I used to make cakes all the time. Then I learnt how to make yeasted dessert breads – think cream-filled savarin, streusel-topped loaves and flaky Danish pastries! – and cakes were no longer appealing.
And so whenever one is necessary, as for this month’s cooking column, I choose the easiest one to make. That would be a cake where all the ingredients are beaten together in a bowl, baked and iced with the simplest frosting possible.
My preferred flavour is coconut and this one has loads of it, thanks to the milk, flesh and essence in the cake, and more of it (tinted pink) in the garnish. If this cake is for those who can take alcohol, I would include some coconut liqueur.
I chose a ganache frosting because it’s fool-proof. Buttercreams are too sweet and I am hopeless at whipping cream – I never get it right, often ending up with a floppy mess, or I overbeat and it turns to butter (fortunately, that’s not a complete failure). I also don’t need to fiddle with piping bags and spatulas. With chocolate ganache, I just pour it on and let it “drape” itself over the cake. Once set, it stays that way.
This coconut cake recipe is part of the Don’t Call Me Chef column in Star2.