Saturday was an evening with my best girls. We refer to ourselves as the Butterflies, having all gotten the same butterfly tattoo on a trip to Portland for a girls weekend. Getting together with this group, I am guaranteed to laugh until it hurts. When I say laugh, I mean, bent over, eyes tearing, coughing, gagging laughter. Sounds fun right? Anyway, I did tell them I created a food blog and would love to mention them in it, even have them make guest appearances, as if I had this wildly popular talk show. They collectively told me that I would not be able to use their names and that they would prefer pseudonyms, except these pseudonyms all sounded like "stripper" stage names. I got a Jasmine, Lexie and I think I heard a Candy too. Anyway, I just wanted to end by saying I feel really badly that I laughed at Gretchen's....I mean "Lexie's" cat that just had a stroke. I don't think stroke's are funny, but when my friend Karen....I mean "Jasmine" said, "what's wrong with the cat?" and the cat turned to me with half of his face palsied, I couldn't stop laughing and I feel bad because I keep thinking about the cat and laughing. It's not like strokes are funny, but laughing and joking are my defense mechanism.
Anyway, on to the food.... I made a Southern Coconut Cake from the cookbook Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes. I tried Ina Gartens recipe first, but I wanted something lighter and moist and I will never use another Coconut Cake recipe...EVER.
Southern Coconut Cake:
For the cake:
5 Large eggs whites
1/2 cup of Milk
2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
3 cups cake flour
2 1/3 cup sugar
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter at warm room temperature
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
Cream cheese Buttercream frosting and 2 1/2 cups of coconut flakes
Special utensils: Candy Thermometer
Preheat oven to 350, line bottom of 3 8 inch round baking pans with parchment paper (cut in circles). I spray mine with pam and add a bit of flour and tap out any excess flour
Put egg whites in bowl, whisk slightly and add the 1/2 cup of milk and vanilla, whisk thoroughly.
In another bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, I put my dry ingredients through sifter once, then add the warm butter and coconut milk to the dry ingredients and blend to combine, then raise speed and beat until light and fluffy about 2 minutes.
Add egg white mixture in 2 - 3 additions, scraping sides of bowl and divide the batter among pans.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.
12 oz of cream cheese slightly chilled
1 stick of butter plus 6 tbs (7oz) unsalted butter at room tempature
1 cup of confectioners sugar, sifted after measuring
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup of water
3 egg whites
Whip cream cheese on medium speed until slightly fluffy and add butter 1-2 tablespoon's at a time until smooth. Add confectioner's sugar and vanilla, mix until fluffy. Set aside at room tempature while buttercream is made.
Combine granulated sugar and water to saucepan and bring to boil stirring to disolve sugar, continue to boil without stirring until syrup reaches softball stage of 228 degree's.
Meanwhile, place egg whites in mixer bowl and when syrup is ready, start beating the egg whites first and start to drizzle the syrup into the egg whites slowly. Keep it away from beaters to avoid splash, when the syrup is all incorporated, raise speed of mixer to med-high and beat until mixture has cooled and a stiff meringue forms, with mixer on low, begin adding the cream cheese mixture by spoonfuls, when this is incorporated, raise speed to medium and whip until frosting is smooth and fluffy
Place first layer flat side up, on cake round (with aluminum foil or parchment paper to cover the cake round)
Cover layer with about 1 cup of buttercream and spread to edges, then sprinkle 1/2 cup coconut over frosting and add second layer of cake and repeat process.
Top the final layer of cake and frost the top and sides. My method of adding coconut is to just bunch it in my hands and slowly roll it over the sides of the cake while turning on cake round. You can also cover the top of the cake with coconut, but I used decorative sugar.
Leave in refridgerator about an hour to firm up the frosting