The thing about coconut is that you either love it or hate it, and there doesn’t seem to be much middle ground. Coconut used to be that “exotic” ingredient that made its appearance only in a cake or candy bar or cookie. Now, it’s the hottest item in the specialty water market place.
The coconut is a multitalented food source, providing its meat, juice, milk and oil to countries around the world. It’s also rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Recent studies have shown that the coconut is one of the most complete foods around.
Dried coconut is used in all kind of dishes. Coconut oil and coconut milk (which come from the flesh of the coconut) are used in cooking, baking and frying, and coconut oil is also used in the manufacturing of soap and cosmetics. The non-edible parts are just as useful: Coconut husks and leaves are used for making furniture and other household items.
Here’s a recipe I found and have been making ever since.
Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease a 9-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides; dust pan with flour, shaking out excess.
Sift 1 and 3⁄4 cups flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl. Stir in the unsweetened shredded coconut and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the sugar, butter and orange peel and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
Add the flour mixture in three additions alternately with coconut milk in two additions, beating just until blended after each addition. Fold in half of bittersweet chocolate pieces. Spread batter evenly in prepared cake pan.
Sprinkle remaining chocolate pieces over batter, then sprinkle with sweetened flaked coconut.
Bake until golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean (tent with sheet of foil if cake is browning too quickly), 60 to 70 minutes. Transfer cake to rack and cool in pan 45 minutes.
To make the drizzle: Combine the powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk and vanilla in a bowl and mix, adding more coconut milk by 1⁄2 teaspoonfuls until mixture is thin enough to drizzle over cake.
Place the cake on a serving platter and then drizzle the glaze over the top. Cool cake completely on platter. This is great with vanilla ice cream.
Serves 10 to 12.