This dessert is a traditional one. Well known from the times when Spain used to rule over Venezuela (until 1810). Some historians claim that this dessert was first made for the Venezuelan aristocracy.
Traditionally is presented as a 2 layered cake with sherry wine, coconut cream filling and merengue topping. I made it in cupcake version only for convenience reasons (to avoid all the cutting and the extra dirty plates)
This cake is a favorite among the kids and its flavors reminds me of the all year round venezuelan summer. Venezuela is where the sky is always blue and the flowers blossom without the need of spring. My beautiful country!
In Norway, depending on the season we can find coconuts in the regular supermarkets, when not, the grated coconut (revet kokos) can be used instead. It comes in a 200 gr bag and costs under 10 Nkr.
I am sure “It will taste good to you too”! This recipe makes a 22 cms round cake or 18 cupcakes.
For the coconut cake
7 eggs (separate yokes from whites)
300gr all purpose flour (hvetemel)
125 gr sugar
250gr coconut milk
60gr vegetable oil
1/2 Ts cinnamon
100 grated coconut (revet kokos)
1 Tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt
Sift the flour and add all the dry ingredients into a bowl.
Mix the coconut milk plus the oil into another bowl.
Cream the egg yokes and sugar. Once it has doubled sized and changed color (into a pale yellow) add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and fold into the egg mixture, then add 1/3 of the wet ingredients, and continue 2 more times until all the ingredients are incorporated.
Beat the egg whites until white and fluffy, add half of the egg whites into the cake mixture and fold it into it. Then the other half.
Place the mixture into a greased and floured cake pan (or muffin molds). Bake at 180 C for 30 min or until a skewer is inserted and it comes out clean. Let it cool down. Place it in the fridge for at least 2 hours, when cold it is easier to cut through it without getting all the crumbles around.
For cupcakes go to the end of the post *.
For the cream filling
250 gr coconut milk
50 gr millk
3 egg yokes
100 gr sugar
40 gr maizena
50 gr grated coconut
80 gr Sherry wine (marsala or any sweet wine you happen to have handy)
Mix the egg yokes, sugar and maizena into a bowl and whisk. Place the milks into a sauce pan and bring them to a boil. Add the egg yokes mixture and lower the heat. Keep whisking the mixture until it thickens. Set aside and let it cool down. Once cold add the grated coconut and the wine, mix well.
For the merengue
100 gr egg whites (room temperature)
200 gr sugar
For health reasons, I prefer to use a swiss style meringue. You can use another type, the one you feel more comfortable with.
Place the egg whites and sugar into a bowl. Place the bowl on the top of a sauce pan with boiling water, so the steam will heat up the bowl and will dissolve the sugar granules in it (plus killing all possible existing bacteria, pasteurizing it) move the mixture with a wooden spatula until the sugar grains dissolve. Then take the bowl out of the steam and beat with electric beaters for 10 min. You will notice how the bowl cools down and the meringue turns silky and shiny.
Assembling the cake
Traditional: cut the coconut cake carefully through the center and spread with a generous layer of coconut cream. Place the top layer back on, decorate with the merengue, cinnamon and lemon zest.
* Cupcakes: Fill up the cupcake molds 3/4 with cake mix, bake them 180C for 20min. When cooled down fill them up to the top of the paper cups with the coconut cream, then decorate with merengue, cinnamon and lemon zest.