Monday, October 18, 2010

Oh Nuts!

My second venture going through the Southern Living Ultimate Christmas Cookbook is Hazel's Fresh Coconut Cake. I chose this because my mother in law makes coconut balls every year at Christmas. My husband loves those coconut balls. This would be my coconut contribution for my sweet husband. After all, in the sub title of the recipe it says, "Fresh coconut cake is the essence of Christmas". 

Well, I cheated a little. I didn't buy a coconut and try to break it open. I bought shredded coconut in a bag and bought some coconut milk from Central Market. If you every need coconut milk it isn't in the produce section or the dairy section. It's in the "Asian" section. 

I have to admit, when I'm baking in my kitchen I experience a little piece of heaven. I'm in my zone. It's something I enjoy. It's also something I'm associating with Christmas. I love baking for those around me and sharing a little piece of me. 

I got all of my ingredients together and started mixing. This cake is from scratch! I was at a little of a disadvantage because one of the three pans I needed was from a different brand. So, one of them turned out a little different than the other two. 

While my cakes cooled I started on the "Boiled Icing" that this cake calls for. I had never made it before, but it turned out to be pretty easy. I boiled a half a cup of water with a cup and a half of sugar. It was like liquid glass. I got distracted and it turned crispy in no time. But, it was easy enough to start over and I watched it like a hawk the second time. I added egg whites and some cream of tartar* and a few marshmallows to the hot sugar water mix. 

Once the icing was ready, I brushed coconut milk over each layer and then started icing. I think it would have been easier if I had used my icing bag. Next time. I need to take a refresher course at my favorite cake supply store soon. I'm a little rusty on my stacking and icing technique. Here's a picture of the book version:

The book version has kumquats and crab apples on top for garnish. I don't like either and I couldn't think of a worthy substitute. Here's how mine turned out:

It's not as pretty as the book version, but my hubby and friends said it was very good. I didn't have it because coconut is not my favorite thing on earth. This was for others. 

A cup of love
A pinch of grace
A tablespoon of tenderness
Mixed with friendship, trust and respect. Bake at 350. Serve with a great cup of Dr. Pepper flavored coffee.

*Cream of tartar is not a cream. I found that out the hard way. It took me 20 minutes of staring down all of the spices before I found it. 


  1. The cake was DEEELISH! My wonderful, beautiful wife confirmed once again that she is indeed Betty Crocker!

    It's been a hit here at work as well!!

  2. too bad you can't mail me one of those!! lol

  3. Corri, I'll make the coconut cake again after you come home!