THIS IS THE CAKE. The very last one that I made on the very last day of this wretched wonderful 30 cakes gig. And oh man, was it good. Like, really really good.
I had found this insane six-layer coconut beast on Martha Stewart’s site aaaages ago and I was determined to make it. But then the more I looked at the recipe and the more I thought about it, the less I liked the idea of making a cake that required two and a half pounds of butter, more than a quart of heavy cream, and nearly a dozen cups of various sugars. The mere thought is clogging my arteries.
So I found another recipe that looked just as delicious but a little less diabeetus-inducing and I did some Frankensteining. That always makes me a little nervous, but I tell you what, it worked out. It’s never gong to be featured on the heart healthy menu, but it’s a far cry from what it could have been.
Plus, it didn’t turn out a complete disaster. Turns out I can bake, guys! I mean, I’m not shopping for storefronts to open my own bakery yet or anything, but I do all right for myself. And, given that I’ve felt like a failure for a good portion of the last six months of my life, it was nice to end 2013 on a win.
Coconut Cream Cake
adapted from Martha Stewart
2 2/3 sticks (1 cup + 5(+) tablespoons) butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 scant cups flour (don’t quite fill the cups when you measure, or fill them and remove about a tablespoon from one of them)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour your cake pans. I made this in three 6-inch round cake pans. It would also work in two 8- or 9-inch rounds. Work with what you have.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment,
cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5 to 6 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until creamy, occasionally scraping
down sides of the bowl using a spatula.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a
small bowl, mix together cream, coconut milk, and vanilla. With mixer
on low speed, add flour mixture, alternating with cream mixture,
beginning and ending with flour; beat until just combined.
Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted
into the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely on a
wire rack before removing cakes from pans.
Coconut Cream Filling
adapted slightly from Delish
unsweetened coconut milk
In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and coconut milk
and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. In a medium bowl, whisk the
sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in the egg yolks until smooth.
Gradually whisk in half of the hot saffron milk. Scrape the mixture into
the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, whisking, until the saffron
cream is thickened and just comes to a simmer, 4 minutes. Transfer the
cream to a heatproof bowl and stir in the butter. Press a piece of
plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the cream and refrigerate.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8 oz package cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
Beat ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
Place one cake on plate. Spread with filling (use all of it if you’re making a two layer cake, use half if you made three layers). Place the other cake(s) on top of the filling. Frost with cream cheese frosting. Bam. Super easy.
Optional: Spread some (use your best judgement for how much) unsweetened coconut flakes in a large baking pan or cookie sheet. Put in an oven heated to 350 and WATCH IT CLOSELY. It will go from untoasted to burnttoacrisp faster than you think. When it starts turning a nice toasty brown, take it out. Let it cool for a bit, then press it into the sides and/or top of the cake. (I recommend doing this because the added crunch was perfecto, but nobody’s forcing anything here. You do what you want.)