We are celebrating my man’s birthday this month, which means cake, whoop-whoop! 🙂
If you are not new to the blog, you have probably already noticed that we have a thing for chocolate and coconut, especially when they come together. If you are new to the blog, go ahead and check our dessert section and you will see what I’m talking about.
Since we are celebrating, this is kind of a fancy cake. The recipe has a lot of steps, but that doesn’t mean it’s difficult to make. To be honest, it took me more time to write this post about it than actually making the cake. So don’t get discouraged just because it’s a long recipe with many steps.
When it comes to the decoration, you can use your imagination and create a different look if you like. This is a celebration cake, so go wild. 🙂
Ingredients for the sponge cakes
- 100g wheat flour
- 100g ground almond (or you can use another 100g wheat flour)
- 3 tsp of baking powder
- 3 eggs (egg yolks and whites separated)
- 200g soft light brown sugar
- 200g melted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 pinches of salt
Ingredients for the ganache
- 300ml double cream
- 300g good quality white chocolate (chopped up into cubes)
- 50g desiccated coconut
- 2 tbsp of desiccated coconut
- 2 tbsp toasted almond flakes
- 10 Raffaello bonbons
Start with making the ganache first. In a small pan, very gently and with constant stirring, melt together cream and white chocolate on low heat. Alternatively, you can do this over a pan of boiling water, but if you are careful enough, you don’t need that extra step. When it’s all melted together, put the ganache aside and let it to cool down.
When it’s cool enough, put the pan in the fridge until the ganache is cold and thick, but not completely firm (it takes about an hour).
In the meantime, pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 4 (180C). Butter and line the base of a 20cm springform cake tin with baking paper.
In a small bowl, combine wheat flour, ground almond and baking powder with a pinch of salt.
Gently melt the butter and vanilla extract in the microwave until the butter just melted, then let it to cool down a little bit.
Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put the egg yolks into a large bowl (I used my kitchen machine’s bowl), save the egg whites. Add brown sugar to the egg yolks and beat it on a medium to high speed until it’s fluffy and pale in colour.
Add melted (but cooled) butter to the egg mixture and beat it again until it’s really fluffy and there are no lumps in it at all.
If you are using a kitchen machine, pour the buttery mixture into a different large bowl, and stir in the floury mixture until it’s well combined. Wash up the machine’s bowl, dry it and let it to cool down.
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt on high speed until they are stiff. Take a couple of spoonfuls out and mix it into your batter to loosen it up, then very gently, with large movements, fold the rest of the egg whites in just until everything is combined. Try not to completely break the stiff egg whites. It’s more like a very gentle folding from the side of the bowl to underneath the batter than a hard mixing.
You are going to make 3 layers of sponge cake from the batter, so grab a ladle or a spoon and put 1/3 of the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Make an even layer and bake it in the middle of the oven until it cooks through and gets a light golden colour. Check the middle of the cake with a fork – if it comes out clean, you are good to go.
In the meantime, prepare two wire racks and place baking paper on them.
When the cake is ready, take it out of the oven, unmould the tin and very carefully turn it over right onto the prepped wire rack. Remove the baking paper and let the cake cool down completely.
Put the baking paper you just used for the first layer of sponge back into the tin. No need to add any more butter. Spoon in the second portion of batter, bake it for another 8-10 minutes, and then when it’s done, repeat the exact same steps with the last portion as well. So by the end, you will have 3 layers of cooled sponge cakes, ready to build a special celebration cake.
When the ganache is cool enough, whisk it on high speed until it’s light and fluffy, then gently fold the coconut in. Now, you need to separate the ganache into 3 portions. The first portion should be slightly bigger than the other 2 because you need to cover the cake all around with it.
Take the first, one of the smaller portions and spread it on top of the first layer of sponge cake. I would highly recommend building the cake on that plate or board you want to use to serve it because once it’s ready, you won’t be able to move the cake.
Place the second layer of sponge on top and spread the second portion of ganache over it, then cover it with the last, third layer of sponge. Now, use the third and biggest portion of ganache to cover the top and the side of the cake.
The only thing you have left to do now is decoration. Sprinkle over some desiccated coconut (cover the sides as well), followed by neatly organised Raffaello bonbons, and two tablespoons of lightly toasted almond flakes.
Put the cake in the fridge for a couple of hours, then take it out about 15-20 minutes before you want to serve it.
If you liked this recipe and would like to see another beautiful birthday cake option as well, check out our previous celebration cake.
Ingredients and equipment I use:
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