Fashion in gastronomy is one thing as obvious as in clothing. At one time, all fashion items rushed to cook burgers, then seeds and vegetable meats appeared everywhere on the menu, followed by many fermented things. I was recently surprised by the New York restaurant mania for coconut pies. It looks quite traditional – like from grandma’s kitchen: lush, creamy, sometimes with white chocolate and berries. I then noticed the abundance of coconut sweets on American Instagram and TikTok. Why all of a sudden? After researching this issue, I discovered that this coconut fashion has a serious political cause and is directly related to the Black Lives Matter movement. It turns out that after the assassination of George Perry Floyd in May 2020, the New York bakery, Montclair Bread Company, closed for isolation, began donating money to the movement in support of blacks from the online sale of their pie, later started to publish recipes. on the site and announced a competition for the best home-made desserts: it was necessary to prepare a dessert based on the published recipe, preferably with your own twists, make the finished dish and send a photo. This initiative was widely welcomed: people, overwhelmed by stress and fear of the coronavirus, enjoyed baking at home – articles about procrastination appeared in the press (in two words: “procrastination” – postponing things for later and ” baking ”- baking). Well, yes, baking is really a great way to distract from disturbing thoughts. The most popular recipe has become a coconut cake – and not by chance. snow-white dessert has been baked for over a hundred years for birthdays, weddings and anniversaries.After all, the first coconut cakes in America were made in the 17th century by African slaves – they knew how to break a coconut and what to do with the tulle, which was very troublesome to remove.Tortillas were followed by coconut sweets and biscuits, and then cakes and pastries.The four-layer coconut cake of star boss Harold Moore has been famous in the city New York’s father since the end of last year. It sells immediately, though it costs $ 100 – and all the money goes to a charity that meets the wishes of seriously ill children, and Moore buys products at his own expense. “I’m happy,” says the chef, “that we’re trying to do good things.” The snow-white plate of African-Americans has become in the United States a symbol of support for those in distress.
That’s why we did not have a fad, for example, for any Ukrainian dish? And what exactly does each of us do for those who feel bad? Do we have such a need at all? More than once I have heard an amazing explanation as to why many Americans are willing to adopt seriously ill children: they say they are crazy about fat. In short, this whole story touched me. I decided to bake my coconut cake for my nephew’s birthday – after all, baking really distracts from serious thoughts. I threw books and the internet: there are dozens of recipes. I wanted the cake to be airy and not compact. I tried one recipe, another, a third recipe – at one point coconut was in all the cracks of my kitchen.
Here’s my final version – it’s a lot less complicated than most American recipes. And not too sweet – I cut the sugar in half. Its base is a sponge on sour cream, it is wetter and does not need additional impregnation. There is a very simple cream cheese cream with condensed milk that does not require cooking in a water bath. For a more interesting texture, you can enhance the crunch of coconut flakes with toasted almond flakes and white chocolate. And one more thing: Americans bake this kind of dessert from the special dessert flour, which we rarely have. But to do it is simple: you need to take a glass (without a slip) of ordinary baking flour, set aside 2 tablespoons of it and add the same amount of cornstarch, and then pass everything through a sieve . Then the gluten content in the dough will decrease a bit – and the cake will come out more airy. Before you start baking, it is important to weigh all the ingredients and bring them to room temperature.
So set the oven to heat up to 175 ° C. Grease the detachable form with butter and start preparing the biscuit. Divide the eggs into yolks and whites. In the mixer bowl beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff. Gradually add half the sugar, beat the whites until stiff, then transfer to a bowl. Now, in the bowl of a mixer (attached to the paddle), beat the yolks until whitened with the remaining sugar, then add the yoghurt, half the flour and the vanilla extract – mix. Turning the mixer on the lowest speed, add half of the beaten proteins – mix for a short time. Remove the mixer bowl and sift the remaining flour and baking powder through a sieve. Mix carefully with a spatula. Discard the coconut flakes – mix very quickly with a silicone spatula and gently fold the remaining proteins from the bottom up – you should get a thick but liquid and frothy dough. Put it in the mold and bake it, without opening the oven, for about 45-50 minutes (readiness to check with a toothpick). Meanwhile prepare the cream. In a mixing bowl (whisk attachment), whisk the butter and cream cheese together over medium speed until creamy and smooth (about 2 minutes). Add condensed milk, vanilla extract and coconut flakes – beat until everything is well combined (if the cream is thick, dilute slightly with coconut or plain milk). For a crunchy top (if you decide to make it), dry the almond petals a bit and mix with the melted white chocolate (better to melt in the microwave in 3 pulses of 15-20 seconds each), then spread this mass. on a sheet of baking paper and place in the fridge for half an hour before freezing. The finished biscuit should also be cooled (at least an hour) – so it will be easier to cut it into 3 cakes (it is more convenient to do this with a wavy bread knife). Before assembling the cake, you need to break the frozen chocolate almonds into small pieces. Then we take the dish, lay the first cake, cover it with a quarter of the cream and sprinkle it with half of the chocolate almond crumbs. Close the second cake – again cream and sprinkle. Crown with the third cake – coat the top and all sides with the remaining cream. Firmly and evenly fill the top and sides with almond chips.
This cake is minimalist and elegant exterior (do not try to decorate with cream roses or any other nonsense). But at the same time, there is a nostalgic taste from childhood, when you first tried Raffaello sweets and Bounty chocolates. From this combination arises a sense of time flowing quickly and the fragility of the life you want to protect. Perhaps, only such a dessert can bring joy to those who find it difficult.
For a shape 20–22 cm in diameter
1 cake flour (200 g)
2 coconut flakes (100 g for biscuits + 50 g for cream + 150 g for decoration)
3 baking powder (2 teaspoons)
4 salt (3/4 teaspoon)
5 Fine sugar (150 g)
6 eggs (5 medium eggs)
7 sour cream 20% (150 g)
8 vanilla extract (1 teaspoon for biscuits + 1 teaspoon for cream)
9 cream cheese (mascarpone type) (350 g)
10 Condensed condensed milk (200 g)
11 butter (200 g)
12 coconut milk (3-6 tablespoons, optional)
13 almond flakes (100 g, optional)
14 White chocolate (80 g, optional)
Subscribe to the Telegram weekend channel