Friday was my husband Joseph’s birthday and he loves coconut. I have been wanting to make a layered cake and I have been wanting to make mousse, so when I saw this cake I thought it was perfect. And it was! Coconut flavor, a slight crunch from the ground almonds and delicious cold mousse….wonderful! I must say that this cake was a little complicated and I had doubts, serious doubts, that it would turn out good. I feared that the mousse would be a big pile of goop, mainly because I have never worked with powdered gelatin before, but my faith in powdered gelatin has been restored. Yeah. Joe and I had a wonderful evening together complete with incidental fireworks (fireworks that should have been shot off on 4th of July but was cancelled due to rain) and a this delicious Almond Coconut Mousse Cake.
For the Cake:
1 1/4 cups slivered almonds
1 cup cake flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
8 extra-large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Mousse:
2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
1 tbsp powdered gelatin
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup whole milk
6 extra-large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp coconut extract
ice cubes and water for ice-bath
1/2 to 1 cup seedless raspberry jam
2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of two round 9 inch pans with cut-to-fit parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray.
Spread slivered almonds out onto a baking sheet and toast in oven for 8-10 minutes, shaking the pan every couple of minutes to ensure even toasting. Remove almonds from baking sheet and set aside to cool.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine almonds, cake flour and salt. Process until almonds are finely ground. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and 1 cup of sugar until thick and light in color, about 2 minutes. Transfer egg mixture to a large bowl and set aside. Throughly clean bowl and whisk attachment of stand mixer to ensure they are completely clean and dry, re-attach to stand mixer.
In the clean bowl of stand mixer, beat egg whites at medium speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar while beating on high until stiff, glossy meringue peaks form.
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Add almond and vanilla extract and set aside.
Using a rubber spatula, gently fold 1/3 of meringue into egg yolk mixture, then fold in 1/3 of dry ingredients. Continue gently folding, alternating ingredients until all meringue and dry ingredients are combined. Now take 1 cup of cake batter and fold into melted butter, then fold this butter mixture back into the remaining batter. Divide batter equally between the two prepared pans and bake for 17-22 minutes until golden brown. Test cakes with a toothpick for doneness, toothpick should come out clean. Cool the cakes on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Invert and unmold cakes onto racks and cool completely.
For the Mousse:
In a microwave safe bowl, pour 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Sprinkle cream with gelatin powder while stirring with a fork. Set aside for 5 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, bring coconut milk and whole milk to a gentle boil. Remove pan from heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until blended. In a very thin stream, slowly mix in 1/2 cup of coconut milk mixture. Return the entire egg mixture to coconut milk mixture in the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is slightly thickened and covers the back of a spoon. Strain mixture through a sieve set over a medium bowl.
Microwave the cream and gelatin mixture on high for 15 to 30 seconds until the cream is hot. Stir with a small spoon until all cream and gelatin has come back to a liquid state and is smooth. Add gelatin mixture, through a sieve, to the coconut mixture and stir to combine.
In a large bowl add ice cubes and cold water half-way for an ice-bath. Gently set the bowl with the coconut mixture into the ice-bath, careful not to get any water from the ice-bath into the coconut mixture. Stir occasionally until chilled, about 20 minutes. Stir in vanilla and coconut extract.
In a clean medium bowl, whisk the remaining 1 3/4 cup heavy cream to soft peaks. Pour the chilled coconut milk mixture into the whipped cream and mix well until completely combined. Refrigerate the mousse for 30 minutes, but no longer as it may begin to set.
Assembling the Cake:
Using a serrated knife, cut each cake in half horizontally (you will only need three layers for this cake) Place one cake layer into the bottom of a round 9 x 3 inch springform pan. The springform pan must have a tight-fitting bottom so mousse don’t seep out. Spread a thin layer of raspberry jam over the cake and then pour 2 cups of mousse over the cake. Gently spread mousse to ensure it runs down between the edge of pan and cake side. Top with second cake, spread a thin layer of raspberry jam and top with 2 cups of mousse. Top with the third and final cake layer and remaining mousse. Refrigerate the cake for 1-2 hours allowing the mousse to finish setting.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread 2 cups of coconut flakes out onto a baking sheet and toast in oven for 5-15 minutes, making sure to stir coconut every 4-5 minutes for even browning. Remove from baking sheet and allow to cool.
Carefully remove the side of springform pan and pat the golden coconut flakes onto the sides of the cake. Enjoy!
Source: slightly adapted from thegalleygourmet