Posts Tagged ‘cake’

Coconut Cake

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Here’s the recipe for David’s birthday cake, his favorite cake…Alton Brown’s Coconut Cake. While this recipe is a lot of trouble, it really does seem to be worth it all. Using the fresh coconut gives the most light and true coconut flavor. It’s incredible how much better it is than the typical sweetened coconut you’re used to using. If you like coconut, you owe it to yourself to try this cake.

Alton Brown’s Coconut Cake with 7-Minute Frosting
As seen on Good Eats

Ingredients:

  • 1 coconut, see Cook’s Note

For the cake:

  • Vegetable oil, for cake pan
  • 14 1/4 ounces cake flour, plus extra for pans, approximately 3 cups
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh coconut cream
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 16 ounces sugar, approximately 2 1/4 cups
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup coconut water

For the 7-Minute Frosting:

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 12 ounces sugar, approximately 1 3/4 cups
  • 1/3 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Grated coconut from 1 coconut, approximately 8 to 10 ounces

Directions

Cook’s Note: To open a coconut: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the coconut onto a folded towel set down in a large bowl. Find the 3 eyes on 1 end of the coconut and using a nail or screwdriver and hammer or meat mallet, hammer holes into 2 of the eyes. Turn the coconut upside down over a container and drain the water from the coconut. Store the water in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Place the coconut onto a 1/2 sheet pan and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. The coconut should have cracked in several places. Using an oyster knife or other dull blade, separate the hard shell from the brown husk. Using a serrated vegetable peeler, peel the brown husk from the coconut meat. Rinse the coconut meat under cool water and pat dry. Break the meat into 2 to 3-inch pieces. With the grater disk attached to a food processor, grate the coconut.

For the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil 2 (9-inch) cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper. Oil the parchment paper and then flour the pan. Set aside.

Place the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.

Combine the coconut milk and coconut cream in small bowl and set aside.

Place the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer and using the paddle attachment, cream on medium speed until fluffy, approximately 1 minute. Decrease the speed to low and gradually add the sugar slowly over 1 to 2 minutes. Once all of the sugar has been added, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides. Turn the mixer back on to medium speed and continue creaming until the mixture noticeably lightens in texture and increases slightly in volume, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the coconut extract.

With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture alternately with the milk mixture to the butter and sugar in 3 batches, ending with the milk mixture. Do not over mix.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the batter, just until combined. Divide the batter evenly between the pans and bang the pans on the counter top several times to remove any air and to distribute the batter evenly in the pan. Place in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 40 minutes or until the cake is light golden in color and reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees F.

Cool the cake in the pans for 10 minutes then remove and transfer to a cooling rack. Once the cakes have cooled completely cut across the equator of each to form 4 layers. Place the 1/3 cup coconut water into a small spritz bottle and spray evenly onto the cut side of the 4 layers. If you do not have a spritz bottle you may brush the coconut water on with a silicone pastry brush. Allow to sit while preparing the frosting.

For the frosting:

Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a 4-quart saucepan over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium to maintain a steady simmer. In the meantime, place the egg whites, sugar, coconut water, cream of tartar and salt into a medium size-mixing bowl. Place the bowl over the simmering water and immediately begin beating with an electric hand mixer set to low speed. Beat for 1 minute and then increase the speed to high and continue to beat for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and beat in the coconut and vanilla extracts for 1 minute. Allow the frosting to sit for 5 minutes before using.

Place approximately 3/4 cup of the frosting on the first layer of cake, sprinkle with 1/2 cup coconut and top with the next layer. Repeat until you reach the top layer. Frost the top and sides of the cake and sprinkle with the remaining coconut. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Another batch of Wedding Cake Pops

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

It’s been a while since I posted, I know. And I’ve got some great recipes coming, up, I swear. But you’re going to have to wait another day or two for those.  Today, we’re headed to Iowa for the wedding of a couple of college friends, Roxy and Jordan. I’m very excited for them, and can’t wait to celebrate with them tonight, but I’m also tired. Because Leah and I were up late making these:

Totally worth it! 😀

I know you’re probably much too busy to be reading this today, but if you happen to see this, Congratulations, Roxy & Jordan!!

Fresh Berry Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Yum.

That’s about all I have to say. This pound cake was delicious. Moist, and tender, and sweet, but not too sweet. The recipe below makes two loaves, but I loaded one up with fresh blueberries and raspberries from the farmer’s market (about half a pint of each).

