This cake is ideal for all coconut lovers! As an Italian, this is probably one of my favorite Italian desserts ever! Almond coconut cake is a wonderful dessert, a nice blend of coconut, almond, lemon, and white chocolate flavors. It has an almond sponge, coconut- white chocolate filling with just a hint of lemon flavor, and it’s decorated with desiccated coconut and Raffaello candies.
For the almond sponge:
- 8 egg whites
- 1 3/4 cups ( 225 grams) icing sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (125 grams) unsalted butter
- 5 oz. (100 grams) toasted almonds-ground
- 1 cup (100 grams) sifted cake flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the filling:
- 14 oz. (390 g) white chocolate chopped
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1 1/3 cups Greek yogurt
- 1 cup coconut milk
- tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon (powdered) gelatin dissolved in 3 tablespoons cool water
- 1/3 cup whipping cream
- 2 teaspoon icing sugar(or more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 9-10 Raffaello pralines
- Grated/ shredded coconut (around 1 cup)
Note: This cake should be prepared a day ahead because it has to chill overnight in the refrigerator before you will be able to assemble it entirely!
To make the almond sponge:
- Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C/ Gas Mark 4, and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper, set aside.
- In a small saucepan heat the butter until lightly browned. Let it cool completely.
- Mix the egg whites with a salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add icing sugar and mix well until combine. Mix in cooled browned butter. Gently stir in ground almond and flour.
- Divide the mixture on the 2 baking trays forming thin layers (10 x 14 inch each). Bake for about 15 minutes (or until lightly golden)
- Let the almond sponge cool, then cut 2 circles from every layer. You should cut out one 7 inches round layer (which will be the base layer) and three 6 inch round layers.
(You may cut the leftover sponge into small rectangles and oven-dry them to make tasty breakfast biscotti).
To make the filling:
- Dissolve the gelatin in cold water.
- In a small saucepan heat the heavy cream and coconut milk until it boils. Remove from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes, then add chopped white chocolate and stir until it has melted completely.
- Add the dissolved gelatin and stir until it’ melted completely through the heat of the chocolate and coconut milk.
- Lastly, stir in lemon juice and let it all cool to room temperature (it will take some time to cool the milk and chocolate mixture to room temperature, about 1 hour and you should stir it occasionally).
- Add the Greek yogurt and put it in the fridge for a few minutes to thicken.
(When you combine the yogurt and chocolate mixture and set it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes it will seem chilled but it will still be runny and thin. Don’t worry it’ll thicken overnight while the cake is in the mold and placed in the refrigerator.)
To assemble the cake:
(You will need ring from springform pan or pastry ring (it should be 7 inches in diameter and 3.5 -4 inch tall)
- Put the 7-inch layer of sponge in a spring form and pour 1/4 of the filling. Continue with 6-inch sponge and pour 1/4 filling on each. Put the cake in the fridge at least for 6-7 hours (or preferably overnight)
- Beat 1/3 cup heavy cream with icing sugar and vanilla, until stiff peaks form. Spread the cream on top of the cake then gently remove the cake from the mold and decorate the side and top with coconut, garnish the top with Raffaello candies.
- Store in the fridge for half an hour before serving.
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