Posted by - Tina
As usual, my baking experience this month was ... eventful. I decided to make the coconut cake for this challenge as an offering for our Annual Transplants Thanksgiving (where me and several of my friends - Aussies and Brits that I met in New York - get together and have a mostly traditional American feast in Merry Ole England), along with my standard pumpkin pie.
Being between contracts, I decided I'd take all day Wednesday and just potter around the kitchen, baking with ease and present my version of Jamie Oliver/Paula Deene's coconut cake to WOW the friends.
I should have known when I nearly left the grocery store without COCONUT that it was going to be a challenging afternoon.
• When the recipe says to cream the softened butter, S-O-F-T butter really is required (not melted, not still mostly chilly but not exactly rock hard: soft).
• When adding flour to a large spinning bowl of said creamed butter, the ensuing dust cloud that floats out over the kitchen is not only cough-inducing, it’s far-reaching. We’re talking several feet in diameter, people.
• Balancing an Ikea bowl inside a pan of boiling water and attempting to use a hand blender to make 7 min un-grainy frosting is nerve wracking. And possibly requires more coordination (or hands) than I possess.
• When the recipe says to cook the cakes for 25-30 minutes, it’s probably best not to rely solely on the visual test (“hmmm, really really brown on top, must be done!”). Use a toothpick. Use several, in fact.
• When flipping a cake out of the pan onto a plate, Listen carefully. If the cake thuds down like a lump of … Oh, I don’t know – uncooked batter, it’s probably not the light, fluffy sponge cake you’re hoping for.
• Electric stove burners stay HOT for a very long time after they’re turned off. So don’t take the cakes out of the oven and set them on one of these hot little burners to ‘cool’. It will keep cooking. Until it burns. And smells.
• Always buy enough ingredients to make 2 batches of cake. Trust me on this.
• Just because you bought cake pans at the same time, it doesn’t make them the same size. Measure.
• Do not get so wrapped up in trying to be artistic in the photo taking process that you don’t see when you’ve accidentally pressed ‘Delete All Files’ on your camera.
If you do, you’ll have no pictures to show your friends of the gorgeous (lopsided) white fluffy coconut cake that eventually turned out absolutely scrummy and was the hit of Transplants Thanksgiving.
I absolutely LOVE coconut cake. But I just don’t think I have the nerve to ever try this recipe again.