Passion Nut?

Its time again for another Daring Baker post! This is an especially fun one, as there was quite a bit of leeway in the flavoring and decorating. So expect to see many many fancy layer cakes in the blogosphere today! The hostess this month was Morven from Food Art and Random Thoughts, and the recipe is from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking from My Home to Yours. You can find the recipe here.

When I saw the crazy amount of egg whites used in the cake and butter cream, I immediately knew I would fill the cake with some sort of curd. What better way to use up those yolks? Instead of the usual lemon, I chose to make passion fruit curd. I haven’t made curd with passion fruit before, so it was a bit of an experiment. Can we say yummy? I basically replaced the lemon juice with passion fruit puree in a basic lemon curd recipe. Easy peasy…

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I wasn’t 100% happy with the cake itself, as I thought it didn’t rise as it should and seemed a bit dense and almost dry. I ended up making a soaking syrup out of fresh coconut milk and sugar (equal parts of each) and doused each layer with it before filling with the passion fruit curd. Since I had a little extra time to spend, I also used a fresh coconut. I fought the urge to go to my backyard and pick one up off the ground, as I have no idea when a coconut is ripe. I also have a feeling that my pooch pees on them. yuck! So I bought one at the grocery store instead. You really can’t beat fresh coconut and coconut milk. Its so much better than the sweetened stuff I usually buy. Plus you get to beat the bejesus out of it to break it open… good times! coconut_cake_02.jpg
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Freshly Shredded Coconut

1 fresh ripe coconut

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using an ice pick, pierce holes into the three indented eyes on the top of the coconut. Drain out the clear liquid. Taste the juice to make sure its is sweet. If it is rancid, start over with another coconut. Reserve the juice for soaking syrup or another use.

2. Place coconut into the oven for 15 minutes. The shell will usually crack, and the pulp will start to pull away from the shell. If it did not crack, or did not crack much, hit it with a hammer until it does. Pry the shell open using a dull butter knife or oyster knife, and separate the shell from the pulp.

3. Use a potato peeler to peel the brown skin from the white pulp, and then rinse the pulp to remove the brown fibers. Grate by hand or in a food processor. Use within 2 days.

Note: I added a handful of sugar to the grated coconut as it wasn’t sweet enough for my taste. You may or may not need to do this.