Letting Them Eat Cake

I know everyone is probably already thinking about their New Year’s resolutions and dieting, but try to sneak in this cake sometime when you need a treat. It is a casually lovely cake that doesn’t cut into neat slices, and can be whipped up any old evening, provided you have some shredded coconut and a can of coconut milk on hand (staples in our house, to be sure!). I omitted the orange zest and substituted chocolate chips for the chopped bars; I also made a rather thin drizzle and poked holes in the hot cake to let it penetrate more fully.

Chocolate Chip Coconut Cake

1 3/4 C all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 C unsweetened shredded coconut (or substitute sweetened flakes)
3/4 C sugar
1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp (packed) finely grated orange peel, optional
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1 C coconut milk
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate bars, broken into 1/2-inch irregular pieces, or bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 C sweetened flaked coconut

3/4 C powdered sugar
2 T (or more) coconut milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp coconut extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter 9″ springform pan; dust pan with flour, shaking out excess. Sift 1 3/4 cups flour, baking powder, and sea salt into medium bowl. Stir in unsweetened shredded coconut and set aside. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, and orange peel if using, in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and coconut extracts. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with coconut milk in 2 additions, beating just until blended after each addition. Fold in half of bittersweet chocolate pieces or chips.

Spread batter evenly in prepared cake pan. Sprinkle remaining chocolate pieces over batter, then sprinkle with sweetened flaked coconut. Bake cake until golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, tenting with sheet of foil if coconut atop cake is browning too quickly, 60 to 70 minutes. Transfer cake to rack and cool in pan 45 minutes.

Whisk powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk, and vanilla in small bowl to blend well, adding more coconut milk by 1/2 teaspoonfuls until mixture is thin enough to drizzle over cake. Carefully run small knife around sides of cake to loosen. Remove springform ring and transfer cake onto platter. Using small spoon, drizzle powdered sugar mixture decoratively over cake. Cool cake completely on platter. (You can adjust the thickness of the drizzle to different effects: If using a thin drizzle, poke holes in the cake and pour glaze over while hot; if using a thicker drizzle, wait until cake is cooled before applying, for decorative effect.)

Source: Slightly adapted from Epicurious.

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