in a microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate
chips and heavy cream. Microwave for about 2 minutes, stopping every 30
seconds to stir until smooth. Stir in corn syrup, and refrigerate until
cooled and thickened.
To prepare filling, in a large bowl, combine coconut and sweetened condensed milk. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To prepare frosting, beat butter, cream
of coconut and heavy cream on medium speed until smooth. With the
mixer set on low, slowly add powdered sugar. Once the powdered sugar is
just barely mixed in, increase speed to high, and beat for one minute
To assemble trifle, use a large trifle bow. Break cake into bite-size pieces. Layer cake, and then sprinkle with coconut filling. Drizzle with ganache, and dollop on frosting. Continue to repeat layers, ending with ganache and a sprinkling of coconut filling. Keep uneaten trifle stored in refrigerator.