Flourless Coconut and Chocolate Cake
I ate one of these delightfully delicious little cakes in London not long ago, at Yotam Ottolenghi’s restaurant in the Spitalfields neighborhood. I was so glad to see he had included the recipe in his latest cookbook “Sweet,” and set about to make them a couple of weeks ago.
The recipe calls for them to be cooked in either a loaf pan or a round springform pan, but I wanted to make them in individual pans, since I remembered eating one in a small rectangular shape in London. I owned small rectangular pans, but opted to bake them in a pan that is traditionally used for Yorkshire puddings. After filling six of the cylindrical pans, there was a little more batter left over, so I used one of the little rectangular pans.
The cylindrical shape worked out beautifully, while the rectangular one didn’t release properly (I forgot to dust the pan with flour after buttering it and some of the cake stuck to the pan).
Either way, they were delicious, especially smeared with the chocolate “water” ganache. I had to toss out the ganache the first time I made it, since, in my experience, the recipe doesn’t have enough liquid. I made it a second time adding more water, and it was perfect.
Ottolenghi’s restaurants (there are several in various neighborhoods) sell the cakes with coconut shavings as decorations.
But since I had a bit of gold leaf in the cupboard, I chose that instead. This recipe makes an elegant dessert for company, but is rather quick and easy to prepare for everyday family meals too
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- For the Cake:
- ¾ cup plus 2 T. butter/200 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
- 1¼ cups/250 grams granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup/60 grams finely shredded coconut (note: I put the coconut and the sugar in the food processor to ensure that the coconut was finely shredded.)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1⅔ cup/180 grams almond meal
- For the Water Ganache:
- 2 oz./55 grams dark chocolate, roughly chopped into ½ inch pieces
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
- 3 Tablespoons water (note - You'll need more. I tripled this amount.)
- scraped seeds of ¼ vanilla pod
- 1½ Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into ¾ inch cubes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (180 degrees C.)
- Grease (and flour) six or seven small individual pans, or a standard 8½ " x 4½" /900 gram loaf pan or a 9 inch/23 cm round sprinform pan. Set aside.
- Put the sugar and coconut in a food processor and pulse until coconut is finely grated.
- Place the butter, sugar, coconut, vanilla seeds and salt in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment in place.
- Beat on medium high speed, until pale and fluffy, about three minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Turn the speed to low, add the almond meal and mix until just combined.
- Scrape the mixture into the pan and bake for 40 minutes (maybe 30 to 35 in the small pans) or 50 minutes if using the round pan, or until the cake is golden brown on top and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and set aside to cool in the pan before inverting onto a serving plate.
- Set aside until completely cool.
- To make the Water Ganache:
- Place the chocolate in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Put the sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan and place over medium low heat.
- Stir to combine (I found this difficult, because it stuck to the spoon, so just let it melt together over low heat until it turns a light amber color.)
- Remove from heat and add the water.
- Return to the heat and add the vanilla seeds.
- Stir gently and continuously until it returns to a boil and the sugar is all melted.
- Remove from heat and wait for a minute before pouring the mixture over the chocolate.
- Allow to stand for a minute or two, then whisk to combine.
- Add the butter, a couple of bits at a time, whisking after each addition.
- Continue until all the butter has been added, whisking to combine until the consistency of thick syrup.
- Pour the ganache over the top of the cakes, letting it run down the sides a little.