Well actually the two occasions. First and most importantly we were celebrating my boyfriend's birthday in one of the best cabins on earth situated in one of the most beautiful places on earth, Tofino B.C. Secondly I was ecstatically celebrating the success of baking my first cake! I used Ina Gartens Coconut Cake recipe with cream cheese icing which is basically the exact same recipe as the Coconut Cupcakes I've talked about before. I figured I couldn't go wrong because I've had such success not only with the cupcakes but Ina's baking recipes in general. I was right to trust my gut, the cake turned out to be fabulous.
To give you an idea of just how good this cake is, my boyfriend who doesn't like sweets went for a second piece and even asked for more the next day. I wouldn't be nearly as excited if it didn't turn out to look like a fluffy marshmallow floating on a cloud. She was a beauty. And so was he, always one to celebrate his birthday in style, my boyfriend grew one year older and as if it were possible, even better.
1 1/2 cups 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
1/2 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 salt
1 cup coconut milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans, then line them with parchment paper. Grease them again and dust lightly with flour. In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar for 3 to 5 minutes, until light yellow and fluffy. Crack the eggs into a small bowl. Add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl during mixing. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well. The mixture might look curdled, don't be concerned. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the coconut milk to the batter in 3 parts, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the coconut. Pour the batter evenly into the 2 pans and smooth the top with a knife. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or just until the tops are lightly browned and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a baking rack for 30 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a baking rack to finish cooling.
2 8 oz packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
In a large bowl using a rubber spatula, mix the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extract. Add the confectioners sugar and mix until just smooth (don't whip.)
To assemble, using a serated knife, select the cake that is the least level and slice of the top to get a flat surface. Spread with a thick layer of frosting. Place the second layer on top, top side up and frost the top and sides. To decorate the cake, sprinkle the top with coconut and lightly press more coconut onto the sides. Serve at room temperature.
Saturday, December 1, 2007