March 13 – Coronut Torte Day
Coconut is so delicious! I love that it’s such a versatile fruit, used in so many cuisines around the world for both sweet and savory dishes. The Coconut Torte is a cake, which I can totally get behind, but instead of it being a flour-based cake, a torte itself is usually made with ground nuts or breadrcumbs. This makes for a very different texture than a normal cake, which is only highlighted by the many layers of the cakes and the coconut cream in between each layer. A torte can also be garnished with any number of fruits and glazes, and of course should have a healthy sprinkling of shaved coconut to give it that extra coconutty flavor 🙂
Because of the rarity of a true ground nut torte in modern pastry, you don’t find many proper tortes in New York City bakeries, let alone a coconut creme torte. But there are some wonderful coconut flavored desserts you’ve just got to try to celebrate this day! One of which is Purple Yam’s Coconut Pie, found in the homey depths of Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. Here at this traditional Filipino eatery, they make a Buko Pie, “buko” being the term for young coconuts, which they import straight from the Phillipines. It’s a fluffy, cream-based confection that really packs in the real coconut taste: unlike other pastries that may use coconut oil or just shaved coconut, Purple Yam takes full advantage of their young coconuts and slices real strips of the fruit right into the creamy pie filling. And the coconut doesn’t stop there: topping the delicious, light pie is a scoop of their homemade coconut ice cream, also made fresh with real ingredients. For the coconut fanatic this is the Mecca of desserts.
1314 Cortelyou Rd (between Argyle Rd & Rugby Rd), Flatbush
“The warm, softball-size dessert’s flaky, cream-based shell is stuffed with tender coconut meat and a thin layer of purple yam custard on the bottom. The pair get their buko shipped from the Philippines, along with jars of macapuno jelly—a type of Philippine coconut palm—which they use to make the sweet ice cream scooped on top of the dish.”–MetroMix
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“Buko pie was amazing. the young coconut pie was topped with Coconut icecream(all his icecream is homemade) and the custard had shreds of young coconut. Oh, I was in heaven. Romy was so sweet he had his chef decorate the plate with a Happy Birthday and my mom’s name. That man understands hospitality.”–Helen Y.
“I love Halo Halo but i was in the mood for something new so I tried the coconut ice cream with the coconut pie. SOOO DELICIOUS. Not only do you get the coconut flakes but also the soft strips of the the real coconut parts inside the pie!!”–Amy C.
If a more traditional, more cakey kind of coconut torte is your style, try out Billy’s Bakery’s coconut cake. Touted as one of the best in the city, it’s made up of yellow cake filled with a coconut creme and covered in vanilla meringue icing. The yellow cake and meringue make this a light, fluffy treat, but the rich coconut creme inside reminds you why you opted for the cake in the first place. It’s a great balance of flavors that works really well. You can buy it either by the slice, or just pick up the whole cake and bring it home for a bunch of friends–everyone else wants to celebrate Coconut Torte day, too!
184 9th Ave (between 21st St & 22nd St)
“And, yes, Billy’s does a mean birthday cake. But really, shouldn’t you consider a gorgeous layer cake for your next dinner party? Think about it: the drama of standing at the table alongside a fluffy white coconut cake, sharp knife in hand, anointing the lucky guest with that first piece. Do it! Buy the cake! Go to heaven!”–Paper And String
“The bakery itself has a charming small town ambiance. Whomever puts the icing on the cakes and cupcakes has a wonderfully heavy hand. The towering coconut cake with a cloud of meringue icing can make any sugar lover swoon.”–The City Cook
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“First, it is several layers of moist, fluffy white cake, baked just perfectly right. None of that “brick” feeling I get with most cakes these days, just white heavenly fluffinness…In between the layers you will find coconut flakes in the most perfect icing I’ve ever tasted, after my grandma’s of course.”–Nina S.
“I got a piece of the coconut cake with meringue frosting. It was delicious and huge.”–Roberto A.