First off, I'm sorry for the lack of updates because I've been so very busy with several massive cake orders I was so tired. It's no easy feat doing everything by yourself with absolutely no one to help you :( But I came out alive, ready to face the next order for next week after a day of rest.
It has always been a dream of mine to make a white-on-white cake. Anyone who knows me know I love white. And when a last minute order came in for a friend's birthday (the single sole person I know who truly loves coconut), I jumped at this opportunity to create a somewhat white cake. I didn't know it'd be entirely white at first but it turned out so.
I've come to realize I'm terribly à la minute, or to put it in a nicer way, spontaneous. I try to seek inspiration when I'm alone and because I've got so much time to plan ahead, I often end up decorating it till it looks like I tried too hard. It's happened before, and it wasn't ugly, but it wasn't refined. And for both the times I made the Fraisier and today, the Coco, I literally made up the decor as I went along. Don't seek for inspiration, inspiration finds you. In fact, before I assembled this cake, I already had an idea of how I'd want it to look like and I thought "I'm gonna put this and that, and this and that". I was over-thinking as usual. But my ideas always change as I make the cake and I'm much more pleased with how this turned out appearance wise.
I've never made a coconut cake before. If I had it my way, I would have done an acidic component to counter the creaminess of the coconut. Everyone knows the tropical flavours work. I was thinking either passionfruit or pineapple, but the birthday boy hates passionfruit and likes his coconut cakes full on coconut.
I didn't have a recipe for a coconut ganache montée and because I'm obsessed with the texture of it, I had to run several tests to achieve a full bodied coconut flavour using a base ganache montée recipe. I failed once and then I got so stressed out. Mummy often asks me why I accept orders when I don't even have a recipe for it and I end up worrying at the last minute. I guess I'm the type of person who likes challenges and I've come to learn that I think I perform best under pressure.
For this made to order coconut cake, there are 5 components:
1. coconut ganache montée
2. biscuit cuillère
3. coconut soaking syrup
4. coconut sablé breton pressée
5. white glaze
So for the coconut ganache test I was doing, the first one was messed up cause I stupidly thought I could simply substitute the cream with coconut cream. Turns out the fat content isn't the same and it didn't work the way it should. Praying to all the Gods of the pastry world + channelling J's testing strength and abilities into myself because I only had a few hours left to know if it works or I won't be able to do this cake, I tried a second test and thank goodness it worked! And the flavour... oh wow the flavour was intense coconut with a slight toasty flavour because infused a part of the cream with some toasted coconut flakes. The only worry is I'm scared it'll be too coconut-ty...
It's always scary when you don't get to taste the cake and see the cross-section of it for yourself first and make the appriopriate adjustments. I've no idea if this cake is balanced in flavour, too sweet or too nutty. I just hope he'll like it.
I'm thrilled by it's presentation. I made some white chocolate thins in an attempt to make it resemble freshly scooped coconut flesh from its husk by a spoon but they ended up looking more like petals haha. Fine by me cause it's pretty anyway. Note to self to get J to teach me to do real tempered chocolate petals this december! If I had to do this one again for someone who likes coconut, it'll be just like this but with an acidic component for balance ;)