Saturday, November 5, 2011
Today our little family business is celebrating its 2nd anniversary! These last two years have been amazing, like nothing we could have EVER imagined. We are blessed with the most dedicated staff and customers who all seem to embrace our business as if it's their own.
Right now my husband and our staff are working as fast as humanly possible serving discounted drinks as a birthday gift to our loyal and loving customers. So it only seems fair that I should whip them up some healthy snacks (like this kale salad and this beet & apple slaw) and some birthday cake to fuel them throughout this busy day.
Truthfully I don't make cakes very often, although I don't really know why that is. I do enjoy eating cake and now that I have a fancy schmancy stand mixer it certainly isn't anymore difficult or time consuming than any other dessert I make.
I've had my eye on this cake for a really long time but since my better half doesn't care much for coconut (and I apparently don't make cake) you can probably imagine why it has yet to come to fruition. Well today's task of making a birthday cake for our cafe seemed like the perfect time to try this recipe (and guess who had a bite and loved it? My coconut hating husband!).
From Ina Garten's "Barefoot Contessa at Home"
3/4 pound butter* plus more for greasing pans, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
4 ounces shredded coconut
1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 pound butter, room temperature
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 pound icing sugar
6 ounces shredded coconut for decoration**
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease two 9 inch round cake pans and dust lightly with flour.
Cream softened butter with sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and extracts and mix well (the texture might look weird but don't worry). In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Add the flour and milk in three parts alternating back and forth between wet and dry, making sure to start and end with the flour mixture. Fold in the coconut.
Pour evenly into prepared pans and bake for 45-50 minutes, until tops are golden and knife comes out of the center cleanly. Cool on a baking rack for 30 minutes then turn out on a baking rack to continue cooling.
For the frosting combine butter, cream cheese and extracts until combined (if using a mixer keep it on a low speed). Add the sugar and mix until just smooth.
To assemble place one cake top side down on a platter and spread with frosting. Place second cake top side up and frost top and sides. Sprinkle with coconut and lightly press it to the sides of the cake.
*Ina calls for unsalted butter but honestly I always use salted butter in my baked goods because I prefer more salt to balance the sugar.
**The photos of this cake in Ina's book show beautiful large flakes of coconut. If you can find larger flakes of coconut definitely use them for this part.