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Desserts, Sweet Snacks

Double Chocolate Coconut Birthday Cake, with a Mountain of Malt Balls

I’m not very good at making cake. Well, at the actual *baking* of the cake, I am ok, but I am not great at decorating. Much better at cupcakes. 🙂 But, once per year, I do actually make a cake, and seeing the combination of chocolate and coconut is one of my favorites, I decided to make this one here. The Mountain of Malt Balls is to hide my not-so-pretty frosting job.

Ingredients
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

for the frosting
1 1/2 cup (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 can coconut milk, reduced to 1/3 cup (Reducing instructions below)
Seeds scraped from 1 split vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

for the decoration
3 tablespoons corn syrup
6 ounces heavy cream
12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
malted milk balls (I used whoppers, then ordered dark and white chocolate ones from Amazon)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 2 8-inch round cake pans with baking spray.

In medium bowl, pour boiling water over cocoa, and whisk until smooth. Let mixture cool. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at time, then stir in vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the cocoa mixture, ending with the flour.

Fill the cake pans three-quarters full, being careful not to overfill. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pans for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting: First, make your reduced coconut milk: Bring coconut milk to boil in large deep saucepan over medium-high heat (coconut milk will boil up high in pan). Reduce heat to medium-low; boil until reduced to 1/2 cup (you will only need 1/3 cup for the recipe), stirring occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat; cool completely. Transfer to small bowl. Cover and chill. Can be made 2 days ahead and kept chilled.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until smooth. Add sugar, 1/3 cup reduced coconut milk, seeds from vanilla bean, and salt. Beat on medium-low speed until blended, scraping down sides of bowl. Increase to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy.

Cut your cake into four slices (two per cake) and flatten out the top. Assemble, placing a fine layer of coconut frosting between each layer of chocolate cake. As is often the case when you are frosting a dark colored cake with a light colored frosting, frost the outside of the cake with a layer of frosting as well. It doesn’t need to be perfect as you will be re-frosting with a second layer, but avoid too many crumbs. Refrigerate for 1-4 hours. Cover the unused frosting but do not refrigerate.

White the cake is chilling, make the ganache. in a small saucepan combine the corn syrup and heavy cream. Bring to a simmer and add the chocolate, then remove from the heat. Let sit for 5 minutes without stirring, then stir until smooth. Add the vanilla extract. and stir again. Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally so that it remains smooth.

Frost the second layer onto the cake, making it very smooth. Pour over the ganache so that it covers the top and runs down the sides — you don’t want it to completely cover the white, buttercream frosting, but instead have a “drip” motif. Pile the malted milk balls on top to decorate.

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