Lemon cake with toasted coconut cake

 As Valentine’s Day comes around the
corner, chocolate becomes the king of sweets. Many stores sells
chocolates in fancy
decorated box or cute heart shaped containers with or without cute stuffed animals.

 As a kid, I remember visiting grocery stores near our house every
February for the special Valentine’s Day, trying to find the best
possible chocolate for my father and for a boy I liked.

 In Japan, as I wrote in the previous entry titled “Loves in the Air!! Valentine’s Day in Japan“,Valentine’s day is “the Confession” day for women if she was single.

 Woman gives chocolate to a man she likes, and tell him that she is in love with

 If she has a boyfriend, then the day becomes the day to show him she loves him very much.

 On the Valentine’s day, men do not give anything to women,and
he does not give answer “Yes,I will go out with you” or “I am sorry.I
don’t feel the same way as you do”  to her as well when a single lady gave
him a box of chocolate to him.

In Japan,there is a day called “White Day”. It is
the day men give women “yes” or “No” answer;to whom he got chocolate
from. It is on the exactly one month away:March 14th.

 This tradition is actually still short history because it started in 1980’s. But it
is a day that guy who has received “Ho n me i chocolate” gives woman
candy (marshmallow,cookies,and other kind of candies) and answer “yes” or

 If men got “Gi ri Chocolate” then,it is a day
to return the favor and nothing deep meaning in the candies the male
workers give female workers.Simply meaning “Thank you for the Giri

When woman gives chocolates on Valentine’s
Day,sometimes, those chocolate comes with hand-knit sweater or  muffler
man to confess her love to him. Hand-knitted stuff was very popular
items to give with chocolate when I was a student. I saw girls knitting
during the break for special someone.

 These chocolates given to special someone in love are categorized as “Ho n
me i chocolate”.What it means is that it is a chocolate to confess

 The chocolates given to other men such as
father,male workmates, male boss are categorized as “Gi-ri chocolate”.
It is translated ” Obligation Chocolate”. It has no meaning of “I am in
love with you” but it just became tradition in Japan.

 Anyone can
buy a box of chocolates, or can take you to a fancy restaurant for special meal
created by restaurants’ chefs for the special day and, those romantic dinner dates are great.

 However, if you make something for your loved ones,
even if you make something simple, it has lots of feeling in there, and
becomes quite personal and it has a lot more meaning to it.

 I am sure you
can put a huge smile on your loved one with something special made by

 This year, I have made “Lemon cake with toasted coconut” for my husband’s birthday. The filling I made for the cake is citrus pastry cream enhanced with Italian lemon liqueur called “Limoncello“, and
they are mixed with canned fruits and,it went really good with the sponge that got hint of lemon,toasted coconut flakes, and coffee liqueur “kahula” enhanced mocha chocolate sauce on the bottom.

 The flavor coming from espresso powder with coffee liqueur “kahula” plus dark chocolate made really good chocolate sauce that can balance out with sweeter sponge cake. I thought it came out really great, so I would share the recipe with you.

 My husband especially loved the citrus pastry cream mixed with canned fruits.He liked it a lot.

When you look at the picture of the cake below,it might look a little intimidating at first glance, but it is not that hard
to make one. It may take longer time to prepare each component that goes in to the plate but each component itself is not that hard.

I have made the cake for my husband’s birthday but I think it is romantic enough desert for the valentine’s day meal desert.

Lemon cake with toasted coconut flakes..

Ingredients for citrus pastry cream mixed with canned fruits;

2 1/4C milk
1/2C white sugar
4 egg yolks
1/2C unbleached all purpose flour
1.5 tbs corn starch
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tsp limoncello (Italian lemon liqueur)*
2 oz drained,rough chopped canned sliced peach
2 oz drained,rough chopped mandarin orange

* If you did not have limoncello, add lemon extract along with freshly grated lemon zest to bump up the lemon flavor in the cake

Ingredients for toasted coconut flakes;

1/2 C sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 C unsweetened coconut flakes (Recommends Bob’s red mill)

Ingredients for Mocha chocolate sauce;

1/3 C bitter sweet chocolate chips 60% cacao
1/2 tbs softened butter
1.5 tsp espresso powder
1.5 tsp Dutch processed cocoa powder
1 tbs coffee liqueur “Kahula”
4 tsp heavy cream
1 tsp milk

Ingredients for lemon whipped cream;

