Saturday, April 3, 2010

Tomorrow the Cadbury Mini Eggs and Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs are MINE!

I baked the cake and cooked the frosting today. That’s right. I cooked the frosting. Technically it was an Italian meringue and it tasted like marshmallows. Like that Fluff stuff. That’s probably exactly what it was. Anyway, beating egg whites, boiling sugar and water, then beating them together for eight minutes sort of clarified the whole frosting in a can thing for me. It exists for a reason. Equally, no even more, intensive was the whole dealing with the coconut bit. It was easy to get the liquid out (I hammered a nail into those three holes and placed it over a cup) but getting to the good stuff and shredding it was the time consuming part. I did learn one trick: Put the coconut in the oven set at 375° degrees for 25 minutes and the hard outer shell will crack. You still need to take a hammer to it but it comes apart easily and the meat comes away from the shell without any trouble. So, if you’re still interested in a scratch coconut cake, here you go:

Fresh Coconut Cake

Cake:Cooking spray

1 tablespoon cake flour

12 ounces sifted cake flour (about 3 cups)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups sugar, divided

2/3 cup butter, softened

1 cup warm coconut water (from 1 small brown coconut)

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 large egg whites

Frosting:

4 large egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoon sugar

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups shaved fresh coconut, toasted

Preparation

1. To prepare the cake, preheat oven to 350°.

2. Lightly coat 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray; line bottom of pans with parchment paper. Lightly coat parchment paper with cooking spray; dust pans with 1 tablespoon flour.

3. Combine 12 ounces (about 3 cups) flour, baking powder, and salt; stir with a whisk. Place 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 1/2 minutes or until well blended. Add flour mixture and coconut water alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. In a separate bowl, beat 6 egg whites on high speed until foamy using clean, dry beaters. Add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form (do not overbeat). Carefully fold egg whites into batter; pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on wire racks; remove from pans. Discard wax paper. Cool completely on wire racks.

4. To prepare frosting, combine 4 egg whites, cream of tartar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Add 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Combine remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until candy thermometer registers 250°. With mixer on low speed, pour hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over egg whites. Gradually increase speed to high; beat 8 minutes or until thick and cool. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla.

5. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate, and spread with 1 cup frosting. Top with another cake layer. Repeat procedure with 1 cup frosting and remaining cake layer, ending with cake layer on top. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Gently press shaved coconut onto top and sides of cake. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.

The kids dyed the eggs this afternoon and as always made a big old mess. Which I guess is fine if you put down enough newspaper. Which I didn’t. I hope the Soft Scrub with Bleach will get that red stain off Mom’s table—it’s the only thing that works on my counters when the kids spill Crystal Light powder. Which, now that I think of it, I wonder what that does to one’s insides as far as color goes. Anyway, Kenny and Sierra worked to make their eggs look like rocks, while Sam and Michael Jr. went for brighter colors. Josh had no patience whatsoever and would dip the eggs (without the little metal dipper, of course) for only a moment and pull it out with completely unbridled enthusiasm. He LOVES this. I guess they all do. I know Tom and I dyed eggs until he graduated from high school so I must’ve been 20 the last time I dyed them as a ‘kid’. That isn’t creepy, like Trick or Treating when you’re 20, is it? Maybe I’ve overshared . . .

The rain and wind kept up as predicted but it didn’t seem to bother the wildlife much. Josh was especially interested in the elk and humming birds and walked around with Grandma’s binoculars around his neck just in case he needed to check them out. There’s a big herd of elk across the street and after dinner I rode Mom’s bike up the drive and down the road to get a better view. Actually, I have no idea if this was a big herd. How many elk are usually in a herd? There were a little more than 20 of them. Anyway, they were interested in the camera flash but not spooked. They are so cool. Sometimes it’s like Northwest Trek around here.

And those humming birds. Where do they go when it rains? And do they ever stop moving? Do they get tired? Do they sleep? I guess they must lay eggs somewhere but for the life of me I can’t imagine them stopping for a second to take a deep breath and chill out. I’m sad to say that my chilling out is just about done and real life waits just around the bend. *sighs* Happy Easter to you. I hope you take some time to chill out with your loved ones and remember why it’s a day of celebration. I’ll give you a hint: It doesn’t have much to do with colored eggs, rabbits, or chocolate. Just the same, I have laid aside some Cadbury Mini Eggs and Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs because, you know, it’s me we’re talking about.

1 comment:

So, what do you think?