Prep 25 mins
Cook 28 mins
This cake has an intense chocolate flavor; yet it's tender and moist. Jason Horn Recipes by Ann Amernick. This cake is foolproof! There is a 2 hour cooling period; the custard can be made one day and the cake the other.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm
- 2 -3 tablespoons heavy cream (if needed)
- 3⁄4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 large egg yolks
- 2 1⁄2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut (preferably unsulphured)
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 cup chopped pecans (for a little extra crunch)
- MAKE CUSTARD FILLING FIRST:.
- Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a full boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to low, and simmer about 1 minute.
- Whisk together egg yolks in a large bowl until well combined.
- Whisk about 1 cup hot cream mixture into yolks to temper them, then pour yolk mixture back into saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat, whisking often, until slightly thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat, and whisk in coconut, stirring until thoroughly combined.
- (As you stir, coconut will absorb custard, and filling will thicken.)
- Pour filling onto an 18- x 13-inch rimmed baking sheet, and spread evenly with a rubber spatula.
- Cover with aluminum foil, and chill at least 2 hours, or until cool.
- MAKE CAKE:.
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Butter three 8- x 2-inch round cake pans.
- Line pans with parchment paper; butter paper.
- Sift first 6 ingredients into a 10-quart bowl (or the largest you have).
- Stir until well combined.
- Whisk together buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and 1 cup room-temperature water in a medium bowl until just combined.
- Immediately add to flour mixture, and whisk until smooth, scraping down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Add butter, and whisk until well combined.
- Batter will be thin.
- Divide batter evenly among prepared pans, gently shaking pans to level batter if necessary.
- Bake 16 to 19 minutes or until cakes are springy to the touch, start to pull away from sides of pans, and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cakes cool in pans on cooling racks for 10 minutes, then invert onto racks, remove pans and parchment, and invert again so cakes are right side up.
- Place 1 cake layer on an 8-inch cardboard round or cake plate.
- Using a stiff offset metal spatula (the blade bends up where it meets the handle), spread one-third of chilled Custard Filling evenly over the top of the layer.
- (If filling seems too stiff, gradually stir in heavy cream to loosen it a bit.)
- Top with second cake layer, and spread another one-third of filling over the top.
- Place final cake layer on top, and spread with remaining filling, leaving sides bare.
- Sprinkle coconut over cake.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 2 to 3 days.
- Slice into hearty wedges, and serve a little cooler than room temperature.
- *After baking, cake layers can be assembled as described above or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and chilled up to 1 day or frozen up to 1 month.