Sunday, July 11, 2010

Awesome Coconut Cake (And Yes, It Tastes Like Coconut)

Okay, are you ready to work your tail off for this delicious confection? I probably did it the hard way but I'm telling you, it was worth every effort when my husband and I took our first bite into this moist coconut cake.

How I went about this was through research and reading ingredients online and wondering if my coconut cake idea would work out with a particular white cake mix. After some time with reading reviews I found a white cake recipe that is absolutely best for this cake. I made a double layered cake and added coconut shavings in the middle frosting for texture.

What I'm about to share is a recipe derived from an Allrecipes member who calls this "Heavenly White Cake." Indeed, it is truly heavenly and sinfully decadent for a white cake especially when you compliment it with your favorite white/vanilla store bought or homemade buttercream frosting. My mind shut down on daily calorie intake while making this. It was a great new experience and I will keep this recipe as a family favorite.

Here's what you'll need to bake an Awesome Coconut Cake:

2 3/4 cups of sifted Cake Flour (I used an asian brand cake flour called Red Lotus.)
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon of Salt
4 Egg Whites
1 1/2 cups of White Sugar (use the real thing)
3/4 cup of Butter (1 1/2 sticks of butter)
1 cup of Coconut Milk
1/2 cup of Milk
2 teaspoons of Vanilla Extract (for the first time used Madagascar Vanilla extract...good stuff)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease your pans of choice. The original recipe calls for a  15 x 10 x 1 pan. I used two 8 x 8 square pans.
  • Sift dry ingredients three times: Cake Flour (yes it's sifted but sift again you must), baking powder and salt.
  • In a bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Then gradually add 1/2 cup of sugar and keep beating till eggs form soft peaks. I recommend bringing your eggs to room temperature 30 minutes prior. Keep beating your eggs and do not give up hope, they do eventually get foamy.
  • In another bowl, cream butter. Gradually add the rest of the sugar. Get the consistency to a creamy state. 
  • Alternating, add the milks (coconut & milk) and sifted ingredients into the butter mixture. Continue to beat after each ingredient gets added. 
  • Add your vanilla and beat well.
  • Finally, fold in your eggs and mix well with a spatula.
  • Pour mixture into your pan(s) and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes. Your cake should be done when you poke a toothpick (I had a thin steak knife) into the center of the cake and the toothpick/knife comes out clean.
  • Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and let cool on wire rack.
  • For frosting, let cake cool completely. 
Just in case you want to know what the packaging looks like for the flour and coconut milk I used.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fruit Tart To Go

I had the pleasure of visiting La Madeleine French Cafe for the first time yesterday. Usually I just pass by the store and think about getting a pain du chocolat (chocolate croissant) but never following through. Lucky for me, I had my sister and her family in town this past week and she is a French food lover.

So we stopped by their bakery and bought a fruit tart and a lemon tart. Yummy!

I tried the fruit tart and found it to be exactly the way I imagined the taste to come off...lightly sweetened, cool and creamy. It was the opposite for my lemon tart. My lemon tart was not quite as tart as I would have wanted and there was too strong of a taste of evaporated milk.  Oh well, it was passable nonetheless.  I did fill out a survey in hopes that they improve their lemon tart. I don't give up on food and restaurants that easily unless the service was a nightmare. And believe me, I'm an extremely patient and understanding customer.

Anyway I just wanted to share my experience with you at a local La Madeleine cafe.  I would definitely visit again because there was so much more I haven't experienced.

Au revoir, mes amis!