Here it is. One of my first official "where has the time gone?" adult moments.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
This weekend I tried my hand at baking my first ever, completely from scratch, cake. I took the new KitchenAid mixer out of the box for the first time since receiving it at a wedding shower last year and got to work.
- 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pans
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 3 cups cake flour, plus more for dusting the pans
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 4 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon imitation coconut extract
- 1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted (I used a bit more to thicken it)
- 6 ounces sweetened shredded coconut (PLEASE NOTE: I preferred the color and texture of toasted coconut for this part, so I baked it on a baking sheet at 325 degrees for about 12 minutes. Mine was already sweetened, but here are instructions for sweetening and toasting your coconut.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans, then line them parchment paper. Grease them again and dust lightly with flour.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light yellow and fluffy. Crack the eggs into a small bowl. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl once during mixing. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well. The mixture might look curdled; don't be concerned.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk to the batter in 3 parts, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the 4 ounces of coconut with a rubber spatula.
Pour the batter evenly into the 2 pans and smooth the top with a knife. Bake in the center of the oven for 35-45 minutes (she suggests 45-55 and that is too long!), until the tops are browned and a cake tester comes out clean.
Cool on a baking rack for 30 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a baking rack to finish cooling.
For the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, almond and coconut extract on low speed. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until just smooth (don't whip!).
To assemble, place 1 layer on a flat serving plate, top side down, and spread with frosting. Place the second layer on top, top side up, and frost the top and sides.
To decorate the cake, sprinkle the top with toasted coconut and lightly press more coconut onto the sides.
On Saturday Dave & I packed a picnic and ventured to Arlington Park for a day of betting on some horse races and soaking in the sun. This was our second celebration of Dave's birthday since we rushed to the Elton John/Billy Joel concert (which was AWESOME!) on the night of his actual day, but we never shared a meal or cake or anything so we just made it a birth-week instead!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Shaken and stirred, but unfortunately, this post is not about a martini.
News like this can really stir me to the core. It makes me realize how precious life is and how crime, whether hate-related or random, is all so senseless yet can leave you feeling so helpless.
Posted by Stephanie at 8:02 PM
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Happy 29th Birthday, Dave! I love you more than words can say.