Fiona Cairns’ Coconut & Chocolate Stripy Cake

Fiona Cairns' Coconut & Chocolate Stripy Cake

Coconut and chocolate is a winning combination and here, two delectable cakes are cut into strips and reassembled to make striped cakes. Let the devouring begin…

For the cake:
• 350g unsalted butter, really soft, diced, plus more for the tins
• 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
• 350g self-raising flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 6 eggs, lightly beaten
• 350g golden caster sugar
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 90g creamed coconut, grated or 90g fresh coconut, grated

For the coconut frosting:
• 300g cream cheese
• 150g icing sugar
• 45g creamed coconut, grated or 45g fresh coconut, grated
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the buttercream:
• 150g 70% cocoa solids chocolate
• 225g unsalted butter, softened
• 300g icing sugar, sifted
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Special equipment:
• 1 large nylon icing bag, fitted with star nozzle
• 2 20 cm cake boards

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 170°C. Butter two 20 cm round sandwich tins and line the bases with baking parchment.
2 Make an 8 cm high collar of baking parchment for each tin too. Mix the cocoa powder with 1–2 tablespoons boiling water, and set aside to cool.
3 To make this cake, I use my electric mixer with the beater attachment, but use a food processor, or a bowl and hand-held whisk if you prefer.
4 Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl, add the butter, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Beat until well blended, taking care not to over-mix.
5 Remove half the batter to another bowl. Gently stir the coconut into one bowl and scrape into one of the tins.
6 Add the cocoa paste to the other, stir and scrape into the other tin. Bake both cakes for 30–40 minutes, or until a skewer emerges clean.
7 Remove from the oven and leave the cakes for a minute or two, then run a knife around each to loosen it from the tin. Turn out on to a couple of wire racks. Remove the papers and leave to cool completely.
8 Meanwhile, to make the coconut frosting, place the cream cheese in a bowl. Sift over the icing sugar and whisk until well blended.
9 Add the coconut and vanilla and mix well. To make the chocolate buttercream, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Set aside to cool.
10 Beat the butter until really pale and fluffy, then add the icing sugar and vanilla. Beat for five minutes until light and creamy. Add the chocolate and beat again.
11 Take a few spoonfuls and, with a palette knife, place into the icing bag. Only half-fill the bag, or it will make a mess.
12 Level the tops of the cakes, turn upside down and place on a work surface. Cut the cakes into 2 cm strips; each should make 10 strips.
13 Alternate them so each cake has 10 strips of the two flavours. Transfer to the cake boards. Wrap one and freeze for another day.
14 Using half the coconut frosting, sandwich together the strips of cake and spread the rest over the top and sides.
15 Rest in the fridge for an hour to firm up. To decorate the cake, place it on to an upturned 15 cm cake tin.
16 Pipe chocolate roses of varying sizes, from the inside outwards. Practice first on a small plate and scrape the buttercream back into the bag to re-use; it will come to no harm. Lift gently on to a serving plate.

Recipe courtesy of Fiona Cairns, extracted from The Birthday Cake Book. Photography by Laura Edwards © Quadrille

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