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.