I needed to improve my cake track record because, you know, there was valentine's day and then in Arizona when I tried demoing tahini buttercream in a 90 degree tent it got all gloopy and ploppy. So I called a quick meeting with my editorial calendar and very subtly changed the words “salad pizza” to “mint coconut chocolate cake.” Because I love using coconut milk in chocolate cake for the rich, almost fudgey texture that it lends, and the super target has started stocking fresh mint again just in time for St. Patrick's Day! And I simply cannot think of a better threesome than coconut, mint, and chocolate.
lemon, feta, mint
peter, bjorn, and john
cheese, tortillas, ketchup
chocolate, tahini, more tahini…?
Anyway, the fact that I subbed salad for cake did not mean that I was an unhealthy ursula for the rest of the week. On the contrary, this week was one of those wonderful awesome weeks where at the beginning of it I sat down and did dinner planning! I do that once every five weeks or so and it’s just the best, I should really do it more often. I sit with my dinner planning notebook, a very large stack of cookbooks, my notebook where I keep my grocery lists, and the internet opened up to about 30 different good looking recipes, and then I compose four days of meals, leaving Friday open for pizza Friday. This week’s theme was yogurt because did I tell you that I am writing a yogurt short stack book??? It will be out a year from now and I am so excited because yogurt is one of my very favorite ingredients, not just for the flavor and texture, but also because it makes me feel de-puffed. As in, it has the exact opposite effect of eating a bunch of salt.
So we ate farro and kale with yogurt green goddess, yogurt marinated chicken (I am extra excited about this recipe), a yogurt frittata, yogurt on tacos, yogurt fattoush… and on top of all of this we went to the gym every night (!!) so am I feeling like a million bucks and ready to poke fun at it all with a week of schnitzel in Berlin? Maybe so! Or maybe I'll hunt down a vegetable in Germany, which I have never been very successful at since I am always so enthralled by Amerikaners and Brezeln and Döner kebabs, but there is no time like next week to change all of that. Do you have a favorite salad in Berlin? Tell me tell me.
But Molly what happened to the cake??
We had one large slice and then I redecorated it by frosting the inside where the slice was taken out so that it could lock in all of the moisture:
And then we brought it over to Emily and Evan the cow farmer along with a hotdish because they have a brand new tiny human in da house!!! Yay! I am like a little bummed that spontaneous gin and tonics and cheesy pickles with Emily at the Toasted Frog have been put on temporary hold, but I am also really getting into this new hobby of making freezer meals for E and E. It's so fun. Expect some more freezer meals up on this blog.
So this cake is essentially this chocolate mint cake, oomphed up with coconut milk, coconut oil, and a bit of coconut extract. Mint and chocolate are awesome together but I often find I want a bit more richness to support it and coconut does just that. It also makes the cake part dairy free, so if you have a great dairy free frosting or want to mix up a quick coconut milk with powdered sugar glaze, you’ve got an awesome df dessert option on your hands. The cake pictured here is six inches-- this batter is enough for four six-inch layers, but I gave the fourth layer to eggpop as a thank you for driving us to the airport. You could also make a two-layer eight-inch cake. Or 24 cupcakes. You know the drill.
mint coconut chocolate cake
makes one 2-layer, 8-inch cake or one 4-layer, 6-inch cake (see notes above)
10 fresh mint leaves
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1 3/4 c sugar
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 c coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
1 tsp coconut extract
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 c boiling water
10 fresh mint leaves
3 sticks unsalted butter
4 c powdered sugar
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1/8 tsp salt
2 tb coconut milk
food coloring, sprinkles, marzipan, rubber stamps, all optional but all very fun
preheat oven to 350.
grease two 8-inch round cake pans or four 6-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment.
muddle the fresh mint leaves in a saucepan and pour in the coconut milk. bring to a simmer over medium heat, and keep it at a low simmer (lowering the level of the heat as needed), stirring often, for 15 minutes. remove it from the heat, strain out the mint leaves, and measure out 1 cup of coconut milk. set it aside to cool slightly and save the remaining few tablespoons of coconut mint milk for the frosting in the refrigerator. discard the mint leaves.
in a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients. in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, mint coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut extract, and vanilla extract. (it's important to make sure that the milk has cooled enough so that it doesn't cook the eggs, and that the eggs aren't so cold that they firm up the oil.) whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and then gradually stir in the boiling water. pour into cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. begin checking 8" cakes for doneness at 28 minutes and 6" cakes for doneness at 25 minutes.
let cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then turn the cakes onto a lightly greased cooling rack.
to make the frosting, muddle the fresh mint leaves in a saucepan and add the butter. melt the butter and heat over medium low for 15 minutes, stirring. strain out the mint leaves and then add the butter to a large metal bowl. place the bowl in an ice bath and use an electric mixer to beat it until it becomes pale and fluffy. (alternatively, you can let it sit overnight at room temperature, allowing it to firm back up.) beat in the powdered sugar, coconut extract, and salt, and then add 2 tablespoons of the reserved coconut mint milk. when creaming the butter, it may look a little grainy and congealed, but keep on beating it, and add a bit more coconut milk if you'd like, which will help smooth it out.
to assemble the cake, mix in some green food coloring to the frosting if you'd like. spread a layer of frosting between each layer and then frost all over the sides and top. top with additional frosting decorations and sprinkles. to make a little marzipan label, cut out a marzipan square and then use rubber stamps brushed with a tiny bit of gel food coloring to stamp out your words! enjoy!
cake stand by anna wallace!