Monday, March 19, 2012

Old Fashioned Coconut Layered Cake

My dad just celebrated his 65th birthday, and my younger brother and his family decided to come up from Texas to help us celebrate.  My step-mom made lasagna, salad and breadsticks and invited the whole extended family (all 27 of them) over for a birthday party this past weekend.  My dad requested an old family favorite, a southern coconut layered cake for dessert.  I dug out the cookbook (which is still currently in my possession from the last time I made this cake, like 10 years ago), which dates back to 1952, is handwritten and refers to ingredients like milk and butter as sweet milk and oleo...when I first made this recipe I had to bring in an interpreter.  I like to bake, so it isn't unusual for me to be assigned dessert at family get togethers, so I happily agreed. 
This recipe is a little time consuming, but it isn't hard, I promise.
(bear with me on the pictures, I've never documented a recipe before)

The recipe even calls for a coconut, not coconut milk and coconut flakes, an actual coconut...can you imagine?  I used the modern conveniences available to me! I have included lots of pictures.

I assembled my ingredients.
Sprayed my pans...this is the best invention ever.  I usually use Pam with Flour for Baking, but this works just as well.

First you beat the egg whites until they are stiff.  Transfer to another bowl.


You cream the sugar and butter, and then you add the egg yolks. Then you alternately add the flour and the milk.  You always want to start and end with the milk.  Once you have this mixed well, you will fold in the egg whites.  Split between three 9 inch cake pans, this will make 3 large layers.

While the cakes are baking, make the filling.

You mix the sugar and flour in a sauce pan, and then add the butter and milk.  Cook until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture forms a syrup.  Let cool.

Take a skewer and punch holes in all three cakes, trying not to go all the way through. You then take the coconut milk and spread it on each layer. Once it has absorbed, continue to add the coconut milk until it is all gone.

Then transfer the bottom layer to a cake plate, spread with half of the coconut filling, add next cake layer and spread with the remaining filling, add the top cake layer.  (My grandmother would cut each layer in two pieces and make this a 6 layer's up to you!  There is plenty of filling if you decide to do that.)

I then made 7 minute frosting, recipe below, and sprinkled coconut on top.  Most of the time, we just make homemade whipped cream and use that as frosting, but because this was a family gathering and I needed the frosting to hold up, I went with the 7 minute frosting.

Finished Product:

This is such a delicious cake, I hope you'll try it some time! 


Old Fashioned Coconut Cake with Coconut Filling
4 cups AP flour, sift before measuring
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup sweet milk
6 eggs, separated
4 tsp. baking powder.

Sift flour and baking powder together four times.  Cream sugar and butter, add egg yolks.  Add flour and milk alternately, then fold in well beaten egg whites.  This makes 3 large layers.  Bake 350 F in moderate oven.

Unsweetened shredded coconut
2 cups sugar
2 level tbsp. flour
3/4 cup sweet milk
2 tbsp. butter
1 can coconut milk, for soaking cake layers

Mix flour and sugar in a sauce pan before adding butter and milk. Cook to syrup.  Add grated coconut after syrup has cooled.  Reserve some coconut to sprinkle on top of cake.  Sponge each cake layer with coconut milk before spreading filling. 

7 Minute Frosting:
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup boiling water
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3 unbeaten egg whites

Mix sugar, cream of tartar, vanilla and egg whites.  Add boiling water.  Beat on high til mixture forms peaks (like meringue) approximately 5-7 minutes.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Questions & Answers x 11

I've been tagged in a game by Amy from Green Eggs and Hamm, and thought it would be fun to join in.

Eleven is the magic number here.  Answer eleven questions, tag eleven other bloggers (or ask everyone to play), and come up with eleven different questions to ask them.

My 11 questions:

1.)  If $10,000 fell from the sky and landed on your porch...what is the first thing you would do?
money money money
Freak the F out and buy new counters for my kitchen, along with a new dishwasher, cooktop and range hood...or be really practical and pay off a credit card like I should.

