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Coconut Cake Recipe

Lemon Curd: In a stainless steel bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice. Cook, stirring constantly (to prevent it from curdling), until the mixture becomes thick (like sour cream or yogurt) (160 degrees F or 71 degrees C). (This can take about 10 minutes depending on the temperature of your simmering water.). Remove from heat and, if needed, immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Stir or whisk the butter and lemon zest into the lemon curd. The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Cover immediately (so a skin doesn't form) and refrigerate until cold. The lemon curd can be made several days (up to a week) in advance.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Butter and flour two - 9 inch x 2 inch (23 x 5 cm) cake pans, and then line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper.

Buttermilk Cake: In a mixing bowl sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In bowl of electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.

With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture (in three additions) and buttermilk (in two additions), beginning and ending with the flour.  

Evenly divide the batter and pour into the prepared pans, smoothing the surface with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for about 27 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out just clean and the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the center.

Place the cakes on a wire rack to cool, in their pans, for about 10 minutes. Then invert the cakes onto a greased rack. To prevent splitting, reinvert cakes so that tops are right side up. Cool completely before filling and frosting.

Frosting: Put the egg whites, sugar, water, corn syrup, and cream of tartar in a stainless steel bowl. With a handheld electric mixer beat the mixture until the ingredients are well  combined. Then place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Continue to beat, on medium-low speed, for about 3 minutes. Then increase the speed to high and continue to beat for another 3 to 4 minutes or until the frosting forms soft peaks.

Remove from heat, add the vanilla extract, and continue to beat on high speed for another 1 to 2 minutes or until the frosting is thick and of spreading consistency. Let cool to room temperature and then use immediately.

Assemble:  With a serrated knife, cut each cake layer in half, horizontally. Place one cake layer on your serving plate and spread with about 1/3 of the lemon curd and sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons of coconut. Continue with the next layers, stacking and filling with the lemon curd and coconut. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the 7-Minute Frosting and then sprinkle with dried coconut. If not serving immeditely, cover and refrigerate the cake.

Serves about 12 people.

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Lemon Curd:

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1/3 cup (80 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)

1 tablespoon (4 grams) finely shredded lemon zest (outer yellow skin of lemon)

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar

4 tablespoons (55 grams) butter, at room temperature and cut into small pieces

Buttermilk Cake:

2 1/2 cups (325 grams) all purpose flour

2 teaspoons (8 grams) baking powder

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (225 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature.

1 3/4 cups (350 grams) granulated white sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature

Seven Minute Frosting:

3 large egg whites (90 grams), at room temperature

1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar

1/4 cup (60 ml) cold water

1 tablespoon light corn syrup (or golden syrup)

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Garnish:

2 cups (150 grams) sweetened or unsweetened dried coconut (shredded or flaked)