Fresh Coconut Cake
Servings : 12
Preparation Time : 1 hour
1/2 cup shortening
2 1/2 cups sugar, divided
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup coconut milk
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
2 egg whites
5 tablespoons cold water
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups fresh coconut, finely shredded
To begin: Buy a fresh coconut.
Hammer a nail into two of the 'eyes', being carefully to keep the inside of the coconut clean.
Carefully drain the milk out of the coconut. Add enough milk to measure 3/4 cup total.
Break the coconut open and scoop out the meat.
Grate. Measure out 3 cups for the cake. Save the rest (if any) for another use.
Cream shortening and 1 cup sugar, then add eggs one at a time. Beat well after each addition.
In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add to batter alternately with the coconut milk and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat until thoroughly mixed and pour into 2 greased and floured 9-inch cake pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.
Carefully invert pans over wire racks. Remove pans and let cake cool before frosting.
In the top of a double boiler, mix the 1 1/2 cups sugar, egg whites, water, cream of tartar, and salt. Stir together and let stand until room temperature.
Place over boiling water and beat with a rotary eggbeater or electric mixer until blended. Increase beating while cooking until mixture becomes stiff and smooth and will stand in peaks. This takes about 7 minutes.
Remove from heat, add 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat a little longer.
Place one cake layer on cake plate and spread top with frosting. Scatter on about 1 cup of grated coconut. Add top layer of cake and spread entire outside of cake with remaining frosting. Pat remaining coconut onto frosting to completely cover cake.
If making for Easter, some of the coconut can be tinted green with food coloring and used to construct 'nests' on the top of the cake. (by mixing in a little frosting) Place jellybeans inside the nests.