Coconut Custard Filling: In a heavy medium-size saucepan, warm milk and
coconut milk. Place a strainer over a large bowl set in a larger bowl of ice.
In a bowl with a pouring spout, beat the yolks, cornstarch and sugar together
until smooth and ribbon-like, about 1 minute.
Whisk half the hot milk into the
yolks, then pour back into the remaining milk and slowly bring to a boil. Boil,
whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Custard will thicken quickly. Immediately
strain. Stir in vanilla extract, and keep stirring to cool.
Spread shredded coconut on a cookie sheet. Toast at 350 degrees F about
15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Reserve 1/3 cup for top of cake.
Add remaining coconut to custard. Press plastic wrap directly over the surface of the custard
to prevent skin from forming, and chill for about 2 hours.
Cake: Grease 2 (9-inch) cake pans. Line with wax paper traced to fit the
bottoms of the pans. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift dry ingredients together 3 times.
In another bowl, cream butter with sugar until fluffy.
Add yolks, one at a time, beating until each one is incorporated.
Add vanilla extract.
Alternately add coconut milk and dry ingredients to butter-egg mixture.
Fold in the 1/2 cup shredded coconut.
Beat egg whites to stiff, glossy peaks, then gently fold into batter.
Pour batter into the prepared pans.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Cool in pans set on racks for 10 minutes.
Run a knife around pans and turn cakes out on racks to cool completely.
Coconut Drizzle: Mix together coconut milk and sugar and pour liquid over
cake layers before frosting.
Swirl Frosting: Bring water, corn syrup and sugar to a boil over medium-high
heat. Cook until mixture is clear and can spin a thread (230 degrees F to 234
degrees F). If sugar browns, it will become too caramelized and frosting will
Meanwhile, beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Adding the hot sugar mixture
in a slow stream, beat it into the whites, and keep beating about 5 minutes,
until glossy, stiff peaks form and frosting is cool.
To assemble, trim any hardened surfaces from cake recipes, then halve them
Brush Coconut Drizzle on the layers with a pastry brush. Fill
and frost cake with Swirl Frosting.
Sprinkle reserved toasted coconut on top of cake.
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