2.)  You could live anywhere in the world...where would it be?
Union Jack British Flag Girl
I love the good old USof A and love the land that we live in, but if I could live anywhere...I might have to say London or somewhere in England.  I am by no means a world traveler...I've only ever been to England, Ireland, Mexico and Canada, and am not sure Mexico and Canada even count as far as foreign travel and domestically to various US cities and states... I guess you would say I'm an Anglophile (sp?)...I love everything British and love, love, love it over there...

3.)  You get to pick one skill you can suddenly be a master in...what would that skill be? 
Master carpenter/buider?!  I am so jealous of the people that can look at a piece of furniture and think, "no problem, I could make that..."  I would like to think that given the chance and the tools I could do something cool, but I don't see myself being a Master at it, too much math... or Mothering.

4.)  Dream job?  What is it?
Hmmm... I would love to own an antique shop that carried awesome vintage furniture and housewares that are reasonably priced enough that anyone could shop there and would WANT to shop there, and it would have a little cafe with the most delicious homemade food (did I mention that I love to cook) and desserts, and could serve alcohol at night and people would love coming and would want to hang out there - oh and it would make enough money to sustain our family.  Being my own boss would be the best part, because I would never miss a kids program and could always be there to volunteer in their classes.

5.)  City or Country?  and why.
I like the idea of going to the country on weekends or for relaxation, but I think I'm a city girl.  I like clothes and shopping and being around people too much to live in the country all of the time.

6.)  What is your perfect day?
Pool party :)
This shouldn't be hard right?!  I think my perfect day would consist of a hot (but not scorching) sunny day, hanging by the pool with my family, watching the kids play and swim and having good friends over to cook and hang out.

7.)  Favorite meal or snack.
favorite cheetos
Yes.  Unfortunately I love to cook and love to eat, so it's hard to narrow it down. 
Meal: Homemade Mac & Cheese or Chicken & Dumplings
Snack: Puffed Cheetos

8.)  You have a chance to get together with your favorite blogger. 
Who would it be, and what would you plan to do. 

I don't know that I have a favorite blogger, there are so many talented, creative women out there who all bring different things to the table.  I love Shelley from Crazy Wonderful, and Amy from Green Eggs and Hamm, and Roeshel from DIYShowoff, and Mama Laughlin from Mama Lauglin, along with a myriad of other favorites...Come over and hang out at the pool, I'll make you a margarita.

 I think we could all be great friends!

9.)  You can get any haircut/ matter how drastic...and you can have your old hair back in a week.  What would you do?
I'm pretty adventurous when it comes to my hair...right now it's really short, but I've had it really long too. 
 I figure it's just hair and will grow back!  If I were to change it, I would probably die it a really vibrant red (almost cartoonish), I have always loved that look...kind of glam punk!
10.)  Where do live and what do you love about your city.
wichita, ks
Wichita, KS
It's funny, I spent my entire youth planning to live elsewhere, but except for a year I spent in Mississippi, I've lived in my hometown.  I think for a small midwestern city, we have a lot going for us.  We have the arts, close proximity to larger cosmopolitan cities and a friendly community, which makes it a
great place to raise a family.

11.)  What are you obsessing over now?
Everything!  I'm so ADD when it comes to decorating and updating my house.  I can't seem to focus on one room, I jump around a lot.  I can see my tastes changing on a regular basis and am not sure which direction to go.  I am loving the bold modern looks out there, like the chevron patterns and ikat prints, but I also love the vintage loved feeling of furniture too.

Now come play along....whoever wants to.  Link up your post in the comments so I can come read! 
My 11 questions:
1.)  What is one thing you would change about your life if you could change anything?
2.)  What is your perfect vacation?
3.)  What is your favorite food? 
4.) What is your guilty pleasure?
5.)  What is one thing no one (or at least very few) knows about you?
6.)  Which celebrity do you think should be your BFF?
7.) What is one thing you hate?
8.)  If you could meet anyone, who would it be and what would you do together? 
9.) If you could change one thing about your personality or body, what would it be and why? 
10.)  Where do live and what do you love about your city?
11.)  What are you obsessing over now?

Happy Tuesday!

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