Sweet Sweet Lovin'

I used to hate Valentine's Day. I still think it is a cheap commodification of something profound, but I love to give presents, and now that ECG is a permanent part of my life, I'm happy to have yet another excuse to give him something. This may make my beliefs about Valentine's Day fraudulent, but at least it is a generous fraudulence.

This year, ECG received a book, a good dinner of braised duck, roasted sweet potatoes, garden greens, and one hell of a dessert: Coconut Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd filling.

If your honey deserves something sweet and worthy of his or her goodness on Valentine's Day or any day, this may be the perfect gift. It's so fluffy it is almost cuddly, nearly as sweet as the one you love, but balanced by the tang of lemon curd that echoes your love's sharp wit.

Coconut Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd Filling
I adapted the cake part of this recipe from one I found here. This recipe makes three 1 inch layers of not-quite-white cake (I use organic sugar and organic free-range eggs, which add their wonderful extra nutrition and flavor but prevent any semblance of "white").

For the cake, you will need:
1 cup butter (room temperature)
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 egg yolks
5 egg whites
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup coconut milk

To make the cake:
Cream butter and shortening with sugar. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla. In a smaller bowl, sift flour, soda, and salt together. Beat in the flour mix alternately with buttermilk and coconut milk, beginning and ending with flour mix. In another bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Fold egg whites into batter gently, so the batter is as light and fluffy as possible.

Pour batter into three prepared round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the cake centers bounce back when gently pressed in the center. Remove the pans from the oven and allow to cool for ten minutes on racks before turning the layers out on to the racks to cool completely before frosting.

To fill and frost the cake, you will need:
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
One batch of my recipe for lemon curd, which you can find here (I usually make it with Meyer lemons because that is the best lemon locally available, but it is very good made with whatever organic, unwaxed lemons you have on hand).
2 cups grated coconut

To assemble the cake:
Whip the cream and sugar together until the mixture forms soft peaks.

Place one layer of the cake one a cake plate and, using a butter knife or small spatula, spread with a generous layer of lemon curd. On top of the first, place the second layer and spread the top of this one with lemon curd as well. Finally, put the third layer on top. Pile the whipped cream on top of the cake, and using that spatula again, carefully work the whipped cream over the top and sides, to evenly cover the cake. For the finishing touch, sprinkle the grated coconut over the cake and around its edges.

Serve this cake and sit back and wait. Your generosity will be rewarded. I guarantee it.


Susan said…
Gorgeous. One of my favorite desserts. I caught the bug with Hostess Snowballs many years ago; it's been uphill ever since.
Christina said…
Thanks Susan. I really like how the lemon and the coconut work together in this recipe--it is a little twist on a familiar dessert.

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