This is basically just a delicious chocolate bundt cake that had some internal space to rent and wisely chose a ring of coconut macaroon filling as its tenant. It looks like something that should be prohibitively difficult to make, but in fact is not at all technically challenging, just requiring of many bowls or at least a diligence for re-washing bowls and beaters multiple times throughout the preparation. It’s a good idea to have as many large- and medium-sized mixing bowls clean and ready to go before beginning the recipe. This recipe also strongly favours minimal kitchen counter clutter as there are many points in the instructions where you will be told to set something aside and if your counter is already a disaster you will curse me and my fiddly multi-step recipes.
A brief note on the request for Dutch cocoa powder:
Dutch cocoa is more alkaline than natural cocoa as some of the acidity has been processed out of it (sometimes the label may read “alkalized”, which is equivalent). Dutch and natural cocoa should not be substituted for one another. This recipe specifically calls for Dutch cocoa, which is unlikely to be the one you currently own. Many places in Vancouver sell Dutch cocoa, including Famous Foods, Whole Foods, Gourmet Warehouse, and probably a million more places. If you absolutely can’t find Dutch cocoa and you swear that you tried very very hard to, then you can use natural cocoa but the repercussions will manifest themselves in the texture of your cake, as the batter will likely be more acidic than is ideal.
Vintage Macaroon Cake
Slightly tweaked from Vintage Cakes (Julie Richardson)
4 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp salt, divided
2 cups white sugar, divided
3 tsp vanilla, divided
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, lightly packed
2 cups + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour, measured correctly
½ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder, lightly packed
¾ cup coffee, hot and brewed strong
½ cup full-fat sour cream
2 tsp baking powder
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tbsp canola oil (or other neutral vegetable oil)
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped (or in chipit form)
Shaved or shredded coconut, to garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place a rack on the centre shelf. Prepare a bundt pan by greasing it liberally with non-stick spray or butter. You could also flour the pan if desired, but I generally find that my cakes slide out no problem from just a liberal greasing. If your bundt pan is old AF or kind of gnarly (or you get very nervous about food sticking to pans), maybe butter and flour it. Set aside the prepared pan.
Separate the eggs carefully into yolks and whites (I find it easiest to just use my hands and carefully transfer the yolks from one palm to the other while letting the whites drip into a large bowl below). Set the yolks aside and place the whites in the bowl of a standmixer fitted with the whisk attachment or into a large deep bowl (in which case you will need electric beaters). Add ½ tsp salt to the whites and beat at low speed until combined and frothy. Gradually start increasing the speed to medium-high and whip until the whites just hold soft peaks when you pull the beaters through them. With the beaters still running, very gradually pour in ¾ cup white sugar in a steady stream and continue whipping until the whites hold a stiff peak. Transfer 1 cup of the whites to a medium bowl and use a rubber spatula to fold in 1 tsp vanilla, all of the shredded coconut, and the 1 tbsp flour. The mixture may get quite thick, almost like rice crispy treat batter. This will be the macaroon filling; set it aside. Also set aside (at room temperature) the remaining egg whites.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa, hot coffee, and sour cream until smooth; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together the remaining 2 cups flour with the baking powder and remaining ½ tsp salt; stir to combine and then set aside. Clean the bowl of your standmixer and attach the paddle attachment (or get another large bowl ready and clean your beaters). Place the remaining 1 ¼ cups white sugar in the bowl along with the butter, oil, and remaining 2 tsp vanilla. Beat on low speed until blended, then scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and increase the speed to high; beat for 5 full minutes, stopping the beaters every minute or so to scrape down the bowl again. Beat in the reserved egg yolks, 2 at a time. Turn the beaters down to low and add the sifted flour mixture in 3 parts alternating with the chocolate-sour cream mixture in 2 parts. If that made no sense to you, just do this: gently beat in 1/3 of the flour mix, then ½ of the chocolate mix, then another 1/3 of the flour mix, then the rest of the chocolate, then the rest of the flour. Each addition should only just get beaten to combine and the bowl should get scraped down frequently as well; you can actually just stir in the last addition of flour by hand with a wooden spoon to ensure you don’t overmix the batter. Fold in ~1/3 of the remaining egg whites as gently as you can, then gently fold in the rest of the whites.
Spoon ½ the batter into the prepared bundt pan and spread it evenly to the sides of the pan. Drop spoonfuls of the coconut macaroon filling on top of the batter, evenly making a ring around the pan but being careful not to let the macaroon filling come into contact with the edges of the pan. The macaroon filling packs together very easily, so you can also use your hands to help shape it into spoonfuls before dropping onto the batter. Carefully spoon the remaining cake batter over and smooth it out as best you can. Place the pan in the centre of the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it, ~45-50 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool completely. This cake is EXTREMELY fragile when warm and will easily break if you try to unmould it too early. When the cake is nearly cool, start making the ganache. For this you will need to heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, just until it starts to simmer but not boil. Place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl and pour the hot cream over to completely cover the chocolate. Quickly cover the bowl with a lid or plate and leave for 5 minutes to allow the chocolate to melt. When time’s up, whisk the mixture until you have a smooth, thick liquid chocolate. Use within 10-15 minutes as it will thicken the longer it sits.
Once the cake is room temperature, run a knife or thin metal spatula along the edges of the pan and then invert it onto a serving platter to release the cake. If it doesn’t release on the first try, gently keep prying the cake away from the edges of the pan as best you can without wrecking it and firmly tap the bottom of the pan with a spoon once inverted. The cake should slide out quite easily and I apologize from the bottom of my heart if it doesn’t (but it really should). Glaze the cake with the warm ganache and top with plenty of shredded coconut. Seeing that perfect macaroon filling when the knife cuts that first slice will make it all worth the excessive bowl-washing you’ve had to do today, I promise.