Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter Dinner... Coconut Cake and Asparagus

Well we were invited to some dear friends house for Easter dinner, which besides being able to kiss on their sweet children all night long... the food is always memorable.

My contribution to the evenings meal was a Coconut Cake. Now I have been making a various coconut cakes for years... and still haven't found THE recipe... You know the recipe that makes you stop looking for another. And sadly this Cooks Illustrated version was not THE recipe, but the icing was something that will take sometime to forget.

It was the icing that made me try out the recipe in the first place, but the fact they used the word triumvirate in the description really sealed the deal.  It was basically buttercream and marshmallow combined. You blend egg whites and sugar and cook until just warm and then beat until it is fluffy and glossy. You then add butter until it is rich and thick. It was good.

The cake on the other hand had a lot to be desired. It was tough and arid... and that to me is not a great cake combination. THE search continues.

My favorite part of the holiday meal was the asparagus. Which she blanched and then covered with a garlic-cheese-butter and then broiled. I ate way more than my share and have been obsessing for the past two days about getting some more. I think she told me she got the recipe on Epicurious... I will search now and get back to you...

Asparagus recipe found!!!   YES!   Don't pass go... make this tonight and stock up on bathroom air freshener as you will want to eat this every single night.

Coconut layer Cake
(from Cooks Illustrated)

1 large egg
5 large egg whites
3/4 cup cream of coconut
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
2 1/4 cups cake flour (9 ounces), sifted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 12 pieces, softened, but still cool
2 cups packed sweetened shredded coconut (about 8 ounces)

4 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
pinch table salt
1 pound unsalted butter (4 sticks), each stick cut into 6 pieces, softened, but still cool
1/4 cup cream of coconut
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. For the Cake: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans with shortening and dust with flour.

2. Beat egg whites and whole egg in large measuring cup with fork to combine. Add cream of coconut, water, vanilla, and coconut extract and beat with fork until thoroughly combined.

3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on lowest speed to combine, about 30 seconds. With mixer still running on lowest speed, add butter 1 piece at a time, then beat until mixture resembles coarse meal, with butter bits no larger than small peas, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.

4. With mixer still running, add 1 cup liquid. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 45 seconds. With mixer still running, add remaining 1 cup liquid in steady stream (this should take about 15 seconds). Stop mixer and scrape down bowl with rubber spatula, then beat at medium-high speed to combine, about 15 seconds. (Batter will be thick.)

5. Divide batter between cake pans and level with offset or rubber spatula. Bake until deep golden brown, cakes pull away from sides of pans, and toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes (rotate cakes after about 20 minutes). Do not turn off oven.

6. Cool in pans on wire racks about 10 minutes, then loosen cakes from sides of pans with paring knife, invert cakes onto racks and then re-invert; cool to room temperature.

7. While cakes are cooling, spread shredded coconut on rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until shreds are a mix of golden brown and white, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times. Cool to room temperature.

8. For the Buttercream: Combine whites, sugar, and salt in bowl of standing mixer; set bowl over saucepan containing 1 1/2-inches of barely simmering water. Whisk constantly until mixture is opaque and warm to the touch and registers about 120 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 minutes.

9. Transfer bowl to mixer and beat whites on high speed with whisk attachment until barely warm (about 80 degrees) and whites are glossy and sticky, about 7 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-high and beat in butter 1 piece at a time. Beat in cream of coconut and coconut and vanilla extracts. Stop mixer and scrape bottom and sides of bowl. Continue to beat at medium-high speed until well-combined, about 1 minute.

No comments:

Post a Comment