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Chocolate Flake Coconut Cake

1 recipe Custard Filling (see below)
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. almond extract
1 cup granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
1 cup minus 2 Tbsp. milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces, chopped fine
2 egg whites
1 cup flaked coconut (can be unsweetened variety)
1 cup heavy cream

Custard Filling

1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 egg
2/3 cup milk, scalded
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup heavy cream, whipped

Make, cool, and refrigerate custard filling: In top of double
boiler, mix sugar, flour, salt. Slightly beat egg, gradually add
scalded milk, then slowly stir into sugar mixture. Cook over
boiling water for 8 minutes stirring constantly. Mixture may become
very thick and even lumpy, but this is normal so don't worry.
Cool, stirring occasionally. Add almond and vanilla extracts. Fold
in whipped heavy cream. Refrigerate until needed.

Grease and flour two 8-inch layer cake pans. Preheat oven to 180
C (350 F).

Sift flour with baking powder three times.

In a large bowl, at medium speed, mix butter, salt and almond
extract until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating well.
Add egg yolks and blend well.

With mixer at low speed, add flour mixture alternately with the
milk, beating after each addition just until well blended. Then
stir in chocolate.

Beat egg whites until stiff and gently fold into the batter. Turn
batter into prepared pans; sprinkle each pan of batter with 1/2
cup coconut. Bake for 35 minutes, or until cakes spring back when
lightly touched with finger and a tester comes out clean. Cool 5
minutes in the pans, turn out onto racks to finish cooling.

On a cake plate, arrange layers with bottoms together and Creamy
Custard Filling in between. Generously frost side of cake with
whipped cream. Refrigerate until served.


Notes:

It's easier to chop the choc. chips if you chill them first.

For a three-layer cake, double all ingredients in custard filling
except use only one egg. Make one set, then a second set of cake
layers (fourth cake layer can be split, filled with some whipped
cream and eaten separately). Increase heavy cream for frosting to
1 1/2 cups.

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