Usually at this time of year, all sweet cravings are fixed on chocolate. This year, I am trying something equally delicious and naturally sexy. My coconut cake is moist, aromatic and just as romantic as any chocolate.

Coconut is a natural aphrodisiac. YAY! That's just one more reason to enjoy the health benefits of this member of the palm family. It is also a natural source of calcium, potassium and magnesium, which brings us to the aphrodisiac part. With its powerful punch of minerals and electrolytes, coconut boosts circulation and blood flow, which means that coconut is naturally sexy! In addition (and as if that weren't reason enough to make this cake), coconut is high in vitamin C (good for looking and feeling young) and boosts metabolism. With all that good stuff going on, whose love life doesn’t need a little coconut? And who could say no to this moist and delicious cake? 

My coconut cake gets its natural, delicious, moist texture from a double whammy of coconut oil and coconut yogurt. These power house ingredients taste great and are good for you. Many coconut cake recipes are loaded with too much sugar and artificial flavors. Not this cake! It is natural, fresh and exotic.

I have also been baking almost exclusively with spelt flour and am amorous over the results. Spelt is an ancient grain that is not a genetically modified organism (GMO) and is the same as it was over 9000 years ago when growing in the Middle Eastern and European mountain valleys. Environmental pollutants have little effect on the well protected kernel. The husk is hearty and protects the inner kernel making spelt more water soluble, and the proteins, especially the gluten, is more easily broken down and digestible.

DREAMY COCONUT CAKE

Ingredients:
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 cup white spelt flour, sifted
1/2 cup unflavored coconut yogurt
2 tsp vanilla extract (Tahitian is my favorite)

Coconut Milk Soak:
1/2 to 3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 to 1 tsp vanilla (Tahitian is my favorite)

1. Whisk together and set aside.
 
Preheat oven to 176 C, grease a 9X9 cake pan with coconut oil

1. Cream the coconut oil and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for a few seconds in between each addition.
 
2. Alternate the dry ingredients and the coconut yogurt, beating for several seconds in between each addition. Add the vanilla.
 
3. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick, inserted, comes out clean.
 
4. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes on a rack. Poke holes in the cake with a chopstick or wooden spoon.
 
5. Pour the coconut milk “soak” over the cake and allow it to soak in completely.
 
6. Once the cake is completely cool, about 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator, frost the cake.
 
Creamy Coconut Frosting:
3 tablespoons coconut oil, softened
1 1/2 sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons coconut yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (Tahitian is my favorite)
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Garnish: toasted coconut

1. In a high speed mixer, mix all the ingredients together until light and fluffy.
 
2. The cake must be completely cool or the frosting will melt!
 
Chef Laura Frankel is Executive Chef for Spertus Kosher Catering and author of Jewish Cooking for All Seasons, and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes.



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