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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Strawberries and Cream filled Coconut Cake with Chocolate Ganache

I'm always experimenting with dessert recipes. Changing or adding this or that. Most times they turn out great, while other times not so great. But this time I think I have a winner. This is a very moist and somewhat dense cake, made with fresh juicy Driscoll's strawberries all folded up into rich layers of a sweet, cream cheese and white chocolate filling. Top it off with a creamy chocolate ganache and your holiday meal is complete.
I've also made this cake using fresh Driscoll's raspberries, which is also the perfect ending for your family Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday meal. 
Now let's get started. 
Strawberries and Cream filled Coconut Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients
Cake
1 box white cake mix
1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs (use just the egg whites of 2 or all 4 eggs for a less dense cake)
3/4 of one can of coconut milk, mixed well
2 tsp McCormick's very vanilla extract
2 tsp coconut extract


Filling
8 oz cream cheese-room temperature
4 oz white chocolate-melted
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp McCormick's very vanilla extract
2 tsp coconut extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups fresh Driscoll strawberries, chopped
Fresh strawberries with special thanks to Driscoll's
1 cup fresh Driscoll strawberries, sliced for decorating
2/3 cup shredded coconut

Ganache
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips-melted
1 cup heavy cream

Frosting
1 12 oz tub Cool Whip, thawed

Directions
Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 9" cake pans with cooking spray and flour and set aside.
Empty cake mix in large mixing bowl. Add baking powder and stir together. Open and stir coconut milk until smooth. Pour 3/4 of the can into cake mix and blend at medium speed with mixer for about 3 minutes or until smooth and completely mixed. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg. Mix in vanilla and coconut extracts.
Pour equal parts into each of the three 9" cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until golden brown and top springs back when touched.
Set cake pans on wire racks to cool. Remove one cake layer from pan and place flat side down on cake plate. Using a knife, trim cake layer of any mound so that layer is flat on top. Remove remaining two cake layers from pans and level as well. (Be sure to eat the trimmings!)
Prepare strawberries
Clean and chop enough fresh Driscoll's strawberries to make 2 cups. Clean and slice a separate cup of fresh Driscoll strawberries to decorate top of cake. Set aside.
Prepare ganache
Pour one and a half cups of semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips into microwavable bowl. Add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream. Microwave for one minute and stir until smooth. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
Prepare filling
Break up white chocolate into small pieces in microwavable bowl. Microwave at 30 second intervals until all chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside, stirring periodically until cooled.
Blend cream cheese and extracts on med-high speed until fluffy. Pour in melted white chocolate and mix. Slowly add heavy cream and powdered sugar mixing at med-high speed. Continue to mix until filling thickens. Stir in chopped strawberries and optional 2/3 cup shredded coconut with large spoon or spatula. Place in refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
Remove from refrigerator and pour about half of filling onto center of prepared cake layer, spreading to half inch from edges. Place second cake layer, flat side down on filling and top with remaining filling. Place the last cake layer, flat side down on top. Frost entire cake with Cool Whip and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Remove from refrigerator and pour ganache on top of cake directly in center, allowing to flow down sides. Decorate with fresh sliced strawberries and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.
Enjoy!

Visit Driscolls.com where you'll find recipes for pies, cakes and many other desserts to serve all your holiday needs.
Thanks to Driscoll's for suppling the farm fresh strawberries.