Coconut cake with chocolate ganache topping

Serves Icon
Time 01 Hour
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 350g sugar
  • 350g 00 flour, plus 1 tablespoon to grease cake pan – refer to note in step 3
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 120ml milk
  • 200g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra to grease cake pan
  • 1 sachet (16g) of Italian baking powder, sifted (such as lievito bertolini)
  • 200g fine desiccated coconut
  • 1 pinch salt
Chocolate ganache topping
  • 115g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped
  • 140g thickened cream
  • 50g fine desiccated coconut, for decorating sides of torta
  • 3 Cadbury flake chocolate bars
  • 125g mini chocolate easter eggs

Requires: 30cm cake pan, electric mixer (or hand beater)

How to Make It
Step 1

Preheat oven to 180°C conventional oven (350° Fahrenheit/Gas 4). Grease a 30cm round cake pan by lightly buttering the base and sides with margarine or butter. Line the base with baking paper, then lightly butter over the baking paper. Add a tablespoon of 00 flour, then turn and shake the tin to coat the butter in flour on the base and sides of the cake pan.

Step 2

Using an electric mixer or hand beater, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. With the mixer (or hand beater) running, add the egg yolks, one at a time. Add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition.

Step 3

Use a wooden spoon to stir in the flour, one tablespoon at a time. You want to see air bubbles rise to the surface of the cake mixture before adding additional tablespoons of flour. Stir in the lemon juice until well combined. Add the milk, then stir in the butter until well combined. Stir the sifted baking powder into the cake mixture, then fold in the desiccated coconut.

Note: 00 is a powder-fine Italian type of flour. It is made from soft wheat varieties, and is frequently used in Italian desserts and pastas. 00 flour is available in most supermarkets, Italian food stores and gourmet delicatessens.

Step 4

Pour the cake mixture into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the cake pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 5

Meanwhile, for the ganache topping, place the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (don’t let bowl touch the water). Cook, stirring using a metal spoon, until the chocolate has melted to a smooth consistency. Remove from the heat and stir the thickened cream into the melted chocolate. Pour the ganache topping over the top and sides of the Easter ‘torta di cocco’ (coconut cake) with chocolate ganache. Allow the chocolate ganache to set for a minimum of 1 hour. Decorate the torta with desiccated coconut on the sides and crumbled Cadbury flake and mini chocolate Easter eggs on top– buon appetito.

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