1/2 C heavy cream
2 tsp white sugar
zest from fresh lemon about 1/8 tsp
1/2 tsp Italian lemon liqueur “limoncello”*

* If you did not have limoncello, add lemon extract along with freshly grated lemon zest to bump up the lemon flavor in the cake

Ingredients for Lemon cake;

1 C unbleached all purpose flour
5/8C white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbs butter
4 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract
freshly grated lemon zest about 1/8 tsp,plus some for garnish
4 maraschino cherries

<Citrus pastry cream mixed with canned fruits>

1. In the sauce pan, add 2 1/4C milk and let it come to luke-warm temperature on medium low heat

2. In the medium size ball, add 1/2C white sugar, 4 egg yolks and stir until the color gets pale white

3. On another bowl, place kitchen sieve and pour 1/2C unbleached all purpose flour and 1.5 tbs corn starch and shift it through

4. To the sugar-egg mixture, add shifted flour small amount at a time and stir gently

5. On the bowl that contains egg yolk-sugar-flour, pour luke-warm milk small amount at a time
and keep stirring gently until all the milk is added to the egg mixture

** This step is called “tempering eggs”. This method is often used to make custard,pastry cream,puddings etc..

What is tempering eggs?

 Tempering eggs means that you would add luke warm liquid at slow speed,small amount at a time to raise the beaten egg/egg mixture temperature higher without cooking the eggs

 When liquid is piping hot temperature,it would result in cooking eggs so,you would want to make sure that the liquid is not too hot,enough to cook the egg

 When you are adding liquid to to the egg mixture,you want to keep whisking the egg so the temperature is evenly distributed,and eggs would not cook

6. Put the milk-flour-sugar-egg yolk-corn starch mixture back to the
sauce pan and put it back on stove and stir/whisk constantly scraping off the
bottom of the pan so it would not scorch on medium heat until pastry
cream gets thickened up and start bubbling gently

** For this, whisker works better than wooden spoon

7. Cook 1 minutes or so more and take it off from the heat and add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1.5 tsp limoncello and stir

8. Place a kitchen sieve on top of the container and pour the pastry cream through them to make sure no lumps are in the pastry cream

9. Cover the surface with plastic wrap so it would
not form the skin on top of the cream

10. Let it cool down to room temperature

11. Once the cream gets cooled down, pour 1C citrus pastry cream into small bowl to make the filling and you can keep the rest for other things.

** I like to smear pastry cream on toast when I have leftover cream,but you can also freeze them if you like.

12.To the 1C citrus pastry cream, add drained and rough chopped mixture of canned fruits (2 oz canned sliced peach rough chopped, 2 oz mandarin orange chopped),and keep in the fridge

<Toasted coconut flakes>

1. In the skillet, add 1/2C sweetened coconut flakes and 1/2 C unsweetened coconut flakes

2. Put them on medium high heat and keep stirring until it gets fragrant and toasted

<Mocha Chocolate sauce>

1. In the bottom of double boiler,pour about 1″ or so depth of water and let it come to boil and turn the heat down to simmer

2. On top of the double boiler, add 1/3C Bittersweet chocolate chip 60% cacao and stir and gently melt it over the boiler

3. Add 1/2 tbs softened butter and stir

4. In the small container, mix 1.5 tsp espresso powder, Dutch processed cocoa powder, and 1 tbs coffee liqueur “Kahula” and mix well

5. Add the espresso powder mixture into the chocolate mix and stir

6. Add 4 tsp heavy cream, 1 tsp Milk and stir,taste it and adjust the taste

<Lemon whipped cream>

1. In the bowl,pour 1/2C heavy cream,2 tsp white sugar and whisk till stiff peak

2. Add 1/8 tsp freshly grated zest of lemon,1/2 tsp limoncello (Italian lemon liqueur) and mix and store in the fridge

<Lemon cake>

1. Line the 8″ x 8″ square baking pan with foil or non stick spray

2. preheat the oven at 350F

3. Over a bowl, place kitchen sieve and pour 1C unbleached all purpose flour,1 tsp baking powder and shift through

4. Melt the 2 tbs butter

5.  In another bowl, place the kitchen sieve and shift through 5/8C white sugar, and add 1 egg and start beating the egg and sugar and add 1 egg at a time (totaling 4 whole eggs) at a time

6. When the mixture gets whiten in color and fluffy,and drip down to the bowl like ribbon when you stop the mixer and lift it up, it is time to add the shifted flour and baking powder small amount at a time

