Friday, December 9, 2011

Dinner Chez Moi

I am excited to announce that for my birthday, I received Laura Calder's new cookbook, Dinner Chez Moi: The Fine Art of Feeding Friends. I have been chomping at the bit to get my hands on it!

I immediately began flipping through this charming cookbook; and, to my surprise, there is an entire section devoted to birthday cakes!!! How fitting! So, completing my Birthday Menu, I made "Coconut Cake with Marshmallow Icing." I have never made marshmallow fluff before, and was a little worried about drizzling hot sugar syrup into beaten egg whites. However, it turned out great! This cake has a subtle coconut flavor, is moist, refrigerates very well, and the texture is amazing! If that's not enough, it's pretty and delicious! 

Coconut Cake with Marshmallow Icing


For the cake
3 cups cake-and-pastry flour (e.g., Swans Down)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup coconut milk

For the icing
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the topping
Toasted coconut (spread out 2 handfuls of coconut on a baking sheet, bake at 400 degrees, stirring occasionally until evenly browned, watch it!)


Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottoms of two 10" cake pans (I used 9", and it was fine) with parchment paper.

For the cake
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. In a separate bowl, and preferably using electric beaters (I used a stand mixer, scraping down the sides regularly), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, then beat in the vanilla. Alternately beat in the dry ingredients and the coconut milk, adding about a third of each at a time. Divide the batter between the pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool on racks.

For the icing
Put the egg whites and cream of tartar in a bowl. Put the sugar and water in a saucepan and boil until a drop in a cold glass of water forms a soft ball (238 degrees F, if you use a candy thermometer, which I did). Remove from the heat. Beat the whites and cream of tartar to peaks (again, I used a stand mixer), then continue beating while pouring the syrup in a thin stream. Add the vanilla at the end. 

Place a cake layer on a serving plate. Spread some icing on top and sprinkle over a handful of toasted coconut. Top with the second layer, and ice the sides and top of the cake. Strew some toasted coconut on the top to decorate.


  1. I've also got this book, but not as a present. I've bought it from here:, because she's one of my favorite Chefs. She does some really good and tasty recipes and I can't wait to try these from the new cookbook! I'm sure that I will love them!

  2. Thanks for the tip, Melanie! She's one of my favorites, too! Thanks for visiting my site!