(Disclaimer: The pictures were taken at the point when the recipe was worth sharing. However, the text was written the first time the cake was baked.)
Recipe development chronicles
By no means am I a recipe developer. It’s so much easier to copy recipes or just mess around with flavours. So I’m sharing my angst at this amateur attempt to create a recipe.
An idea is born
It started with the idea of how to add more alternatives to the one cake five variations. What other flavours could be paired with coconut apart from pineapple and banana? Chocolate! So how about, coconut cake with chocolate chunks?
(Another disclaimer: after several attempts to get this recipe right, chocolate was in short supply. Hence, the miserly portions in the pictures.)
Got to be a little extra
At the moment, my taste buds’ best bud is brown butter. It’s also a time saver instead of waiting for butter to come to room temperature. So brown butter joins the party. Now it’s a brown butter coconut cake with chocolate chunks.
As the butter was browning, I started whisking the eggs and sugar. Just as I was about to mix in the brown butter, I realized it would scramble the eggs. The butter was still too hot. So either slow drizzle (tempering eggs idea). Or grab a big bowl and swirl the butter blowing on it, to cool it down. (Did you cool your tea like this when you were younger?)
Mistakes made and attempts to fix it:
- Instead of tempering the eggs or cooling the melted butter, I mixed it in at the end.
- The batter was so heavy.
- A cup of yoghurt to lighten it.
- A teaspoon of bicarbonate to react with the acid in the yoghurt to give the cake extra rise.
- This cake was so over-mixed.
Random thoughts as we wait…
- What will be the result of adding the wet ingredients at the end? The batter was so thick, perhaps it will be a giant cookie? That batter was so delicious though…
- Because of the chocolate chunks in the cake, when a knife is inserted it doesn’t come out exactly clean.
It’s not as hard as a cookie! It is delicious. The texture of the crust is slightly “chewy”. And it was on the dry side the next day. Great flavour though!
How did we get a moist cake eventually?
- Buttermilk or milk is a lighter substitute than yoghurt.
- Reducing the amount of flour because desiccated coconut has very little moisture.
Brown Butter Coconut Cake with Chocolate Chunks
1 cup (225 grams) brown butter
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
1 3/4 cups (220 grams) flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F or 170C. Grease and dust with flour a round baking tin.
Brown the butter and set aside.
Whisk 1 cup of sugar and 4 eggs to get as much air as possible (about 4 minutes). Whisk in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 Tablespoon lemon juice. If you have planned well and the butter has cooled, whisk it in at this stage. Otherwise you can do it towards the end.
In a separate bowl, measure and sift 1 3/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix in 3/4 cup desiccated unsweetened coconut.
Scoop half of the dry ingredients and lightly combine with the wet. Pour in the 1 cup of milk and fold. Then the remaining flour.
Pour in the cooled browned butter (if you hadn’t earlier). Whisk to combine.
Finally, fold in the 1 cup of chocolate chunks or chips. Pour into the prepared cake tin.
Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes. Halfway through, rotate. Cake is ready when a knife inserted comes out relatively clean.