Sunday, 13 September 2015

Coconut and chocolate chunk cake

This is one of those posts that is struggling to be written but I am not giving up without a fight.  Because the cake was excellent and I really wanted to share a post today for International Chocolate Day. In fact, if I had to recommend a cake for the day it would be this one with lots of chunks of chocolate studding a moist vegan coconut cake.

I know some people do not like the word moist but I have far greater problems in my life.  Like driving into the glare of the evening sun.  Or Sylvia snapping the brake cable on her bike.  Or finding that the photos of the cake in this post would not work on my photo software so I couldn't edit them properly.  Or having a complete fail when the slice I made was more like baked porridge than cakey slice.  Or making strawberry sauce for pancakes this morning and finding that E didn't even notice when he had his pancakes later than Sylvia and me.  Actually that wasn't so bad because I got to eat the rest of the sauce straight out of the saucepan and it was no great hardship.  More worrying is that my parents' dog is very sick and I am yet to hear if he survived the day!  Big sigh!

[Update: My parents dog is now better!]

No wonder I need chocolate.  Fortunately I had oodles of it today in the form of mars bar slice.  I haven't made this slice for years but thought it would be a nice treat.  It was also good to take along for afternoon tea when we saw our friends with their new (very cute) baby.  Let's just forget that the chocolate seized when I microwaved it and had to spread rather than poured over the top of the slice!

But back to the chocolate coconut cake.  It was magnificent.  I made it for a morning tea for a friend's birthday a few weeks back.  While it was baked the previous evening, I drizzled the icing over it shortly before leaving home.  If you are like me and love a soft cake textured with dried coconut, an overload of chocolate, a crispy coconut topping and just a wee drizzle of icing, then this cake is for you. 

A few notes on the cake.  The Whittakers 67% dark chocolate works brilliantly in this cake.  I used a little more than needed but did not regret it.  I didn't have orange zest and am not sure it is necessary but have left it there as it seems a nice idea.  I had a little coconut milk left from a 270ml tin that was just enough for the icing.  I actually used less icing than I made because I wanted it lacy so we could see the coconut flakes and chocolate chunks. I thought the coconut flakes were too well done - because I made a pitiful effort at covering them with foil when they were browned - but they were fine on the end result.

I used a shredded coconut in the cake that is slightly larger shreds than my usual desiccated coconut.  As always it wasn't sweetened, nor was my coconut milk but I haven't specified this in the recipe as it is one of those odd ideas - I am not sure I have seen sweetened coconut milk and I rarely see sweetened shredded coconut.  I think I bought sweetened shredded coconut once but it was a mistake.  Anyway let's not go there.  Instead we can just pretend such things don't exist and we live in a world where packaged coconut doesn't need sugar because we are going to add sugar into the cake anyway!  But I can assure you this isn't a terribly sweet cake.  Just amazingly delicious.  Truly worthy of International Chocolate Day!

More irresistable chocolate cakes from Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Honey, yoghurt and chocolate cake
Jill Dupleix's flourless chocolate cake (gf)
Melt and mix chocolate chunk mud cake
Nigella's nutella cake (gf)
Paragon chocolate orange cake
Vegan chocolate (layer) cake (v)
Walnut fudge cake

Coconut and chocolate chunk cake
Adapted from the Tolerant Vegan

Dry ingredients:
1 3/4 cups plain flour (I added 1/4 cup wheat germ)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 cup shredded coconut
3/4 cups sugar (I used raw)

Wet ingredients:
115g (1/2 cup) margarine or butter, melted
2 teaspoons grated orange peel (optional - I didn't use)
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup coconut milk

The chocolate:
150g dark chocolate, broken into bits

50g dark chocolate chunks
1/2 cup coconut flakes

Icing drizzle:
1/2 cup vegan confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoon coconut milk

Preheat oven to 180 C and grease and line a 22cm round cake tin.

Mix dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Mix wet ingredients in a small mixing bowl or large jug.  Pour the wet into the dry and mix until just combined.  Mix in the 150g dark chocolate chunks.

Scrape mixture into prepared cake tin.  Scatter with chocolate chunks and then coconut flakes.  Bake for about 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle misses a piece of chocolate and comes out clean.  If the coconut flakes are brown enough before the cake is cooked, cover with foil as they will continue to darken!  Cool in the tin.

When cool remove from tin and place coconut flakes upwards on a serving plate.  Mix icing sugar and coconut milk to make a thin icing.  Drizzle over cake sparingly so that the coconut flakes are still visible.

On the stereo: 
The Best of Bowie: David Bowie


  1. This cake is absolutely gorgeous! I love the combination of chocolate and coconut..always so good.

    1. Thanks Joanne - it is one of my fave combinations

  2. I'm glad you persevered with posting this because it does sound delicious. I'm also not in the moist-averse camp - I like moist cakes and can't see why we shouldn't describe them accurately with that term! I'll be tucking this away for future reference.

    I hope your parents' dog pulls though too.

    1. Thanks Kari - yay for moist cakes and my folk's dog is better :-)

  3. ooooh yummo! I love the flavour combination :)

  4. I didn't even know there were people who had problems with the word moist. You learn something new every day (just not something good, I guess). Anyway, there's nothing wrong with the word, especially when applied to a coconut cake. Chocolate and coconut are such a nice combination together, especially in a cake. Hope the next cake-making day is a less stressful one.

    1. Thanks Joey - apparently so - I was quite surprised to read it on some blogs

  5. chocolate-coconut anything is fantastic and this looks delicious. Hope all is well with your parents' dog and that your week is stress-free (though cake is always wonderful medicine)!

    1. Thanks Faye - cake is the best medicine - must be the reason my parents dog has recovered :-) not that he got any as chocolate is definitely not good for dogs :-)

  6. What a yummy cake. It's full of fantastic ingredients. Whoops - I missed International Chocolate Day. I'm so sorry to hear about your parent's dog - what a stressful time xx

    1. Thanks Charlie - surely every day is international chocolate day :-) I was quite worried about my parents' dog but he is not one I have spent a lot of time with so it is not the same as other dogs they have had - but I am glad he is better

  7. WOW! That photo is cookbook quality!!!!! YUM!

  8. I really don't mind the word moist. Sometimes that's the best word to describe a cake's texture but people really hate that word. It's not like a cake can ever be juicy (well sort of but moist is a better word). I like the sound of this cake! :D

    1. Thanks Lorraine - yes moist is much better than juicy - unless it is filled with fruit, I guess :-)

  9. Yum! You're right, there are far worse things than the word moist (including a dry cake). The cake looks fab, and my best wishes to your parents' dog.

    1. Thanks Caeli - yep dry always sounds awful in any baking, even though sometimes it is appropriate whereas moist sounds much nicer

  10. It sounds and looks delicious! Your pictures always amaze me - don't be so hard on yourself.
    Sounds like you had a rough day - chocolate to the rescue! I can't believe I missed International Chocolate Day. I'm sure I had chocolate that day at least.
    I hope your parents dog is ok :(

    1. Thanks Kimmy - I am sure there was much celebration of international chocolate day around the world without people even knowing they were celebrating :-)


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