Prep 40 mins Bake 20 mins Cool 1 hour Frost Cake 20 mins Garnish Cake 10 mins Eat 2:30
This Chocolate Samoa Cake with Hazelnuts and Fresh Coconut is not Fresh Food in a Flash, but it is divine. It’s luscious light center of ground hazelnuts and ground Samoa Girl Scout cookies are suspended in a light chiffon cake. It’s wrapped up in a chocolate cream cheese frosting and topped off with jeweled Muscato grapes and fresh grated coconut. Girl Scouts have taken on the challenge of selling cookies for the past 100 years and I encourage you to take on the challenge of making this outrageous fresh cake with their Samoa cookies.
I found baking this cake so relaxing and a wonderful project on a cold day. As I was making it, I realized I needed some tasters, so a spur of the moment Oscars party just happened like that. Don’t you love when that happens?!
Whatever inspiration you need, go out and buy some Girl Scout cookies today…they are on sale through March 12. Store some Samoas in your pantry and when the urge strikes, make this stunning cake for your next impromptu party. So let’s get started and enjoy the ride.
While baking this cake, I hope you learn some new techniques, as I have a few to share. The first is how to separate eggs. The whites CAN HAVE NO YELLOW. But it’s OK for the yellow to have whites. The secret is…let whatever white fall naturally in one small bowl and the rest of the white will stay with the yellow yolk. Do only one egg at a time, then add the eggs into your final bowls. One for yolks and one for whites. and start again with the small bowls. by cracking the shell, keeping yolk in one half, white in other. Turn yolk from one half into the other, letting the white run into a small bowl, yolk into another. Pour each white into large bowl. (This may sound familiar if you’ve read my Chocolate Souffle recipe.)
You will also want to prep your 9-inch round cake pans. DO NOT GREASE PANS. Use parchment paper and trace the pan on the paper and then cut them out.
Next up, prep the Samoa Girl Scout cookies and the Hazelnuts in a few minutes, by simply pulsing them separately in a food processor until they are finely ground, but still have some texture. Place together in a bowl and set aside.
Prepare the two mixtures – first the egg whites, then the yolks. With an electric mixer on high speed, the egg whites will whip up a large quantity, since there is no yolk in them. Add sugar once you see soft peaks and then whip on high again until they are shiny and stiff like above. Using the same beaters, whip up the egg yolks with sugar until they look thick and a light yellow like above. You’ll stir the Samoa and nut mixture, some vanilla, baking bowder and salt into the yolks.
Now the magic happens. Pour the yolk mixture down the side of the egg white bowl, trying not to disturb the egg whites. Then, FOLD SLOWLY, NOT STIR the yolk mixture into the whites with a rubber scraper, using under and over motion, bringing the yolk mixture up through the egg white mixture. Turn the bowl 1/4 turn and repeat ONLY UNTIL IT begins to look combined, THEN STOP. You will still see some small white clouds in the mixture. This is what is going to make your cake light. Divide the mixture between your prepared pans with the parchment circles. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. To cool for one hour…hang each pan upside down between 2 other pans like above.
While the cake is cooling, make the Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting. Yes, this is decadence! First whip together softened butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer and beat in some of the powdered sugar. Chocolate burns easily, so NEVER PUT IN A MICROWAVE OVEN. Boil water in a double boiler and remove from the heat. Melt the chocolate and cream in the top of a double boiler (or a bowl sitting over a pan of boiling water). Watch carefully and use your rubber scraper to stir and test for when the chocolate is melting. Mix and combine to the cream cheese and butter mixture. Continue to add in all the powdered sugar, beating until the frosting is smooth like above.
Now you are ready to frost your beautiful cake. To anchor your cake to the cake plate so it won’t slide around, drop a small drop of frosting onto the cake plate. Run a knife around the side of the cake pan and invert one layer onto the cake plate. I use a professional revolving cake decorating stand and cardboard cake circles, which I love. This way I can move the cake to a cake plate later using a large flat spatula. Remove the parchment paper. Drop some frosting in the center of the cake and using an offset spatula, you swirl the cake plate around as you hold the offset spatula. Continue to add frosting to the center and it will gradually fill to the outside of the cake. Place the second cake layer on top of the first and remove the parchment paper, then repeat frosting the top layer with the same technique. You always want to have plenty of frosting to spread around, as this will avoid the cake crumbs from gathering on your offset spatula as you frost the sides of the cake. Swirl the cake plate around, as your offset spatula, stands straight up on the side. Start with using the frosting falling from the top of the cake and then continue to add more. You’ll smooth it all out in the end.