7. Add flour mixture small amount at a time and stir gently with wooden spoon

** As a kid, when my mother and I were making sponge, she taught me to move the wooden spoon as if you will draw the number “11” and then, move the wooden spoon gently as if you will draw circle, about a few times or till added flour gets evenly mixed well

8. Add melted butter,1/2 tsp vanilla extract,1/2 tsp lemon extract,freshly grated lemon zest about 1/8 tsp and stir

9. Pour the batter into the baking pan and place kitchen towel on top of the counter and gently toss the pan from about 4″-5″ height about 10 times to get the air bubbles in the batter gets out

10. Bake about 25-35 minutes or until toothpicks inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean

11. When baked, remove it from the pan and let it cool down

Makes: 8″ x 8″ sponge

<How to assemble>

1. Cut the cake into half to make 4″ x 8″ cake

2. Trim the edge of the cake

3. Cut the sheet of cake into half the width of sheet cake to make 4 layers cake

4. Place a plate and drizzle mocha chocolate sauce on the plate,

5. On another plate, place one bottom layer of the cake

6. Brush the cake with Italian lemon liqueur limoncello

7. pour some citrus pastry cream mixed with canned fruits

8. Place 2nd layer of the cake and brush the layer with another limoncello,and pour some citrus pastry cream mixed with canned fruits

9. Place 3rd layer of the cake and brush the cake with limoncello, pour some citrus pastry cream mixed with canned fruits

10. Place the 4th layer of the cake and brush it with limoncello and smear the top with lemon whipped cream

11. Cut the cake into 4 cakes to make 2″ x 4″ cake

12. Place one 4 layer cake on top of the plate you have drizzled mocha chocolate sauce on the bottom

13. Crush some toasted coconut flakes in your hands and sprinkle some on top of the cake

14. Zest the lemon on top of the cake

15. Place 1 maraschino cherry on top

16. Serve

Makes; 4 cakes ( 2″ x 4″ rectangle cake)

** If you had more time to spend in the kitchen, you can make Nutty Mocha chocolate coconut Macaroon,using leftover egg whites from the cake making and serve them along with the cake.

 It will be the nice addition to the plate.

Nutty Mocha chocolate coconut macaroon..

Ingredients for Nutty Mocha Chocolate coconut macaroon;

2           room temperature egg whites
3/4C    rolled oats ground
1/2C     almond toasted,and ground
1/4C     pecan nuts toasted and ground
1.5 oz    Mocha chocolate sauce melted
1/4C     toasted coconut,ground
1 tsp     Kahula (coffee liqueur)
1/8 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3C     white sugar
1. In the bowl, add 3/4 C Rolled oats ground, toasted nut of your choice 3/4C ( I used 1/2C Almond toasted,ground and 1/4C pecan nuts toasted and ground), 1.5 oz Mocha chocolate sauce (recipe above), 1/4C toasted coconut flakes ground, 1 tsp Kahula (coffee liqueur),1/8 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and mix well

2. In the another bowl, add 2 egg whites that are at the room temperature

3. Beat the egg whites gently to foamy and,speed up and keep beating till soft peak

** “Soft peak” means, when you stop the mixer, and lift it up and the egg white tip gets bended to the side

4. Add 1/3C white sugar and keep beating the egg white

5. Once sugar is added, the egg white should become thicker,glossy looking. Keep beating until stiff peaks

** “Stiff peaks” means, when you stop the mixer and lift it up,the tip of the egg white stay standing up straight without being bended.

** For the better result, make sure all the utensils are dry and clean;bowl,whisk etc.. Egg white is very delicate thing, and a little bit of water, yolk etc can effects on beating egg whites

6. Add stiff peak meringue to a bowl that has Chocolate sauce-nut-oats-coconut mix,a little bit at a time and gently fold the egg whites to the nut mixture

7. When everything is combined well, drop them onto the non stick lined baking sheet,1″-2″ apart and bake them at 350F for about 15 to 20 minutes until edge gets brown.

8. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for about 5-10 minutes and peel it off from the baking sheet and cool them completely on the cooling rack.

 Because of ground rolled oats and ground nut and toasted coconut in them, it becomes Macaroons that are crunchy outside,soft inside.

 If you are looking for chewy texture,use the untoasted coconut flakes and don’t grind them, and omit rolled oats.
Makes: 21 cookies


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Feb 10, 2013 | 0 | Uncategorized

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