Baking Cake Celebration cake

Coconut custard cake

Coconut custard cake

This week, I leave my job! Super duper exciting stuff as now I am in touching distance of working for Le Creuset (every time I think about it I scream a little inside). It is going to be such a joy to spend everyday working with a product I love and use myself so expect some Le Creuset popping up in future cake shoots! I now have a few spare days this week so what to do… Bake would be the obvs answer. However, I’m struggling for people to off load my baking bounty to. My mum can only eat so much and two days a week she won’t touch cake as she is following the 5:2 diet constantly, I don’t work in an office so there are no work colleagues to snaffle my sugary treats and the BF lives 150 miles away. I can’t take it to my fitness classes, this would be pretty counter productive and don’t want to be the cause for everyone regaining the weight they have just spent an hour burning off. So what do I do? Eat it all myself (I have been known to consume industrial portion sizes of cake but a whole one? Not yet…)? Track down long-lost relatives who hopefully have a sweet tooth?! Bake or not to bake, that is the question…

Coconut custard cake

To celebrate my new job and the leaving of the last, I needed a cake that would be a celebration and indulgence. I adore coconut and it is also have a resurgence recently with its health properties (deep down I do realise my cake will boast nothing but a taste of coconut with negligible health benefits but it makes me feel a bit less guilty about all the calories). So as a big congratulations to myself, I have mixed two of my favourite things in the world, coconut and custard! The coconut custard in the middle of this cake is just insanely delicious, so creamy and coconutty, the recipe gives you enough coconut custard that you have plenty left over to eat straight from the bowl, and believe me, you will. The Swiss buttercream is a bit of extra work but its worth it. Less sweet that traditional buttercream and more creamy and buttery, it marries perfectly with the moist, nutty sponge. You can of course use a normal buttercream, no probs but please try this one first. This cake is true indulgence and tastes just like sun cream smells. Perfectly delightful Summer baking!

Coconut custard cake

Coconut custard cake

  • 250g plain flour
  • 120ml full fat milk, at room temperature
  • 120ml coconut milk
  • 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 280g golden caster sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 160g unsalted butter, softened

Coconut custard

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 160g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons corn flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 120g desiccated coconut

Swiss coconut buttercream

  • 200g sugar
  • 4 large egg whites , at room temperature
  • 200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 150g desiccated coconut
  1. Pre heat oven to 175 degrees. Grease and line two 8 inch round cake tins
  2. Add the sugar, flour and baking powder and mix well. Add the butter and mix until it looks like fine breadcrumbs.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the milk, coconut milk, egg whites and vanilla and blend well. Add half of this mixture to the flour mix and beat for a minute. Add the rest of the milk mixture and beat again for 30 seconds.
  4. Divide the mix between the two tins and pop into the middle of the oven for 20 minutes or until light brown and springy.
  5. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
  6. To make the custard, mix the yolks with the corn flour.
  7. In a sauce pan on a medium heat, add the coconut milk, sugar, salt and vanilla and heat until hot but do not simmer or boil.
  8. Start whisking your egg yolks and slowly trickle in half of the hot milk whisking constantly.
  9. Add the yolk mixture back to the pan and on a medium heat. Keep whisking!! The mixture should start to thicken and bubble, once it starts to bubble continue to whisk for around 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the coconut and allow to cool.
  10. To make the Swiss buttercream, combine sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Once dissolved, stop stirring. Boil without stirring until syrup reaches 240° on a sugar thermometer, about 5 minutes.
  11. Meanwhile, in a stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With mixer on medium speed, gradually pour in hot syrup in a thin stream; avoid pouring syrup on whisk. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until stiff peaks form and mixture is cool, about 8 minutes.
  12. Reduce speed to medium and add butter 1 tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition. (If at any time buttercream appears curdled, beat on high until smooth, then reduce speed to medium and continue beating in butter.) Once all butter is added, beat on high-speed until buttercream is smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in vanilla extract and dessicated coconut.
  13. Take your base sponge layer and slather with the custard. I use a piping bag and cut a thick end off to pipe a thick spiral on the sponge so you get a nice, thick layer of custard. Pop on the top layer and cover in your buttercream. I decorated in toasted coconut flakes, just put the coconut flakes on a baking tray and pop in a pre heated oven at 160 degrees for about 6-8 minutes, keep a close eye as the flakes will burn quickly! Once nice and toasty, take out the oven and allow to cool before adding to your cake.

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  • Dan Shaw 18 August 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Erm… excuse Ms Holly, there are plenty of people I know who you can offload your cakey treats too :)

    • Holly Cartwright 18 August 2014 at 12:45 pm

      You gonna drive over here and pick them up Shaw?! If so, they are all yours :)

      • Dan Shaw 18 August 2014 at 12:56 pm

        I’ll send a taxi – what’s your postcode? 😀