I love the new Melissa’s Fresh Coconut. The brown shell is gone and you have fresh pieces of coconut you can easily grate with the grating disc for your food processor or just use a box grater. Trust me, there is a difference! In fact, my guests were singing the praises of the fresh coconut after tasting this cake! I have discovered that any extra coconut can go into the freezer for a later use.
Now comes the fun part…garnishing the cake. This is super easy with these fresh Melissa’s Muscato grapes.
These little jewels are easily placed around the edge of the cake and then the fresh grated coconut is dropped in the center.
I hope you felt the effort was worth it. This freshly made Chocolate Samoa Cake with Hazelnuts and Fresh Coconut is glamorous…enough for an Oscars party. It’s jewels shine and it’s decadence is beyond words…and hopefully it will receive an award of its own in the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles and Melissa’s Produce recipe contest. Thank you to the Girl Scouts and Melissa’s Produce for the ingredients and inspiration to bake this beautiful Chocolate Samoa Cake with Hazelnuts and Fresh Coconut. If you want to see another award winner, check out my Tangerine Chiffon Pie, which won first place in the Cake and Pie Category in the 2016 national Girl Scout cookie contest, featured in the February/March 2017 Taste of Home magazine.
If you like this cake, check out my Coconut Cake made with Fresh Coconut.
Chocolate Samoa Cake with Hazelnuts and Fresh Coconut
7 large eggs, room temperature if possible
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup sugar (divided)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups hazelnuts
1 1/2 cups Samoa Girl Scout cookies (7.5-ounce package)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces butter, softened
6 ounces cream cheese
2 ounces dark chocolate chips (1/3 cup)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup + Muscato grapes, sliced lengthwise
1 cup fresh grated coconut
1. Preheat oven to 375° Prep two 9-inch cake pans by placing a parchment circle at the bottom of each. Do not grease the pans.
2. Separate the eggs, placing the whites in a large mixer bowl and the yolks in a small bowl.
3. Prep the Samoa Girl Scout cookies and the hazelnuts by pulsing them separately in a food processor until they are finely ground, but still have some texture. Place together in a bowl and set aside.
4. With mixer at high speed, beat whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.
5. With same beaters, beat yolks on high until thick and light yellow. Gradually beat in remaining 1/2 cup sugar for 3 minutes,until thick and shiny. Add vanilla. With a rubber scraper, mix in ground cookie crumbs, ground hazelnuts, baking powder and salt.
6. Pour the yolk mixture down the side of the egg white bowl, trying not to disturb the egg whites. Then, FOLD SLOWLY, NOT STIR the yolk mixture into the whites with a rubber scraper, using under and over motion, bringing the yolk mixture up through the egg white mixture. Divide the mixture between your prepared pans with the parchment circles. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.
7. To cool the cakes, hang each pan upside down between 2 other pans for one hour.
8. While the cake is cooling, make the Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting. First whip together softened butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer and beat in some of the powdered sugar. Melt the chocolate and cream in the top of a double boiler for a few minutes or so (or a bowl sitting over a pan of boiling water). Watch carefully and use your rubber scraper to stir and test for when the chocolate is melting. Mix the chocolate and combine to the cream cheese and butter mixture. Continue to add in all the powdered sugar, beating until the frosting is smooth.
9. Run a knife around the side of the cake pan and invert one layer onto a cake plate. Remove the parchment paper. Drop some frosting in the center of the cake and using an offset spatula, swirl the cake plate around as you hold the offset spatula. Place the second cake layer on top of the first, frost it and then the sides of the cake.
10. Garnish the top of the cake with Muscato grape halves around the edge and fill the center with the fresh grated coconut.
Servings: 12 – 507 calories per serving