Thursday, October 15, 2009


Have you ever gone to see a movie by your lonesome? Yesterday was my first time and I actually loved it! I took myself to see "Julie and Julia"- I didn't want to bring any family members  for fear they would be bored out of their minds and give me dirty looks for dragging them along. Their loss!! It was so good! I enjoyed every minute of it and was just amazed ( as usual) at Meryl Streep. She is the best- no matter what role she plays. To say the least, the movie inspired me. I was not aware of Julia Child's life story and she really was a unique person. I can see how Julie became so connected to her.
Of course, I came home started cooking and baking immediately!! This is a coconut cake that I made for my daughter's birthday ( OMG, I have a 28 year old daughter!!). It is a combination and adaptation of numerous recipes I have found for coconut cake and it seems to be the best combination for us!

Coconut Layer Cake ( adapted and concocted from various sources)
Makes 1 3-layer 9-inch cake, but I made it with just two layers and it was fine

1 cup ( 200 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups ( 400 grams) sugar
4 large eggs, at room temp.
1 1/2 cups (210 grams) self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups (175 grams) regular flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tsp. vanilla

3/4 cup milk ( I used a combination of milk and coconut milk- it adds great flavor)
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
5 oz.  ( 150 grams) sweetened, shredded coconut
1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 egg whites ( about 120 grams )
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup cold water
1 1/2 cup ( 100 grams ) sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

Garnish: toasted, shredded coconut
For soaking the cake: few teaspoons of pina colada mix and rum mixed together
Preheat oven to 350F ( 180 C)  Grease and lightly flour 2 or 3 9 in. pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper rounds and lightly grease and flour.
Cream butter until soft and smooth. Add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each. Sift the flours together and alternately with the milk and vanilla, adding the flours last. Divide batter into cake pans and bake for 20- 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool  in pans for 10 -15 min. Remove from pans and cool on wire rack.
Whisk the milk  and sugar in a medium saucepan until completely combined. Stir constantly about 5 minutes until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and add the coconut and vanilla extract. Cover and cool.
When the cake is cooled, poke holes in the bottom layer with a toothpick or fork and gently pour 1/2 the rum-pina colade mix over the cake and let it soak in. I used a small ladle. Spread the filling ( or half of it if you are making a 3 layer cake) and then place the second layer on top and gently pour the rest of the rum mix to soak. The cake should be all ready to ice as soon as the frosting is ready.
Combine egg whites and vanilla inthe bowl of electric mixer and set aside. In a saucepan, combine water , sugar and cream of tartar. When the mix starts to bubble at the edges stir to be sure all the sugar is completely dissolved. Let it come to a rolling boil ( 2-3 minutes) and remove immediately from the heat.
Begin beating the egg whites and vanilla with whisk attachment until foamy. Slowly pour in the sugar syrup, in a steady, slow stream and continue beating on med- high until stiff peaks form but the frosting is still creamy. Frost top and sides of cake.
Toast shredded coconut in a dry pan or in the oven . Watch carefully because it happens really fast! Coat the cake with the toasted coconut.

1 comment:

  1. My son ADORES coconut... I must make that for him sometime.

    Julie & Julia was one of the best movies I have seen in a very long time. Truly spectacular!!!


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