Pound cake

Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Adapted from Bakerella
.com

  • 3.5 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a medium mixing bowl and set aside. (It’s best if you have a sister or a cousin around to sift the flour for you. It’s much easier that way. Thanks guys!)

3. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter, cream cheese, and sugar for several minutes, until light and smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing completely after each additional egg. (It’s best if you have a mom around to help you count all 6 eggs. Otherwise you might lose track. Thanks mom!) Add vanilla and milk until combined.

4. Add flour mixture in small batches until completely combined.

5. Pour into two greased and floured loaf pans. (Here’s where I added the berries). Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean. (Mine actually took about 75 minutes–the cake with the berries took longer than the plain cake).

Sunday Cake Pop Marathon

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

Leah and I made a whole mess of cake pops today. A double batch! A ton!

pops 2

IMG_2234

These were chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting on the inside (yum!) and pretty baby blue and chocolate brown on the outside, for one of Leah’s co-workers. She’s getting married in about a week, and has fallen in love with some of the past cake pops I’ve made, so she begged Leah to score some for her.

I’m a big softy, I guess, so when Leah offered to pay for the supplies, I said I’d go ahead and make the pops–as long as Leah promised to help.

These turned out beautifully. Only now I’m a little sad–I would’ve loved to have cake pops at my own wedding, if only I’d known about them!

Easter Cake Pops!

Monday, April 13th, 2009

I hope everyone had a Happy Easter…I sure did. We went to my Grandma’s house for a big Easter lunch, before heading over to Dave’s Aunt and Uncle’s house. I had a nice time, even though I was pretty tired by the end of the day. After all, I spent most of Saturday cooking…cake pops!

Once again, I borrowed Bakerella’s cake pop method. Everyone loved them!

They were almost too cute to eat!

Almost.

Key Lime Coconut Cake

Friday, March 20th, 2009

David has two ultimate favorite desserts: Key Lime Pie and Coconut Cake.

So imagine my reaction when I saw this recipe for a Key Lime Coconut Cake on Smitten Kitchen…it went something like “I HAVE to make this for David. Now.”

So I did. The cake is very light and very sweet, and really marries the two flavor profiles nicely. I enjoyed the toasted coconut on top of the cake, and the tang from the key limes. It didn’t have that mouth-popping tart of a real key lime pie, of course, but there was plenty of lime flavor.

Smitten Kitchen‘s Key Lime Coconut Cake
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grated Key lime zest
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups self-rising flour
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup fresh Key lime juice, divided
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon rum (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Generously butter an 8- by 8-inch square or 9- by 2-inch round cake pan and line bottom with a round of parchment paper.

Toast coconut in a small baking pan in oven, stirring once or twice, until golden, 8 to 12 minutes. Cool. Leave oven on.

Beat together butter, granulated sugar, and zest with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir together flour and 1/2 cup coconut (reserve remainder for topping). Stir together milk and 2 tablespoons lime juice. At low speed, mix flour and milk mixtures into egg mixture alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour.

Spoon batter into pan and smooth top. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool to warm, then turn out of pan and discard parchment.

Whisk together confectioners sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice, and rum (if using) and pour over cake. Sprinkle with remaining coconut.

Note: If you don’t have self-rising flour (and I didn’t) you can follow Deb’s instructions to make your own. For every cup of flour, add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of baking powder, whisk together very well and sift the mixture. Measure your self-rising flour from there.

I’m sure I’ll end up making this again. David liked it a lot, and it was much, much easier than the insanely labor intensive Coconut Cake recipe I’ve made. Maybe a little more difficult than the Key Lime Pie recipe I use. Still, it was very good.

Cake Pops!

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

I’ve seen these Cake Pops all over the place online…and really, it’s not surprising. Rich, moist balls of cake, dipped in chocolate? Irresistible. They’re adorable, they’re delicious, and honestly, they aren’t that hard to make.

After reading about them for weeks, I finally took the plunge this week and made a batch of these lovely treats to take to work for St. Patrick’s Day. Since I came home empty-handed, I’d have to say they were a hit.

They were really cute…see?

