Sunday, February 22, 2009

Of Boy and Cake

Excerpt from one of todays' conversations with Boy:

Boy: "I once rented a movie just because I knew (via yes really.) that Linda Hamilton appeared naked in it.
me: "Linda Hamilton? Was she hot? Because I always sort of thought she was homely"
Boy: "yea, but she had great hair"
me: "yea, I had great hair in the 80's, too"
Boy: "I know."
me: "How do you know, you didn't know me in the 80's?"
Boy: "I've seen pictures."
me: "Ah. So do you secretly pine away for me to go back to my 80's hair?"
Boy: "Hell no. I can't handle you now. I can't imagine what it would have been like trying to handle you back then."
me: "dude. I'm so blogging that."

And then. What captured my first thought upon waking up this morning, pestered the back of my mind the whole day, and caused me to make us eat a salad dinner at the very senior citizen-like hour of 5pm, just so I could get to it sooner?

Coconut Layer Cake

OMFD. This is the cake to beat all cakes, unless you hate coconut. But seriously, even if you are one of those people, this cake is so good it might convert you. It's really, insanely delicious, and I am the worst of the worst when it comes to being a dessert and cake snob so I feel like that is really saying something.
I used to think the coconut cake they have at YUM!, with the seven minute icing was the greatest thing ever, particularly because it has custard between the layers, but this one, ahem....takes the a mile.

I do have a couple of gripes with the recipe, namely that mine sunk in the middle and the cream cheese icing turns out too runny if you make it as written, but with a couple of tiny tweaks, this is now most assuredly the greatest cake recipe in my collection. Like forever. Really.
It's dense and moist and rich with just the right amount contrast via the cream cheese frosting, and it seems to just be getting better after a couple of days in the fridge.
It's cake nirvana.

So the sinking thing, according to the goddess of cake baking, Rose Levy Beranbaum (who has a blog...who knew!), is due to too much baking powder or too big a pan, so despite the fact that I followed the recipe exactly, I think I will take the advice of the reviewers and make 3-8" layers instead of 2-9" next time. Or reduce the baking powder a bit as she suggests. And the icing thing is an easy fix. It calls for 1/2c. of Coco Lopez which is convenient because then between the cake and the frosting you end up using up the whole can, but it's just too much liquid. So you can either scale that back to just a couple of tablespoons (or none, and use coconut extract instead) or increase the powdered sugar by a cup or so, or both.
Anyway, that's why mine looks a little gloppy and unevenly frosted, plus the fact that it was still a bit warm in this photo. But I'm telling you, the end product is so freakin tasty that I can overlook those deficits and wholeheartedly endorse this recipe. It's one you absolutely MUST make. Plus it's sort of gorgeous in all it's shaggy messiness, no?

I did tweak just a bit by lightly toasting the coconut (because not toasting coconut is like not toasting nuts: a failure to capitalize on a major flavor and texture improving opportunity) and adding a 1/4tsp. or so of coconut extract to both the cake batter and the icing, but that's it. With these plus the tweaks I've mentioned above, I know this is going to be my stand-by favorite cake recipe for probably the rest of, like, ever.

So I'm going to go on record here and now and announce that this is the cake I want for every birthday that I am fortunate enough to get to have from now on.
Now, if only I can train Boy to make it, I'll be all set.


So.... it was good then?

(I like the sloppy - looks like it's sagging under the weight of all the frosting and coconut, which is not a bad thing in my books.)
That looks delicious!!!! Yum! Thanks for linking the recipe.
omfd . . . o my fluffy dog . . . o my fricasseed delight . . o my . . . so bad w/ acronyms. love your blog, and your modern home in minneapolis. seeing all you did inspired me to take on our flooring and staining our concrete. i envision you as this little thing taking on these humungo projects, so I think, if little splatgirl can do it! so can I. V. mickey rooney meets home remodeling in north Texas.
omfd, sure, all of the above :)

thanks so much for your nice words, and I'm THRILLED to hear you've been inspired to tackle some DIY! Truly. That's totally one of my biggest reasons for bloging all my nonsense in the first make it all less intimidating and to convince people like you that you're capable, too.
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