Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Claudia's Coconut Cake
It is hard to pick a favorite of my mother-in-law Claudia's desserts, but I would have to say this one is very near the top of the list. She made it for us one of the very first times that I visited and I'd never had anything like it. As a huge coconut fan, it was right up my alley. I made it for the first time over the weekend and though I had a few minor assembly snafus, it tasted wonderful! I started with a white cake mix. I baked two 9" round layers per the package directions. (I think Claudia actually does this in three layers but I only had 2 pans handy.) While the cake was in the oven, I prepared the filling: 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup milk (skim worked just fine) 2 T flour 2 T butter 12 oz sweetened flaked coconut Mix together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in a splash of vanilla. I set this aside to cool while my cake layers cooled. You then poke some holes (I used the handle of a wooden spoon) in the cake layers and top with the coconut filling. The gooey syrup sinks into them leaving a layer of coconut over the top. When it came time to stack the layers, I decided to sandwich them together, leaving all of the coconut in the middle. This is where I think three layers would work better to more evenly distribute the coconut and cake ratio. Also, because the filling had seeped into my layers, it was extremely difficult to pick the up without breaking them. It would have been better to start with the bottom layer, top it with filling, then stack the second cake layer and topped it with filling once in place. *Claudia let me know that this is indeed the best approach! Next I made the 7 minute frosting. I have always been a little intimidated by 7 minute frosting but I am proud to say that I bit the bullet and gave it a try- successfully I might add! I mixed the following together in my kitchen aid mixer bowl: 1 1/4 cups sugar (recipe calls for 1 1/2 but I cut it back some and it worked great) 2 egg whites 1 T light corn syrup 5 T cold water pinch of salt I then beat it with a handheld mixer over a saucepan of boiling water for 7 minutes and like magic, I had perfectly fluffy, marshmellowy frosting. *You want to be sure that the bowl isn't touching the hot water in the pan. I read that it could make the frosting grainy.* At the very end, you're looking for it to hold peaks similar to a meringue- then add 1 tsp vanilla. This frosting is absolutely delicious with this cake. It makes for a beautiful presentation too!You keep it in the fridge and the best part about it is that it actually gets better of the course of a couple of days as the filling and cake continue to soak into one another. Because the recipe calls for only egg whites (for the cake and the icing), it is relatively low in fat however I'm pretty sure that the astronomic amount of sugar kicks it off the healthy dessert list. (sorry) A small piece will do you- so you could easily serve a crowd with smaller slices. *Annie, if you're reading this, I promise to retract my sugar fangs this week so that I can fit into that bridesmaid dress in 17 days!!!
Posted by Accidental Syrup at 6:12 AM