This is my adaptation of a cake I made for Passover that I got from Food and Wine that I thought was so good it would be good any time of year. Basically it’s a big coconut macaroon covered in chocolate. So what is that a Mounds Bar – although most of the mounds bar cakes I’ve come across also call for marshmallows. This seemed like a good follow-up to my last layer cake experiment because this one worked so well. This is every so slightly adapted from the original in Food and Wine:
Coconut Macaroon Chocolate Layer Cake
Grease a cookie sheet (11″ x 17″) with an unflavored oil (I used grape seed) cover the sheet with parchment paper then oil again, make sure you get the sides.
Preheat the oven to 350F
Place 10 1/2 ounces of semi sweet chocolate chips (or finely chopped baking chocolate) and 3 1/2 ounces of dark chocolate chips or finely chopped into a medium bowl.
In a small heavy bottomed pot bring 1 2/3 cups of heavy cream just to the boil. Immediately pour over the chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes. When the chocolate is nicely melt stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is well incorporated. Reserve 1 cup at room temp and place the rest in the refrigerator.
Place a medium size pot a 1/4 filled with water over low heat.
In the bowl of a standing mixer add 4 large farm fresh eggs and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Whisk until blended. Place the egg and sugar mixture over the barely simmering water and continue to whisk, feeling with your fingers often the mixture until the eggs feel warm to the touch at this point remove from heat and place in your standing mixer (or this can be done with a hand mixer as well). Beat until tripled in volume at least 5 minutes more like 8 in my case.
Fold into the beaten egg sugar mixture 3 2/3 cups of desiccated unsweetened coconut. My first impression of this mixture was that it wasn’t enough to cover the surface of he prepared pan. No to worry, it is. Spoon the mixture on the prepared pan and with wet hands spread it all over so until it covers the entire surface of the pan in one even layer.
Place in the middle of the preheated over and cook for about 20 minutes. You should be nicely browned but not “crisp”. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack for 15-20 minutes.
Loosen the edges with a knife, grab hold of the parchment paper and quickly turn this over onto a work surface. I used the removable bottom of a tart pan to trace out my rectangles – you need three. Some people might be able to eye ball this, but it is was easier if you can trace it using a plate or even a parchment cut out.
There will be some left over once the three layers and cut – I collected them up and fed them to Neil – but it would be great on ice cream – they also might be good to use to trim the cake with mixed in with some uncooked coconut.
You want to ganache in the fridge to be cold but still spreadable – if it gets too hard you can always just leave it out. I thought the 3 hours the original recipe asked for was too long 2 should be enough.Each layer gets half of the chilled ganache, the top layer is coated with the room temperature ganache. As you can see from above one of my layers cracked – after I assembled the cake I just flipped it, problem solved.For the top layer use the room temperature ganache. I did this in two phases. The first half cup I used to coat the top then I add the rest, also on top and with a spatula used the ganache that started to drip down the sides to even it out coat the sides. Don’t be too worried that the cake sides aren’t thick with ganache as they get covered in coconut.The long off set spatula you can see in the background in the back left was particularly helpful in getting the iced cake from the rack to the serving platter. Of course it was 3 a.m when I did this so once I had gotten it to the platter I realized I had forgotten to put the coconut on it so had to move it back to the rack. In the end it all worked out. The top of the cake is lightly sprinkled with coconut because I was I had trouble keeping the coconut where I wanted it. The idea initially was to have the sides be coconut and the top just chocolate. In the end it looked great and more importantly tasted great.