It’s totally worth it, and totally not as difficult as it seems.
My version is dairy-free as I’m lactose intolerant, but the version on Poires au Chocolat is not. The dairy-free version is totally not noticeably dairy-free and adds an extra two layers of coconuttiness (totally a word, ahem), which can only be a good thing!
Mix the dry ingredients together. Probably sieve them, but nothing bad happens if you don’t, I promise.
Whisk the egg yolks and water together with an electric whisk on its highest setting for about a minute. Turn the power down a notch and add the caster sugar. Turn the power back up to high and then whisk for around 5 minutes, until the mixture is pale and thick.
In a separate large bowl (this is the third one!) whisk the egg whites together with your electric whisk until they form those famous stiff white peaks.
Go back to the mixture from step 4 involving egg yolks. Fold the dry ingredients from step 3 bit by bit into the mixture.
When the dry ingredients are completely combined with the egg yolk mixture, fold in a third of the egg white mixture. Then add the rest of the egg white mixture until everything is once more combined.
Pour this mixture into the lined sandwich tins and smooth the top of each one.
Place both tins into the oven and bake them for about half an hour to 40 minutes until they’re spongy and springy to the touch.
Leave each one to cool in the tin for around 15 minutes and then allow to cool properly outside of the tins on a wire rack.
4. The whipped cream:
1 tin of coconut milk.
1 tsp of sugar is optional. Personally I didn’t add it as I felt it would be too sweet.
Leave your tin of coconut milk in the fridge overnight.
The next day, open the tin to see your lovely separated coconut cream. Scoop it out of the tin and whisk it as you would normal whipped cream.
5. The assembly:
Put the first sponge onto a pretty plate.
Lightly spoon half of the rum syrup over the sponge.
Spread half of the custard over the sponge.
Add the next sponge, and repeat steps 2 and 3.
Leave the whole lot to cool down in the fridge for 4 hours.
Then, get out the cake and spread the coconut cream all over the outside. You can sprinkle desiccated coconut on top if you’d like, and some nice berries.