(Note: this will be modified the next time I make this cake as I found the buttercream too overpowering. Also diverting from the recipe I used unsweetened coconut for the cover when sweetened was called for, and did not brush the cakes with a simple syrup. That did take the sugar content down slightly, and on that note, the alternate cake in the book with which he was competing had roughly 10 C of sugar so that one piece would have had more than a cup of sugar….I like dessert but that is absurd. Bobby’s cake on the other hand has about 2 cups altogether and is sweet enough. Also Bobby’s directions used a standalone mixer and not having one, I did it with my old trusty mixmaster.)
1 C milk (asked for whole but 1% worked just fine)
6 egg whites
1 vanilla bean split and scraped, seeds reserved
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 C cake flour (used all purpose and it worked just fine)
1 3/4 C sugar
1 T and 1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 C unsalted butter slightly cold cut into about 12 pieces
To make the cake.
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Flour and butter two 9 inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
3. Whisk together milk, egg whites, vanilla seeds and extract.
4. Mix together in another bowl, the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
5. In that bowl with mixer at low speed add the butter one piece at a time beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs.
6. Add all but 1/2 C of milk mixture and beat at low for about about 2 minutes, add the last of the milk and beat at medium for another minute.
7. Divide evenly between the pans.
8. Bake for around 25 minutes until toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
9. Cool on rack for about 10 minutes then remove from parchment paper and let cool completely (around 45 minutes).
Coconut Custard (for use in filling and icing):
3/4 C milk (again used 1% instead of whole)
3/4 C coconut milk
1/2 vanilla bean split and scraped, seeds reserved.
4 egg yolks
1/3 c sugar
3 T corn starch
2 tsp rum
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
To make the Coconut Custard:
1. Combine the milk, coconut milk, vanilla bean and seeds and bring to simmer over low heat.
2. Whisk egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch together in large bowl.
3. Slowly whisk the warm milk into the egg mixture.
4. Return mixture to pan and over medium heat bring to a boil. Cook whisking constantly until thickened.
5. Scrape mixture into bowl, remove vanilla bean, and whisk in rum and vanilla extract.
6. Let cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
3/4 C Coconut Custard
3/4 C heavy or whipping cream
To make Coconut Filling:
1. Combine custard and cream and whip until soft peaks form.
1 1/2 C unsalted butter at room temp
1/3 confectioners sugar
3/4 c Coconut Custard
pinch of salt
To make Coconut Buttercream:
1. Beat butter and sugar til light and fluffy.
2. Add Custard and salt and beat until smooth.
To assemble the cake:
1. Cut each of the cakes horizontally into equally sized cakes.
2. Spoon 1/3 of the filling between each layer.
3. Frost the top and sides with the buttercream.
4. Toast about 2 C of unsweetened coconut and apply to top and sides.
5. Serve and receive compliments.