Here’s how to make them:

Chocolate-Covered Cake Pops
Adapted  from Bakerella

  1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
  2. Mix thoroughly with 1 can frosting. (You can use a spoon, but because I dyed my cake green for St. Patrick’s Day, I really needed to mash it all together. I just put on a pair of latex gloves and smashed it up with my hands). Also, you may not need the entire can of frosting, so start out by using almost the entire can and add more if you need to. When the cake was well mixed with the frosting, I added a green food coloring, a drop at a time, until I got the cake to the bright green color I wanted.
  3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50)
  4. Melt chocolate in the microwave per directions on package. (30 sec intervals, stirring in between.)
  5. Dip the tip of your lollipop stick in a little of the melted candy coating and insert into the cake balls. (Insert a little less than halfway.)
  6. Place them in the freezer for a little while to firm up.
  7. Once firm, carefully insert the cake ball into the candy coating by holding the lollipop stick and rotating until covered. Once covered remove and softly tap and rotate until the excess chocolate falls off. Don’t tap too hard or the cake ball will fall off, too.
  8. Place in a styrofoam block to dry.
  9. T0 make green candy to decorate with, I also melted about 1/4 of a package of candy melts with a small amount of green food coloring to drizzle over some of the cake balls. Others I sprinkled with green sugar crystals or colorful sprinkles.

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Patty Cake

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

I found this recipe on the Food Network website about a year or so ago. I made this for David last winter (maybe around his birthday?) and I knew that we’d be having this again someday. When I was trying to think up a dessert for our big family dinner last weekend, it came to mind again and I thought I’d give it a try. For a cake from scratch, I think it’s very forgiving. This was the first “from scratch” cake I ever made, and I didn’t have any problems at all. I did cheat a little bit when it comes to the garnish, but I don’t think anyone really noticed.

This cake is rich and dark. The texture is heavy like a brownie (not that that’s a bad thing!). If you like York peppermint patties or Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies, I promise, you will not be disappointed by this cake. It even looks like a giant Thin Mint cookie!

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Patty Cake

Serve with whipped cream, cocoa fudge sauce, and a drizzle of mint syrup.

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 14 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used Ghiradelli)
  • 16 tablespoons (8 ounces) butter
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cream
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) small-diced peppermint patty candies (I used York mini patties, cut into sixths).

Ganache Topping:

  • 1 cup cream
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • Whipped cream, for serving

To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter a 9 1/2 to 10-inch springform pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, butter the paper, and flour the pan, tapping out the excess flour.

Melt the chocolate with the butter and cream in the top of a double boiler. Reserve.

In the bowl of a mixer with a whip, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until very thick and light (about 5 minutes). Add the melted chocolate mixture to the egg yolks and mix until just blended. Add the flour, salt, and vanilla and mix until combined, scraping the bowl once or twice. Transfer the batter to a large mixing bowl and stir in the Peppermint Pattie pieces. The mixture will be quite thick.

In a clean mixing bowl, with a clean whip, beat the egg whites to medium soft peaks. Lighten the batter by stirring in about one-third of the egg whites. Fold in the remaining whites and the place batter in the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 45 to 50 minutes. The top of the cake will feel set and very fine hairline cracks will just start to form around the edges. Remove and cool in the pan on a rack.

To make the ganache topping: Heat the cream in a heavy bottomed saucepan to just under a boil. Add the chopped chocolate and, over very low heat, constantly stirring, cook the mixture until it is completely smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until thickened and spreadable. This can take several hours. You can make the topping up to 3 days ahead, refrigerate it, and allow it to come to room temperature for several hours before using. You can also hasten the cooling process by placing the melted ganache over an ice bath and gently stirring it till thickened; however, the resulting texture may not be quite as smooth and creamy.

Place the cooled cake upside down on a cardboard cake circle or a service plate. Remove the sides and bottom of the springform pan. Remove the parchment liner. Using an offset spatula, decoratively spread the ganache over what is now the top of the cake, drawing the ganache all the way out to the edges of the cake. Using the offset spatula, level the edges to give the cake a finished look. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream and a drizzle of mint hot fudge sauce.

Note: The original recipe calls for making your own cocoa fudge sauce and mint syrup to drizzle over the cake when serving. I cheated both times. When I made it for David the first time, I used a store-bought mint chocolate flavored hot fudge, which worked well. This time, I made my own mint-flavored hot fudge by adding a teaspoon of peppermint extract to a jar of store-bought hot fudge. It was delicious, and hard to imagine that all the extra work of creating my own sauces would be worth it. Maybe I’ll try it someday though. Of course, homemade whipped cream is best, but I skipped that too. I didn’t want to make my guests wait around all day while I whipped cream for the cake. I think David got real whipped cream the first time though.