Normally I am a once a year coconut cake consumer. Over the Christmas holidays, my mother and I whip up one or two of these three-day intensive labors of love, eating a few slices too many along the way. Then like the holiday that comes and goes, so too does the cake, and I don’t think of it again.
Friday this ole gal showed up at the Serious Eats world headquarters. And everyone else was having a slice… and I just couldn’t bear to be rude….what would they think of a coconut cake passer-upper after all? The risks did not outweigh the benefits (benefits being svelte thighs and tight tummies!) I dug right in. I didn’t leave a crumb.
The cake is a three-layered movement: A moist, crumbly yellow cake, dense in consistency, light on your tongue, a middle binder of buttercream frosting, sweet in a subtle, underwhelming way, and an exterior of that same light buttercream dotted with shards of real coconut, freshly shaved and chunky, toasted to a light golden perfection.
I used to think my Mom made the best coconut cake in the world. Then I tried Balthazar’s rendition. Sorry Mom. I guess my taste buds are growing up, too!