Tis the season for chocolate and all things sweet. Just when folks are busting out tins of cookies and platters of desserts, I’m going to add to that and bring you this light-as-air chocolate cake studded with macadamia nuts topped with a coconut icing. Both the mac nuts and coconut were destined to be star components in my morning granola, but being that we’re in December already, I was looking for something more substantial.Something with chocolate…
This quick bread is a good alternative to pound cake and as a bonus, the texture is lighter and goes equally well with a cup of tea, coffee, or milk. Even better, this could be baked plain without nuts or frosting and still be quite delicious with only a dusting of powdered sugar. Whip up a batch and invite the neighbor over for an afternoon treat.
3T + 1.5 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch processed)
3T boiling water
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1.75 cups sifted cake flour
.75 cup + 2T sugar
.75 tsp baking powder
.25 tsp salt
13 T unsalted butter, room temperature
For the icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
3-4 T milk
1 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and water until smooth. Cool to room temperature and lightly whisk in vanilla and eggs.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add 1/2 the chocolate mixture and the butter. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed and beat for 1 minute to incorporate air and develop the cake’s structure. Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the remaining chocolate mixture in 2 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides.
Scrape batter into a buttered and floured loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cook on a rack for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides and remove from the loaf pan onto a wire rack for cooling.
Cool completely before icing.
When cake is cool, combine powdered sugar and milk, whisking until the mixture is smooth and thick (like sour cream). Pour over the top of the cake and gently spread icing out to the sides with a spatula. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to stop the icing from spreading and getting too thin. Remove and top with coconut.