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Coconut Tres Leches Cake

Ingredients 

FOR THE TOASTED COCONUT:

  • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

FOR THE CAKE:

  • 5 large eggs (separated) )at room temperature)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar divided
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour lightly spooned into measuring cup then leveled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

FOR THE SOAKING LIQUID:

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 can coconut milk only use ½ cup of the liquid & save the cream (13.66 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

FOR THE FROSTING:

  • 1 3/4 cups cold heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (heaping) coconut cream from the canned milk above
  • 3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Instructions 

TOAST THE COCONUT:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the coconut evenly onto a baking sheet and toast until lightly golden brown, stirring every 3 minutes, for a total of 8-12 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to use.

MAKE THE CAKE:

  • Make sure you start by separating the egg yolks from the egg whites into two separate bowls.
  • Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease and flour the bottom only of a 9-inch springform pan.
  • Beat the egg yolks only with ¾ cup sugar until light in color and doubled in volume.
  • Stir in milk and vanilla.
  • Mix in the flour and baking powder.
  • In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and the remaining ¼ cup sugar until stiff peaks form.
  • Gently fold ⅓ of the egg whites into the cake batter.
  • Fold in remaining egg whites. Be careful not to mix too much. The fluffy egg whites are what gives this cake its soft texture.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool 10 minutes.
  • Poke holes in the top of the cake with a large fork.

PREPARE THE SOAKING LIQUID:

  • In a large bowl, combine the condensed milk, heavy cream and ½ cup of the liquid from the can of coconut milk. Save the cream for the topping. Mix in the coconut extract. Whisk vigorously until combined.
  • Pour the milk mixture over the warm cake while it is still in the pan.
  • Cool cake completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate until cold.

MAKE THE FROSTING:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (this works best if your bowl is cold) with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, powdered sugar and coconut cream until it thickens and holds peaks.
  • Fold in the shredded coconut.
  • Loosen edge of cooled cake with knife before removing side of pan.
  • Frost cake with the whipped cream, then top with the toasted coconut.
  • Store the cake covered in the refrigerator.

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