I used the recipe that I had used before for the cupcakes. One recipe was perfect for a 6" cake.
For the chocolate cake I baked them off in a sheet pan but this one was a small enough batch to bake right in a 6" round cake pan.
I made the cake and poured it into a "prepared cake pan."
In my experience, far too often cakes stick to the pans though it might be well lubed. So, I always try to line the bottom of everything with parchment paper. Here's a trick to getting the perfect circle for the bottom of a round cake pan. This was for the 6" cake pan.
Take a 1/2 parchment paper and fold it into fourths.
After doing that, I sprayed the inside of the pan with a cooking spray. THEN I put the parchment circle in it so that the paper had something to stick to THEN I sprayed it one more time.
After the cake comes out I take the cake round that will go underneath the cake and wrap it in plastic wrap and place it right on top of the cake.
This traps in all the moisture that will escape from the cake. Some cakes like the red velvet that I make doesn't need it but this cake is more on the dry side so it needs to retain as much moisture as it can.
After the cake has completely cooled (may take several hours with the moisture-lock lid on) I cut the take into 3 layers. I take the same cake pan and line it with something that's called acetate. A clear plastic "paper." This will make unmolding the cake SUPER easy.
The bottom layer goes in the bottom and I filled the cake layers with a coconut cream, which is essentially a pastry cream made with coconut milk instead of regular whole milk then lightened with some heavy cream. Here's the recipe I used adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: My home to yours.
3 Each Egg Yolks
1 Cup Coconut Milk
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Cornstarch, Sifted
3/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 3/4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Softened and Cubed
1 Cup Heavy Cream, Whipped to stiff peaks
In a small pot heat the coconut milk.
Meanwhile, place the yolks in a large mixing bowl. In another smaller bowl combine the sugar and cornstarch and mix well so that there are no lumps of cornstarch.
Slowly whisk in the sugar/cornstarch mixture into the yolks.
After the coconut milk starts to boil, take it off the heat and slowly pour it into the yolk mixture while whisking at the same time. After all the milk has been whisked in, pour it back into the pot and on medium heat continue to cook. It will thicken immediately. Continue whisking for about 1 minute while it's boiling.
Strain into a clean bowl and let it stand for about 5 minutes. Mix in the vanilla then slowly incorporate the butter into the cream. Once the butter is in cover with plastic wrap with the wrap touching all of the surface area of the cream so skin does not form.
Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours or until firm.
Whisk the cream to loosen it up.
Whip about 1 cup of heavy cream and fold it into the cream in 2 batches.
Let it chill in the fridge for a few hours and unmold.