Celebrating the Coconut Torte

Celebrating the Coconut Torte.
That airy ethereal confection so right for springtime occasions–whether holidays or garden parties, showers…always elegant.
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Coconut-Macaroon Tartlets
courtesy of Martha Stewart
1 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
1/2 ounce crystallized ginger, finely chopped
Vegetable-oil cooking spray
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the coconut, egg whites, and sugar.
Mix until the mixture holds together when you squeeze it in the palm of your hand.  Coat twelve
2-inch brioche or tartlet tins with cooking spray. Form 1 heaping tablespoon coconut mixture into a ball. Press ball into a tin, making a thumb print in the center and pressing out so mixture forms a 1/4-inch-thick “crust.” Repeat with remaining coconut mixture and tins. Place tins on an unlined baking sheet.  Bake crusts until golden brown, about 25 minutes.  Remove baking sheet from oven, and let crusts cool slightly. Turn out crusts onto a wire rack, and let cool completely. Pour cream into a chilled mixing bowl. Scrape vanilla seeds into cream; reserve pod for another use. Whisk until soft peaks form. Fill each crust with whipped cream; garnish with crystallized ginger. Serve.
…and this dreamy confection…
Macademia Coconut Torte
courtesy of Godiva® Chocolate
4 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
½  cup fine saltine cracker crumbs
¼  cup finely chopped macadamia nuts
2 bars (1.5 ounces each) Godiva® Milk Chocolate with Coconut and Macadamia nuts, finely chopped
1½  teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup heavy cream
6 bars (1.5 ounces each) Godiva® Milk Chocolate, finely chopped
2 bars (1.5 ounces each) Godiva® Milk Chocolate with Coconut and Macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
Natural shredded coconut (available at health food or specialty stores)
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325ºF. Butter bottom and side of a 9-inch springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper round, cut to fit. Place yolks in bowl of heavy duty electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment.  Beat until yolks are thick and pale. Slowly add 1 cup confectioners’ sugar and continue to beat until blended. Stir in crumbs, nuts, chopped chocolate bars and baking powder and mix well. Place egg whites in clean bowl fitted with cleaned whisk attachment and beat until soft peaks form. Slowly beat in remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, continuing to beat until stiff but not dry. Using whisk attachment, gently stir a third of the egg whites into batter until combined, then gently fold in remaining egg whites. Spread lightly into prepared pan and bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Run a knife around the edge, remove rim and let cool.
Prepare frosting:
Place heavy cream in a 2- or 4-cup liquid measure. Place milk chocolate bars in a bowl. Microwave cream on high for 2 minutes or until it comes to a boil (watch it carefully so it doesn’t boil over). Pour cream over milk chocolate bars. Let rest 30 seconds, then stir until chocolate is completely smooth and melted. Let cool for 20 minutes then whisk until completely cool and chocolate starts to thicken to spread able consistency. Stir in coconut macadamia bars.
Place cake on plate. Using an offset spatula, spread frosting on sides and top of cake until well covered. Garnish sides of cake with shredded coconut.  Store cake in refrigerator until 30 minutes before serving.
Coconut Cream Tart
For crust:
7 1/2 oz shortbread cookies finely ground (2 cups)
1 1/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
For the coconut custard:
1 cup whole milk
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup well-stirred canned cream of coconut  such as Coco López
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
For the cream topping:
1 cup chilled heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon sugar
Special equipment: a 9-inch round fluted tart pan (1 inch deep) with removable bottom
Make crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Pulse cookie crumbs, coconut, and butter in a food processor until coconut is finely ground, then press evenly onto bottom and up side of tart pan. Bake in middle of oven until golden, about 16 minutes, then cool completely in pan on a rack.
Make custard:
Stir together milk and cornstarch until well blended.
Bring heavy cream and cream of coconut to a boil in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat, whisking occasionally. Whisk cornstarch mixture, then add to cream in a stream, whisking. Boil custard, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Remove from heat and immediately whisk in eggs and coconut extract. Pour custard into cooled crust and smooth top. Cover custard with a round of wax paper (to prevent a skin from forming) and cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Chill tart until set, at least 4 hours.
Make topping:
Beat together cream, sour cream, and sugar with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Remove wax paper from tart and spread cream evenly over tart.
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