Last weekend we celebrated Zac's 26th birthday! If you didn't know already, Zac is the one who takes almost all of the photos you see on Becca Bakes because he is a talented professional wedding photographer (perfefct set-up, no?) and you can check out his website here: www.zacxwolf.com. For his birthday, I knew I had to do a play on one of his favorite things ever - Almond Joys! In the past I've made him Almond Joy Cookies but obviously a birthday requires cake. Since I had so much fun making my Tangerine Poppy Seed Chiffon Cake I wanted to give it another try and make a chocolate version. I again loved the spongey texture and cooling process where you turn the cake completely upside and trust that it won't slip from the pan. I infused the cake with pure coconut extract and also added a bit more to the buttercream frosting. I rimmed the bottom of the cake with sliced almonds and topped with toasted coconut to bring the whole almond-joy theme together. Happy Birthday Zac! May the rest of your year be filled with even more things you love.
Chocolate Coconut Chiffon Cake
6 large eggs plus one additional egg white
2 cups sifted cake flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
3/4 cup freshly brewed coffee or water, at room temperature
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup toasted coconut
2-3 cups butter-cream frosting infused with 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1. Separate the eggs while they are still cold. Place the egg yolks in one bowl and the whites (along with the extra egg white) in another. Cover with plastic wrap and bring to room temperature (about 30 minutes).
2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. You will need a 10 inch two piece ungreased tube pan.
3. In a large bowl sift the flour with the cocoa powder, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks, oil, coffee (or water), and vanilla extract. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
5. In a separate bowl, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar (if using) until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar and beat until almost stiff peaks form. With a large rubber spatula or wire whisk, gently fold the egg whites (in three additions) into the batter just until blended (being careful not to deflate the batter).
6. Pour the batter into the ungreased tube pan and run a metal spatula or knife through the batter to get rid of any air pockets. Smooth the top and bake in the preheated oven for about 55 to 60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (When lightly pressed, the cake will spring back).
7. Immediately upon removing the cake from the oven invert (turn upside down) the pan and place on a flat bottom cup (turned upside down) so it is suspended over the counter. Let the cake cool completely (about 1 1/2 hours). To remove the cake from the pan, run a long metal spatula or knife around the inside of the tube pan and center core. Invert onto a greased wire rack or cake circle.
8. With a sharp knife cut the cake in half horizontally. Place the bottom layer on your serving plate and spread with about 3/4 cup of the butter cream filling.
9. Gently place the top layer on the filling. Cover completely with remaining coconut buttercream frosting.
10. Top with toasted coconut and line bottom with sliced almonds
Adapted from: Joy of Baking
Photos by: Zac Wolf Photography