Chocolate Cake with Coconut

Source: 2 Stews

Chocolate Cake
(Adapted from Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake)

This recipe is for 2-9 inch layer pans or 30 cupcakes. I made half of the recipe for a 2 layer 6 inch cake.

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease, flour and line with parchment a 9 inch cake pan or line a muffin tin with cupcake baking cups.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour into lined muffin tin. Bake 30-35 minutes for cake and 20-25 minutes for cupcakes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Makes 30 cupcakes or 2-9 inch layer cakes.

Chocolate Almond Ganache

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Break up the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream until just boiling and pour over the chocolate. Let it sit until the chocolate is melted. Stir to combine evenly and stir in the vanilla and almond extract. Let sit at room temperature until thick and creamy, but not too firm to spread.
Makes about 2 cups.

Meringue Frosting With Coconut

2 cups sugar
2/3 cups water
6 egg whites
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
About 1-1 1/2 cups shredded coconut for the top and sides

Combine the sugar and water in a heavy medium saucepan and bring to a boil without stirring. Boil until it reaches the soft ball stage, 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.

While the syrup is cooking, beat the egg whites with the salt and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. When the syrup reaches 240 degrees, pour 1/4 cup of the syrup into the stiffly beaten egg whites, drop by drop, beating at high speed. Gradually add the rest of the syrup in a fine stream and beat for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the mixture is cool. Beat in vanilla extract. The mixture should be glossy and thick, but not dry.

Makes about 6 cups.

Place one layer of the cake on a serving platter. Spread an even layer of the ganache on top. Place the second layer on and frost with the meringue frosting. Sprinkle the shredded coconut on top and lightly pat on the sides.