Monday, 12 November 2012

Nigella's Tropical chocolate and vanilla cake with chocolate collar..

As I've said on previous posts: I love coconut cake. This recipe caught my eye way back in March when I brought Nigella's Feasts cook book and thought I would bake it for an event at my church. The thought of a chocolate cake covered with a Swiss meringue marshmallow frosting (which I've never made before) and covered with desiccated coconut would = perfect cake in my eyes.
I have seen many pictures of this luscious cake on the Internet, but fancied baking a slight variation on this cake, as I wanted this cake original. I decided to take a risk and instead of the suggested two layer cake, I made 4 layers; two layers of chocolate cake and two layers of a vanilla version of the tropical cake, substituting the coco to 4 tablespoons of vanilla and keeping. I also wanted to make a chocolate collar, after seeing Jo Wheatley (2011 winner of the Great British Bake). I added white chocolate buttons but did not have the same finish as I expected. Despite this, I must say turning this cake into a 4 layered chocolate and vanilla cake was one of the best baking decisions I made and I must continue to make more baking risks, if i am ever to be a contestant of the Great British Bake Off in 2020 .......
Here is how my tropical chocolate and vanilla cake turned out:
Tropical chocolate cake with chocolate collar.

Once cut, you could really see the layers much better and the lovely Swiss meringue.
Slice of tropical chocolate cake.

I made the cakes in advance (I tend to find this easier) and placed in the freezer until I was ready to assemble. Nigella suggests to mix the cake in the food processor, unusual but who am I to argue with an author of 9 cook books!.
Tropical vanilla cake mixture. 

I placed the cake mixture in 4 sandwich tins and baked for around 25 minutes.
Tropical vanilla cake pre bake.

Tropical chocolate cake pre bake.

Once baked I left the cakes to cool and then popped into the freezer until I was ready to assemble.
Tropical vanilla cake baked.

To make the Swiss meringue I used egg whites, caster sugar and coconut rum and beat with a hand held mixer for around 7 minutes.
Swiss meringue.

I spread the marshmallow on the chocolate layer and repeated with vanilla cake.
meringue over cakes.

I then repeated until all four layers were covered with Swiss meringue and smoothed and placed in the fridge for the crumb layer.
Crumb layer.

Meanwhile the cake was in the fridge for its crumb layer, I made the chocolate collar. I simply measured the width and height of the cake, drew a line on some baking paper and melted 150g milk chocolate and 100 g dark chocolate. I then spread the melted chocolate over the baking paper and left to softly set which took around 15 minutes. My chocolate collar took some time so I placed a bag of frozen peas underneath the chocolate collar to hurry the process of setting, then placed the chocolate collar over the cake.
2nd layer of meringue over cakes.

Chocolate collar.

I sprinkled dessicated coconut over the top of the cakes to add a snowy style finish.
This cake is perfect for chocolate lovers and those that want a slightly different cake from the usual chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream or ganache. The cake was light, moist and I really think having the two layers of vanilla helped to make the cake even lighter.
Here is the recipe for tropical chocolate cake. To make the meringue for four layers, just double the recipe.
I am entering this to the lovely Dom at Belleau Kitchen who hosts a monthly blogging challenge called random recipes This month Dom asked readers to chose the number of their birthday and cook from that book. Well my birthday is the 21st April (same day as her Majesty) and my 21st book is Nigella Feasts.
I am also entering this recipe to Tea Time Treats jointly hosted by the lovely Karen at Lavendar and Lovage and Kate at What Kate Baked This months theme is cakes, to celebrate their 1 year anniversary of Tea Time Treats.

Finally I'm submitting this to bookmarked recipes, a monthly blogging challenge hosted by Jacqueline from Tinned Tomatoes, which encourages readers to cook or bake a dish that they have book marked. This fulfils this blogging challenge as I book marked this recipe way back in March.




  1. Wow, looks really lovely and the chocolate collar is great! :)

  2. Looks yummy! Loved the chocolate collar as well!

  3. Thanks guys, I wanted the white chocolate buttons to be on the outside of the chocolate collar, but it was not to be ! x

  4. I am sooooo impressed... the chocolate collar is particularly stunning, which ever way round it's supposed to be... I love how brave you are with your baking, simply gorgeous!... thanks so much for taking part this month xx

  5. Awesome work on that collar! you did great!

  6. Like Dom, I am super impressed and the cake is am absolute stunner! Wow! It is gorgeousness wrapped in a chocolate collar! Thanks so much for linking it up to our birthday tea time treats, it's just amazing! Karen

  7. That chocolate collar is so gorgeous! It really does take skill...

  8. Wow! That chocolate collar is wonderful! Great work :)

  9. A chocolate collar sounds like something destined to end in disaster if I tried it - great job for steeling your nerves and going for it - it looks fantastic!

  10. Four layers and the chocolate collar put this cake right into the realm of fabulous! I love that you chilled the chocolate with frozen peas. It gave me a giggle! You are so inventive!


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