Coconut vanilla cake with stone fruit and green almonds

Josh Niland's vanilla coconut cake with stone fruit and green almonds.
Josh Niland's vanilla coconut cake with stone fruit and green almonds. Photo: Edwina Pickles

Josh Niland from Saint Peter in Sydney's Paddington presents this tropical coconut cake whole in the restaurant, carving off individual slices for each guest. Start the dish the day before you intend to serve it.

Ingredients

Dacquoise

50g plain flour

165g almond meal

105g icing sugar

200g egg whites, plus 75g egg whites (about 7 eggs in total)

120g castor sugar

1 vanilla bean, split

17g vanilla extract 

25g double cream

Topping

200g cream, whipped to soft peaks

200g creme fraiche

150g desiccated coconut

4 ripe stone fruit (a mix of plum, apricot, yellow nectarine, white peach)

50ml extra virgin olive oil

juice of half a lime

100g peeled green almonds (see note) 

Method

1. Line a shallow 33cm x 22cm swiss roll pan with baking paper. Spray the paper with non-stick spray. Preheat oven to 150C.

2. To make the dacquoise, sift flour, almond meal and icing sugar together into a medium bowl.

3. In a large clean glass or stainless steel bowl whisk 200g egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add the castor sugar and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form. Set meringue aside.

4. Pour the double cream into a medium bowl, scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean and stir in the vanilla extract and add the extra 75g egg whites. Fold the dry ingredients into the meringue, then fold in the cream mixture.

5. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake at 150c for 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

6. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Once it has firmed, freeze the cake in the pan for about six hours or overnight. 

7. Take a sharp bread knife and cut the frozen cake through the middle so you have two thin sheets.

8. For the topping, combine cream and creme fraiche in a medium bowl and, using a long palette knife, spread the cream across one sheet of cake then stick the other to the top.

9. Once the two sheets are together, evenly spread more cream over the entire cake in a thin layer then cover liberally with desiccated coconut. Return to fridge to allow cream to set.

10. To prepare the fruit, cut into natural looking wedges or halves (whatever your preference) and dress with olive oil and a little lime juice to taste. Spoon dressed fruit and peeled almonds onto the top of the cake and serve immediately.

Note: Green almonds are available from speciality greengrocers such as Thomas Dux or Harris Farm Markets. If unavailable, substitute with good-quality lightly toasted almonds, split lengthways, or lightly toasted quartered macadamias. 

To prepare an individual portion, cut a long bar of cake and serve alongside dressed fruit and peeled green almonds. Cake will last for five to six days refrigerated.