Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Wrap coconut in a kitchen towel, and place in oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and place on a work surface. Reduce oven to 250 degrees F. Tap coconut with a hammer until it cracks in several places; break it into pieces. The white flesh should be slightly pulling away from the hard shell. Separate it, keeping pieces of coconut as large as possible. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the largest pieces of coconut into long curls, and place on a baking sheet in oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, just until dry. Grate the smaller pieces on the small holes of a box grater. 1/2 cup will be needed for the cake filling. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 12 by 17-inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper, and set aside. Place the egg yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until pale yellow, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl, and set aside. Wash and dry mixer bowl. Place egg whites in bowl of electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium high, and add sugar gradually, whipping until stiff peaks form. Transfer egg-white mixture to a large bowl. Using a rubber spatula, fold egg-yolk mixture into egg-white mixture. Sift cocoa powder and flour over top, and gently fold in. Pour batter into prepared pan, and smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake until cake springs bake when touched, 9 to 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven, and immediately turn cake out onto a wire rack lined with parchment paper. Peel parchment paper from top of cake, and cool completely. Place a clean kitchen towel on work surface. Transfer cake on parchment paper to towel. Using a pastry brush, coat cake with rum. Using an offset spatula, spread White Chocolate Mousse over cake. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup freshly grated coconut. With a short end of cake facing you, roll carefully into a roulade. Wrap in a kitchen towel, and secure with clothespins or large metal binder clops to hold the roll in a tight round shape. Place on a baking sheet, and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. Remove from refrigerator, and unwrap. Using a serrated knife, trim the ends of the roll, cutting on the bias. Choose the prettier end, and place it, cut-side up, on the log, forming a branch. If desired, use the other cut end for a second branch. Transfer the log to a serving platter, Slide 5 pieces of parchment paper under the log to protect the tray while decorating. Coat with Seven Minute Frosting using an offset spatula. Remove parchment pieces. Decorate with Meringue Mushrooms, Snowy Chocolate Truffles, coconut shavings, and Rosemary Sprigs.
Dissolve gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water, and set aside for 5 minutes. Place chocolate in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until very finely chopped. Prepare an ice bath; set aside. Place 3/4 cup cream in a small saucepan, and bring just to a boil over medium-high heat. Add gelatin, and stir for 30 seconds to dissolve completely. Pour into food processor with the motor running, and process until chocolate mixture is smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and place over ice bath. Stirring until thick enough to hold ribbons. Whip remaining 1 3/4 cups heavy cream to soft peaks. Fold into chocolate mixture. If not using immediately, refrigerate in an airtight container. Yield: 5 1/2 cups
In a small heavy saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup water. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Increase heat to medium high; bring to a boil. Wash down sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Cook without stirring until a candy thermometer reaches 235 degrees F. Whisk egg whites in an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 1/2 minutes. Gradually add remaining tablespoon sugar, and reduce speed to medium low. Remove syrup from heat, and pour in a steady stream down sides of bowl. Increase speed to medium high, and beat until cool, about 7 minutes. Add vanilla, and beat until fully incorporated. The frosting should be shiny and smooth and hold stiff peaks. Use immediately. Yield: 4 1/2 cups
Heat oven to 200 degrees F. Place Swiss Meringue in an 18-inch pastry bag fitted with a large 3/4 inch round tip. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Pipe meringue, forming domes 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Pipe a stem shape for each dome. Place baking sheets in oven for 1 hour, reduce heat to 175 degrees F and continue baking until meringues are completely dry to the touch, but not browned, 45 to 60 minutes more. Fill a medium saucepan 1/4 full with water. Set over medium heat, and bring water to a simmer. Place bittersweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl, and set over simmering water. Turn off heat; stir occasionally until completely melted. Using an offset spatula, spread bottoms of domed meringues with chocolate; let sit at room temperature. Place white chocolate in a heatproof bowl, and set over simmering water. Turn off heat; stir occasionally until completely melted. Allow to cool slightly. Spread white chocolate over dark chocolate; use a toothpick to create lines from the center of the cap to the edges. Let set in a cool, dry place. Poke a small hole in the center of each mushroom cap using a paring knife. Dip the pointed end of each of the mushroom stems in melted white chocolate, and insert into hole in center of cap. Allow to set. Meringue mushrooms should be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Yield: about 30
Fill a medium saucepan 1/4 full with water. Set over medium heat; bring water to a simmer. Combine egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer and place over saucepan. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, about 3 minutes. Rub the mixture between fingers to test. Transfer bowl to mixer stand, and whip, starting on low speed and gradually increasing to high, until meringue is cool and stiff glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes. Add vanilla; mix until combined. Use immediately. Yield: about 4 cups
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place almonds, if using, on a baking sheet, and toast until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Use a serrated knife to finely chop chocolate. Place in a heatproof bowl; set aside. Place cream in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour directly over chopped chocolate, stirring to fully incorporate. Let stand for 10 minutes. Stir until completely smooth. Allow to cool for 20 minutes. Stir in almonds, if using, and place in the refrigerator until set. Use a melon baller or 1 1/4-inch ice-cream scoop to portion out chocolate. Roll the mixture between palms to form 1-inch truffles. Keep stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Toss in confectioners' sugar to coat before serving. Yield: about 50
In a small bowl, combine egg white with 1 tablespoon water. Whisk well. Brush glaze onto rosemary sprigs. Coat in sugar. Set aside to dry.
Consumption of raw or undercooked eggs, shellfish and meat may increase the risk of foodborne illness.
(c)2003 Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.