Yields a ridiculous amount of heavenly slices (12-16, depending on their thickness)
Adapted from Food52
I wanted the coconut flavor in this cake to be highlighted, so I decided to toast the cup of coconut that would go into the cream cheese filling, as well as to toast an additional half cup for sprinkling on top of the ganache frosting and on individual pieces. In a moment of baking/cooking happenstance, when I was at the supermarket picking up the chocolate for this cake, I saw that I had an unexpected option that would also work with my goal of making the cake extra coconut-y. Rather than use regular old bittersweet chocolate for the cake itself, I decided to go with Theo's Toasted Coconut Dark Chocolate.
Also, while I'm not exactly stingy when it comes to putting sugar in baked goods, when I saw that the cake called for 3 cups of sugar, I couldn't bring myself to do it, so I added only 2 instead. The taste, in my opinion, was just right; in fact, I think an additional cup of sugar might have been overkill.
As a final note, I don't usually bake with shortening, but I decided to give it a go in this recipe. I could have substituted 2/3 cup coconut oil for the shortening--this would have reflected my coconut-to-the-max goal--but for some reason I decided that it couldn't hurt to go with shortening. Since I have some in my pantry, I decided to use it.
For the coconut cream cheese filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut (I like Bob's ), lightly toasted (1/2 cup is to be set aside for decorating the cake)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
For the cake:
10 ounces Theo's Toasted Coconut Dark Chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup shortening
3 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups strong black coffee (I used instant espresso powder to make the coffee)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
For the ganache:
1 cup heavy cream
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghiradelli's 60% Baking Chips)
-Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 10-12 cup bundt pan and dust it with cocoa powder. Shake out excess and set aside.
-Add the softened cream cheese, 1 cup toasted coconut, egg, vanilla and sugar to the bowl of standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until well incorporated and set aside.
-In a small saucepan, melt the 8 ounces finely chopped chocolate and shortening. Set aside to cool.
-In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
-Then, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cooled chocolate mixture, coffee, vanilla and three eggs. Once mixed, pour in the dry ingredients and, with a wooden spoon, mix until just combined (be sure to scrape the bowl to make sure that you get all of the flour).
-Pour half of the cake batter into the greased bundt pan. Then, pour the coconut cream cheese mixture on top and spread very lightly with a spatula. Pour the remaining chocolate cake batter on top and lightly shake the pan so that the batter settles evenly (N.B. In the notes on Food52, I read that the coconut cream cheese mixture might rise to the top of the cake pan once the rest of the batter is added. In my experience, this didn't happen, but, if it does for you, it doesn't seem to be a problem.)
-Bake on the center rack for 65-70 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean (N.B. Again, I would like to note that the original recipe says that the cake should be done after 45 minutes of baking; I started checking my cake at that point, but a cake tester didn't come out clean until a little after a solid hour of baking. You might want to start checking around 50 minutes, but I would anticipate the cake taking over an hour to bake fully.).
-Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes and then invert it onto a serving plate.
-As the cake cools, make the chocolate ganache by bringing the heavy cream to a simmer. Then, turn off the heat and whisk in the chocolate chips until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Set aside to cool slightly.
-Drizzle on the chocolate ganache--as heavily or as lightly as you desire--while it is still thin enough to pour easily; sprinkle a handful of toasted coconut flakes onto the gooey ganache for decoration.
-If you have extra ganache, I recommend setting it aside for serving; spreading it onto a slice of cake makes for a nice chocolate touch and a dollop is just as satisfying. An additional sprinkling of coconut also makes for a flavorful and decorative touch.