frosting- 4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter at room temperature
frosting- 1 1/2 tablespoons pure coconut extract
frosting- 2 cups unsweetened or sweetened cocount flakes, toasted
Make Cake Layers. Preheat the oven to 350. Butter 4 9-inch cake pans. Line the pans with parchment paper and butter and flour the paper.
Sift flour with cornstarch and salt.
In a standing mixer fitted with the wisk, combine the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Beat at high speed until the mixture is light, fluffy and tripled in volume. With the mixer on, gradually beat in the oil until incorporated.
Gently fold dry ingredients into the beaten-egg mixture until thoroughly incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake the cakes for 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the cakes to a rack and let cool. Unmold the cakes and peel off the parchment paper.
Make the Rum Soak. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with the water and cook over high heat, stirring constantly, just until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let cool, then stir in the rum.
Make the Buttercream Frosting. In a small sucepan, combine the sugar and water and stir over high heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stop stirring, then boil the syrup until it reaches 238 degree (soft ball stage) on a candy thermometer.
Meanwhile, in a standing mixer fitted with a wisk, beat the egg whites until firm peaks form. With the mixer at medium high speed, gradually beat in the hot sugar syrup. Reduce the speed to medium and beat until the meringue is cooled to room temperature (check by feeling outside of mixing bowl). Beat in the butter 2 or 3 tablespoons at a time until all of the butter has been incorporated. Beat in the coconut extract.
Assemble the Cake. Brush the run soak over the cakes. Set one layer on a large plate and spread 1 1/4 cups of the frosting on top. Repeat with the next 2 cake layers. Cover with the final cake layer. Spread the remaining frosting evenly around the side and over the top. Gently press the toasted coconut on the side of the cake.
Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour before serving.
Once the frosting has firmed up, the cake can be covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight.
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