Sunday, November 29, 2009

Coconut Cake for no good reason

Posted by - Brooke
So this was my first month participating in "Have the Cake". And while I had hoped to make my cake earlier in the month, I found that I was searching for an occasion, a birthday, dinner party etc. Given that Decembers challenge was creeping up on me I decided that yesterday was as good a day as any! I got my spring form pans ready, preheated the oven and embarked on my first coconut cake. I had planned to use a recipe that was passed along by our Have the Cake creator, but found myself a tad intimidated by the frosting which required a double boiler. I opted instead for Ina Gartens recipe; surely the Barefoot Contessa must know what she is doing??

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pans
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pans
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup milk
4 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
For the frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
6 ounces sweetened shredded coconut

Double boiler aside, there were a few hurdles. I accidentally added the vanilla twice instead of the almond extract. And I was ill prepared for the coconut amounts to be measured not in cups but in ounces. So eyeballing that was a tad challenging:

I tried to err on the side of caution, but thought, is this cake supposed to be SO coconutey? Is that even a word? And then the cake batter seemed a little skimpy for my cake pans, I worried it wouldn't rise enough:

And then I was concerned the cake might be a tad overdone:

Surely this would be concealed by the addition of the glorious frosting? Frosting, which for the record was very user-friendly and quite tasty!

All in all I was thrilled to have dusted off my apron. I had forgotten how fun baking is and how much it reminds me of when I was a child. My mother called me periodically throughout the day inquiring about the status of my cake. It was very sweet. And I was reminded that baked goods bring such a smile to peoples faces. The cake (seriously it must weigh ten pounds with the plate) made it safely to my office. Everyone is looking forward to a slice after lunch! And I am looking forward to Decembers challenge which will only take a backseat to my annual tradition of making iced Christmas cookies. Both of which I plan to do with my mom this time!!!


rena said...

That cake looks delicious!

I absolutely love the first photo. It's making me want to have a tea party pronto.

Welcome to the group! Happy Baking :)

Jane said...

I wish I had a slice of your cake right now, this minute, with a fresh cup of coffee. It looks really, really good . . .

Vanillastrawberryspringfields said...

Iove the way u shot this picture-looks like royalty!!!
ofcourse the cake looks elicious too!!

Gina said...

Looks delicious!

Tina said...

That first photo is brilliant! It looks very yummy, and like I want to have a 'spot of tea' with it! :)

Glad you liked the first month!