Saturday, November 20, 2010

Southern Coconut Cake

coconutlemon (8)

A lot of treats we've baked up this Movember are full of deep, dark flavours - like beer or chocolate. This was a problem. Yes, those flavours are tasty. And yes, they are quite manly. But what about (gasp) the men who aren't so attuned to those sort of baked goods? Mr. C is not a chocolate guy. Bizarre, I know. He'd rather eat a berry pie than a chocolate chip cookie. So, does that mean something light and fruity can be considered manly? All signs (and Mr. C's awesome mo) point to yes.

That's the great thing about Movember. No matter where you come from, no matter if you're a vanilla or a chocolate guy, no matter if you go to hockey games or to gay bars (or, in a lot of cases, hockey games and gay bars), you are still a man. A man who can grow a freaking awesome mustache. Pretty cool, huh?

I decided to change things up a bit. At the beginning of the week, I baked up a load of Rainbow Velvet Cupcakes inspired by Freddy Mercury. Don't think those are manly? Well just take a look at this man.  I know. That mustache is awesome. 

Next, I wanted to take a look at another manly man who is a bit misunderstood. People think he's a big of an idiot. But the truth is,

He was a really big idiot.

That said, George Armstrong Custer had balls of steel. He fought in both Bull Run and Gettysburg, never once loosing a gun or a colour. That's not saying he was a great guy, though. Many of his men wrote that their leader was a braggard and a bit stuffy. He carried a mirror everywhere with him - probably to make sure that each hair of his mustache was perfectly in place. It was during the end of his career when he got a bit messy. Namely the Battle of Little Big Horn.

Such a man deserves a really light and air-head airy cake. One that reflects his Southern graces. And his golden mustache.

coconutlemon (3)

This Southern Coconut Cake is something that dreams are made of. The light cake and coconut are perfectly balanced out by the super tart lemon curd that was slathered between the layers. Most coconut cakes that are born down in the southern states are absolutely slathered in cream cheese and butter. Not this one. The frosting is not so sweet and retains the bite of cream cheese that really complements (rather than overpower) the rest of the cake. 

Does it look manly? Maybe not. But the inspiration and the taste are enough to make you pick a fight with Sitting Bull.

Southern Coconut Cake

6 large eggs, separated
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 can (400mL) of full fat coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1) Oil two 9 inch cake pans and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2) In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3) In a large bowl, cream together your butter and sugar until really light and fluffy. Slowly add 1 1/2 cup of the sugar until incorporated, then mix in the egg yolks, one at a time, beating really well after each addition.

4) Alternately mix in the flour mixture and coconut milk with a wooden spoon in three batches, always ending with the flour. When it has just begun to incorporate, set aside.

5) Take your egg whites and pour them in your clean mixing bowl. Add the cream of tartar and the rest of the sugar and whip until you can form hard, glossy peaks. With a spatula, slowly and carefully fold the egg whites into your batter, making sure that the whites don't deflate. Do not overmix.

6) Divide the batter into your two cake pans, making sure to smooth the surface with your spatula. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until your tester comes out clean and the top of your cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. Set out to cool.

Lemon Curd
3 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into small cubes

1) In the top of your double boiler, heat up your egg, lemon juice, and sugar. Whisk until your mixer covers the back of your spoon and has reached a temperature of 160 degrees.

2) Take off the heat and add the butter, whisking to help everything melt together. Add the zest and let it cool.

3) Place it in the fridge with a piece of plastic wrap touching across the top (so you don't get an icky skin on it). Wait until it's really cool and thick before using it on your cake.

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup butter
1 to 2 tablespoon coconut milk (or regular milk)
about 2 cups of icing sugar (it all depends on how thick you'd like your frosting)

1) Cream your cream cheese, butter, and milk together until everything is light and creamy. Add the icing sugar in small batches until it's the right consistency for you. We used a really thin, not very sweet frosting, but the traditional is much much thicker. Experiment with the ingredients until you like what you see.

With a serrated knife, cut each cake layer in half horizontally. Carefully place one cake layer on your serving plate and spread with the frosting. Take another cake layer, spread about 1/3 of the lemon curd and sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons of coconut. Carefully flip the custard layer on top of the frosting layer. Continue with the next layers, stacking and filling with the lemon curd and frosting. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the frosting and then cover with coconut. Place in fridge until serving.

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Elisabeth said...

How can any cake be more amazing than coconut, with homemade lemon curd filling, and creme cheese frosting?!
This is over the top beautiful!
Thanks for sharing!

zerrin said...

Oh my! Look at this, how moist it is! Amazing! ı love the leomn curd filling. Yum yum!

Monet said...

This post made me smile...and write down the recipe on a recipe card. I loved how you included good ol' General Custer too! Coconut milk is quickly becoming one of my kitchen favorites, so I can't wait to whip this cake up! Thank you for sharing. I hope you have a great week!

Anonymous said...

That looks like heaven! It truly does...there is nothing better to me than coconut in a cake!

Love Your Cake said...

wow. my mind is blown! i am going to attempt this for xmas :) looks amazing! thank you!

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