Thursday, March 29, 2012

Chocolate Coconut Cream Cake (aka Dos Leches)

Months ago I went to a meet and greet for church, and at this little shindig was a cake that when I bit into it was so moist and dense and delicately flavored that I had to ask for the recipe.  Fast forward, cake forgotten, I ran into the maker of this cake at the grocery store last weekend.  I see her at least once a week, but that day I was "power shopping" because I had a cake in the oven, which spawned a conversation about her delicious cake from last summer, right there in the produce aisle.  She told me how insanely easy it was and then we talked about different variations, and now I've been waiting all week for the treats in the house to run out so I could make this. 

This recipe has been heavily altered from how I was told, but the method is the same.  The original cake was a boxed white cake mix, baked according to the directions, covered in sweetened condensed milk and coconut milk while hot, then frosted with cool whip and topped with shredded coconut.  I made a from-scratch chocolate cake, used a homemade whipped cream, and topped it with chocolate shavings and toasted coconut. 

Recipe adapted from allrecipes, method adapted from Machelle Kelly

2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract

14 oz can coconut milk
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup very cold heavy cream
2 tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
shaved chocolate
2/3 cup shredded coconut, toasted*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour a 9x13 inch pan.  In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter, water, and cocoa powder together.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together flour and sugar.  Dissolve the baking soda into the buttermilk.  When the butter mixture is melted, add it to the flour and sugar, and whisk to combine.  Add buttermilk, eggs, salt, cinnamon and vanilla.  Whisk.  Add mayonnaise and whisk again.  Pour into your baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

About 5 minutes before your cake should be coming out of the oven, combine the sweetened condensed milk and coconut milk.  While the cake is still hot, use a drinking straw to make several small holes (about every inch and a half or so) in the cake.  Evenly drizzle the milk mixture over the hot cake.  Cool the cake for a minimum of 4 hours in the refrigerator.

After the cake has been cooling for a couple of hours, beat the cream on high speed until stiff peaks form, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat another 15-30 seconds.  Spread the whipped cream over the cooled cake.  Sprinkle with chocolate shavings and coconut.

*To toast coconut, place a nonstick skillet over medium heat and add coconut.  When you can smell the coconut, gently stir it.  Keep the coconut moving every 30 to 60 seconds until it is golden and lightly toasted.

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